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April 2000, Week 1


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Robert Hunt <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 5 Apr 2000 19:36:12 EDT
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I'm not sure how helpful this is, but I thought I'd pass on a bit of
information. Here in St. Louis, I believe that the first Cinerama films
("C...Holiday", etc....) played at regular theatres, though I'm not sure how
they would have pulled it off. The first and only three-projector Cinerama
theatre, the Trans-Lux Cinerama, opened in 1962 with "The Wonderful World of
the Brothers Grimm"...By the end of the decade, due to the lack of Cinerama
poductions it was playing regular "roadshow" attractions like "Patton". It
closed shortly thereafter and was sold - more or less given away as a tax
write-off, actually - to a gospel church. A projectionist friend of mine who
examined the theatre told me that the original three projection booths were
still intact.. About 12 years ago, the church sold off most of the parking
spaces to the drugstore next door and just two years ago the entire building
was razed because the drug store needed...a bigger parking lot...
I've heard that ever since a fan'-operated labor of love in Indiana closed a
few years ago that there is only one place in the world to see Cinerama films
in the original three-projector format, somewhere in England. Anyone know if
this is true???
A final note....I notice that when TCM shows Cinerama movies, they don't
letterbox the frama to the full 4:1 format....Just once I'd like to see them
air something in that form so I could show my students how the process worked/

Robert Hunt

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