Remembering Cinerama (Part 13: Columbus)

posted by Coate on November 26, 2008 at 7:55 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 13: Columbus

The following is Part Thirteen in a series of retrospectives on Cinerama, the legendary motion picture process that kicked off the widescreen revolution. The series focuses on providing a market-by-market, film-by-film, historical record of when and where Cinerama and its multi-panel clones were exhibited. The easy-to-reference articles also serve to provide nostalgia to those who experienced the Cinerama presentations when they were new and to highlight the movie palaces in which the memorable events took place.

Part 1: New York
Part 2: Chicago
Part 3: San Francisco
Part 4: Houston
Part 5: Washington, D.C.
Part 6: Los Angeles
Part 7: Atlanta
Part 8: San Diego
Part 9: Dallas
Part 10: Oklahoma City
Part 11: Syracuse
Part 12: Toronto

And now…Part 13: Cinerama Presentations in Columbus, Ohio!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 03 November 1960
Engagement Duration: 20 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Promotional Hype: “A new era dawns in Central Ohio. Join the throngs who will acclaim the only motion picture entertainment that’s really ALL NEW.”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 22 March 1961
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “It’s every holiday you dreamed of…come true. There are no thrills like Cinerama thrills”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 16 June 1961
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “You will experience every one of the 700 thrills! Beyond the vastest horizons of imagination”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 11 October 1961
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Escape with the new Cinerama to the sun-splashed, moon-drenched mystery-washed South Seas!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 07 February 1962
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “CINERAMA opens the Gateway to your Search for Paradise”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 23 May 1962
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The New 6th CINERAMA Presentation. Too exciting to describe. A glorious new breath-taking adventure with romance, thrills and excitement.”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 22 August 1962
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The first full-length dramatic story with a dazzling array of stars in CINERAMA.”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 08 January 1963
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Now you are catapulted across five continents and 100 centuries! CINERAMA’s greatest thrills for the first time in one CINERAMA production. Imitations come and go, but only CINERAMA puts YOU in the picture.”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 11 April 1963
Duration: 44 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 18 February 1964
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The Cinerama Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 12 August 1964
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Cinerama Surrounds You With The Greatest Thrill-Packed Story Ever Filmed!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 23 December 1964
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “So MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD have been the demands, we bring it back as RKO’s Christmas Present to Columbus. Everybody who’s ever been funny is in it!”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 01 July 1965 (Ohio Premiere)
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Cinerama Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful Fun-Trail!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 06 October 1965
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “A Rich, Rewarding Entertainment Experience For The Entire Family”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 25 January 1966
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Finally, the super action show in Super Cinerama hurling you headlong into the sight and might of the most amazing forces ever unleashed.”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 03 May 1966
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Exciting, eye-filling, stunning…brilliant and thrilling…a delightful Mediterranean cruise.”

KHARTOUM
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 29 June 1966
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great Cinerama Adventure Begins!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 18 January 1967
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “So vast it staggers the imagination!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 15 February 1967
Duration: 30 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Cinerama Sweeps You Into A Drama Of Speed And Spectacle!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 13 September 1967
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Exciting, eye-filling, stunning…brilliant and thrilling…a delightful Mediterranean cruise.”

CUSTER OF THE WEST
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 09 February 1968
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Now CINERAMA makes it all live again. From the fury and chaos of the Civil War…to the final earth-shaking charge at Little Big Horn.”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 12 June 1968
Duration: 27 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Grand
Premiere: 02 April 1969
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

The companies that operated the Grand during the Cinerama era were RKO (1960-65), Beacon (1965-66) and Trans-Beacon (1966-69). The Grand closed after the final showing of ICE STATION ZEBRA on 13 May 1969. On 08 January 1970, a wrecking company torch set a fire that destroyed the theater.

NEVER SHOWN IN CINERAMA:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (non-Cinerama presentation at Cinema East)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 70mm re-issue

Compiled by Mark Lensenmayer & Michael Coate

Source: The Columbus Dispatch and Variety

Theaters in this post

Comments (6)

JSittig1
JSittig1 on November 26, 2008 at 11:10 am

Michael,
Great rememberances. The Grand is where I would “haunt” the projection booth at intermission, and after the show. It was a single floor level booth with all 3 projectors. That’s where I caught the “Cinerama” bug that I still carry today. I was also the manager at Cinema East.
The owner, Charles Sugarman, had plans drawn up to put in a
126 degree curved screen in 1973, when “This Is Cinerama” was re-released in 70mm, but it never materialized.
John

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on November 27, 2008 at 3:35 am

Michael, I think I’ve asked this before but do you intend on covering the wonders of Cinerama that happened in London UK?
Please!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

As an 11-year-old kid, I saw 2001 and then Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (not a Cinerama film) at the Grand before it closed.

Coate
Coate on December 8, 2008 at 11:55 am

Yes, Ian, I intend to cover the Cinerama presentations in London and other international locales. However, my focus right now is on markets in North America, so I cannot put a timeframe on when a London list might appear.

In the meantime, I can highlight the following bits about London:

— The first Cinerama install was at the Casino with THIS IS CINERAMA premiering on 30 September 1954 and running for 70 weeks.

— Also Cinerama-capable were the Coliseum and Royalty cinemas.

— London hosted the world premiere of the Cinerama films HOW THE WEST WAS WON, KHARTOUM and CUSTER OF THE WEST. The Casino’s run of HOW THE WEST WAS WON ran for 123 weeks, the longest for any city running that film.

— London played every Cinerama film, a feat few North American markets matched. In addition to playing everything, London played some Cinerama product that never ran in North America, such as THE GOLDEN HEAD (1964).

— London, arguably, was the most successful roadshow city in the world.

— For a list of the 70mm-era Cinerama films (1963-69), I recommend John Sharp’s 70mm in London list from in70mm.com.

Coate
Coate on May 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Part 1: New York City
Part 2: Chicago
Part 3: San Francisco
Part 4: Houston
Part 5: Washington, DC
Part 6: Los Angeles
Part 7: Atlanta
Part 8: San Diego
Part 9: Dallas
Part 10: Oklahoma City
Part 11: Syracuse
Part 12: Toronto
Part 13: Columbus
Part 14: Montreal
Part 15: Northern New Jersey
Part 16: Charlotte
Part 17: Vancouver
Part 18: Salt Lake City
Part 19: Boston
Part 20: Philadelphia
Part 21: Fresno
Part 22: Detroit
Part 23: Minneapolis
Part 24: Albuquerque
Part 25: El Paso
Part 26: Des Moines
Part 27: Miami
Part 28: Orange County
Part 29: Pittsburgh
Part 30: Baltimore
Part 31: Long Island

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