"This Is Cinerama" Returning To The Dome

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Peter Kline, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]
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    will play in the original 3 projector format at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood on Thursday October 21st at 7:30 PM and Saturday October 23rd at 1:00 PM.

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    The print being used is reconstructed from various elements. It is not a restoration. Image quality is good to excellent. Sound quality is very good. Although the 1952 film itself is not the best of the Cinerama travelogues, it is still fun to see and includes the legendary roller coaster ride.
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Peter,

    Do you know how this print will compare to the one shown in Seattle in spring 2003?

    Also, what (in your opinion) IS the best of the travelogues? I've seen TIC, Search for Paradise, and Windjammer (Cinemiracle) and this one is my favorite so far. The roller coaster scene is a classic, and while some of the performing arts in the first half tend to drag a bit, the 2nd half is pure gold, IMO. The extended water-skiing sequence is exhilirating, and the aerial tour of America gives me the chills and makes me all misty eyed. :b The majestic appearance of Mt. Rainier always gets a big cheer from the Seattle audience.

    However, based on what I've read, Seven Wonders of the World sounds fascinating as well.
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    It's the same print as shown in Seattle and LA back in 2003. My favorite travelogues were "7 Wonders" and "Cinerama Holiday" (the second film). It has a bob sled run that is even more exciting then the roller coaster. 7 Wonders was nominated for an Academy Award for photography (it didn't win).

    You're right about the first half of the film. Mike Todd directed (?) most of the sequences. Todd Jr. did the roller coaster and the Church sequence was made in 1949 (in black and white and tinted sepia for the film) by Cinerama's inventor Fred Waller It was actually filmed outside in a parking lot. Todd made some mistakes in his camera placements. The Vienna Choir Boys had some of them situated on the seams ( a no no).... and there's the famous "3 legged lady!".

    "Windjammer" was also a favorite of mine. Lot's of music. The Cinemiracle process improved on some of the Cinerama idosyncrancies. The company folded however and Cinerama bought it out. It was the last of the travelogues.

    None of the other travelogues are in great shape. Camera and internegs have shrunk from what I am told and are in need of restoration. 7 Wonders is a mess as I was told that the center panel was copied down to 16mm for a company which distributed it to schools. The center panel is missing some sequences because of the editing. The 7 channel soundtracks have been salvaged, however they are not in pristine shape.
    "Brothers Grimm" is lost forever as far as camera negs or internegs. Only some surviving prints and a 35mm conversion remain. Only "HWTWW" remains close to the original look of the film. Unfortuately, it is not a completely Cinerama production. There are a lot of 70mm sequences, both new and borrowed from other films, that are readily apparent while watching as they become grainy and are not as sharp.

    A bit of trivia. Louis Forbes is listed as director of the 100 plus piece Cinerama Philharmonic Orchestra for "TIC". No composer credit is given for the score. However, the music was written by Max Steiner. He was under exclusive contract to WB at the time so he couldn't be given credit.
     
  4. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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    That's too bad - I always wanted to see it in Cinerama. I used to hope that George Pal's surviving relatives had a perfect copy in their basement or something. Are any of those surviving prints able to be screened? Have they all turned pink as well?
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Bill,

    Pink as a baby's bottom I'm afraid.
     
  6. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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    Thanks, Peter. Maybe Warner will release a smilebox version on DVD someday, the closest I'll ever get to the Cinerama experience.
     
  7. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Grimm can't be released with the complete image on DVD as the 35-mm conversion removed about 20% of the picture on the left and right. A smilebox version could be done on HTWWW if Warners cared to license the process. Truthfully, real Cinerama films cannot have the impact on a flat screen... even the smilebox can only hint at what it is. You need to be in a theatre with the surround sound and extremely bright and sharp images up there on the screen. One of the things that makes the process so compelling, even with all the technical problems, is that you're watching 3 images joined together using 3 separate light sources. The incredible brightness of the screen has a lot to do with the visceral effect. Neither 70-mm or IMAX has as bright images.
     
  8. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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    Everything that Peter said makes the Cinerama version of "How the West Was Won" seem all the more precious. I'm really grateful it even exists and that I got to see it twice in the last eight years (Dayton 1996, L.A. 2003).
     
  9. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    HTWWW really was amazing. Even though I had three dozen 3-D screenings on my agenda last September (World 3-D Film Expo), I made a point to head over to see Cinerama as well. It seemed strange to see a film WITHOUT polarized glasses that week.

    I really couldn't stand to sit in a theatre for months afterward, but I'd do it all again!
     
  10. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The Dome certainly did the presentation of HTWWW right. The process came a long way from the first film to the last. The vertical lines were hidden better and the film direction was mostly top-notch. It certainly was worth a trip to LA to see it!
     
  11. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    UPDATE!!! Saturday September 25 at the Arclight in Hollwyood there will be a 10:45 AM showing of the "Cinerama Adventure" documentary.

    Also, here are details on the October showings of TIC:

    This is Cinerama
    Lowell Thomas
    Rating: G
    Running Time: 2 hr. 51 min.
    Genre: Documentary

    Original 3-strip Projection in the Historic Cinerama Dome
    Thursday, October 21 at 7:00pm and Saturday, October 23 at 10:00am

    Whether you’re a movie history buff, a fan of large format films, or just want to witness a cinematic oddity, you won’t want to miss our exclusive, limited engagement.*

    Few developments in motion pictures have had the impact on the entertainment industry that Cinerama had when it opened on Broadway on the evening of September 30, 1952.* This was the beginning of an era that brought wide screen and stereophonic sound movies to major cities in America and later, to the world. Cinerama had such an impact that THIS IS CINERAMA was the top grossing film released in 1952, although it played in fewer than 30 theaters nationwide during its initial release.

    The technically and economically challenging Cinerama process, which used three simultaneous cameras to film and three separate projectors to exhibit, lasted only 12 years and only seven films were produced. This film is one of two that has been restored, and our Dome is one of only two theaters in the U.S. equipped to show it.


    Film will show as follows:


    THIS IS CINERAMA Act One* 68 minutes
    Intermission* 15 minutes
    THIS IS CINERAMA Act Two* 66 minutes


    CINERAMA ODDITIES
    35mm Lowell Thomas Breakdown Reel, 8 minutes
    35mm "SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD" 3 minutes, NY premiere newsreel interviews with Joan Crawford, Nanette Fabray, Virginia Graham and others
    3 Strip "OPASNIYE POVOROTY" 4 minutes, Russian 3 strip Kinopanorama, never before shown in the US. (engligh translation "Naughty Curves")
    3 Strip "CINERAMA HOLIDAY" 2 minutes, county fair, ferris wheel sequence
    3 Strip "SEARCH FOR PARADISE" 3 minutes, Indus river sequence
    35mm "SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD" 2 minutes, theatrical trailer


    Total Running Time* 2 hrs. 51 min.


    *
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    HTWWW was indeed great. When I went to Seattle I decided to see it again, but, sadly, the sound mechanism broke very early on and the show was cancelled.

    I hope they do another large format film festival in Seattle or somewhere closer to N.C.
     

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