Remembering Cinerama (Part 16: Charlotte)

posted by Coate on December 18, 2008 at 5:55 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 16: Charlotte

The following is Part Sixteen 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
Part 13: Columbus
Part 14: Montreal
Part 15: Northern New Jersey

And now…Part 16: Cinerama Presentations in Charlotte, North Carolina!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: December 22, 1961
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The only CINERAMA theatre in the two Carolinas. You’ll be swept out of your theatre chair as you are surrounded by beauty, spectacle and adventure as never before!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: March 23, 1962
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You see motion pictures…you’re there in CINERAMA!”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 7, 1962
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “A glorious new adventure with romance, thrills and excitement in the wondrous magic of CINERAMA!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: July 27, 1962
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA HOLIDAY is every holiday you ever dreamed of…come true!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: October 12, 1962
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The thrill of CINERAMA is still unmatched!”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: November 16, 1962
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA transports you to lush tropic islands…adventure-splashed with a thousand excitements!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: December 21, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You’ve never seen anything like it. The first full story in the magic of CINERAMA!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: February 13, 1963
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s CINERAMA’s greatest moments in one far-flung, fantastic, unforgettable adventure!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: May 8, 1963
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Pardon the interruption in our CINERAMA policy. After 4 weeks of showing THE LONGEST DAY we resume the showing of THE BEST OF CINERAMA.”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: May 29, 1963
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: August 20, 1964
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA puts you in the middle of the most action filled story you’ve ever seen!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 21, 1967
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Brace yourself for CINERAMA thrills you’ve never experienced!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 6, 1968
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: February 12, 1969
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: August 7, 1969
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The New CINERAMA Hurls You Into The Incredible Day That Shook The Earth To Its Core!”

NEVER SHOWN IN CINERAMA:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (general release engagement at Charlottetown)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (general release engagement at Charlottetown)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (general release engagement at Capri)
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
BATTLE OF THE BULGE (general release engagement at Village)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM (general release engagement at Charlottetown)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (general release engagement at Center)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 70mm re-issue

Compiled by Mark Huffstetler & Michael Coate

Source: The Charlotte Observer

Comments (10)

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on December 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I’m glad you’re covering this Michael. My fellow young generation needs a greater understanding of showmanship of the past.

PS: If you ever need help with 70MM in Chicago, let me know. I have a small listing.

nritota
nritota on December 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Great stuff. I would love to see Providence as part of your series since I once ran that house.

Keep up the good work!

ncmark
ncmark on December 21, 2008 at 7:19 am

The installation of Cinerama into the Carolina required about three weeks which resulted in drastic changes to the interior. Out went any remains of the semi-atmospheric Spanish decor. The deeply curved Cinerama screen spilled out well beyond the 40 foot proscenium. The entire interior was draped which caused much damage to the high relief plaster ornamentation. The three projection booths were added to the rear of the orchestra floor and a large wedge was cut out from the underside of the balcony to allow the images to reach the top of the screen. The ground level of the exterior facade was modernized at this time as well.

The Carolina remained the number one house in Charlotte through the sixties even as some newer suburban cinemas increased competition. After all the 3 strip Cinerama films were shown the programming expanded to include other big roadshow features. Extended runs of such popular movies as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, The Sound of Music', ‘Dr. Zhivago’ and a re-issue of ‘Gone with the Wind’ sent several of the single strip Cinerama films into general release runs at other area theaters.

Charlotte was one of the smaller markets to get a Cinerama theater and it drew from both North and South Carolina. Today on the opposite corner from the shuttered Carolina stands the Discovery Place IMAX Dome Theater which carries on with the tradition of cutting edge large format film programming for the region.

Coate
Coate on December 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

CinemarkFan: Contact me… (Or add your e-mail address to your profile so I may contact you…)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

CinemarkFan…By all means make sure you contact Michael, the keeper of the lists.

If you care to, you might also add to the CHICAGO ROADSHOW “A WORK-IN-PROGRESS-LIST” at http://cinematreasures.org/news/20357_0_1_20_C/

Coate
Coate on April 29, 2009 at 5:23 am

Here’s a revised and updated version of the Charlotte entry in the series.

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere Date: December 22, 1961
Engagement Duration: 13 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “The only CINERAMA theatre in the two Carolinas. You’ll be swept out of your theatre chair as you are surrounded by beauty, spectacle and adventure as never before!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: March 23, 1962
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You see motion pictures… you’re there in CINERAMA!”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 7, 1962
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “A glorious new adventure with romance, thrills and excitement in the wondrous magic of CINERAMA!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: July 27, 1962
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA HOLIDAY is every holiday you ever dreamed of… come true!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: October 12, 1962
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The thrill of CINERAMA is still unmatched!”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: November 16, 1962 (Southern Premiere)
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA transports you to lush tropic islands… adventure-splashed with a thousand excitements!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: December 21, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You’ve never seen anything like it. The first full story in the magic of CINERAMA!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: February 13, 1963 (Southern Premiere)
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s CINERAMA’s greatest moments in one far-flung, fantastic, unforgettable adventure!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: May 8, 1963
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Pardon the interruption in our CINERAMA policy. After 4 weeks of showing THE LONGEST DAY we resume the showing of THE BEST OF CINERAMA.”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: May 29, 1963
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: August 20, 1964
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA puts you in the middle of the most action filled story you’ve ever seen!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 21, 1967
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Brace yourself for CINERAMA thrills you’ve never experienced!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: June 6, 1968
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: February 12, 1969
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theater: Carolina
Premiere: August 7, 1969
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The New CINERAMA Hurls You Into The Incredible Day That Shook The Earth To Its Core!”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE CHARLOTTE MARKET:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (general-release engagement at Charlottetown)
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
(general-release engagement at Charlottetown)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (general-release engagement at Capri)
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
(general-release engagement at Village)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM
(general-release engagement at Charlottetown)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (general-release engagement at Center)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 70mm re-issue

*THE SOUND OF MUSIC (a Todd-AO roadshow release) played an extended 79-week engagement at the Carolina from spring 1965 through autumn 1966, preventing all of the mid-1960s Cinerama releases from playing a reserved-seat Cinerama engagement.

Compiled by Mark Huffstetler & Michael Coate

Reference: The Charlotte Observer

Coate
Coate on May 18, 2009 at 8:26 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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

All of this is Great,but it is a crying shame Charlotte let ALL her downtown theatres be torn down,for progress.Atlanta was smart enough to save a couple of Downtown Theatres; is Charlotte so uppity that they just didn’t care!

raysson
raysson on May 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Mike, The same can be said for what happen to ALL of the Downtown Theatres in Raleigh. After the Ambassador Theatre closed in 1979,it was the last movie theatre to be in Downtown Raleigh(this was when Raleigh’s own Fayetteville Street was converted into a street mall). The State closed in 1975 and the Wake closed in 1969. The Ambassador was demolished by 1984.

But at least Durham was smart enough to save it’s vintage Carolina Theater from the wrecking ball(which is to this day,the only movie theater that is still in existence Downtown)

At least they didn’t do what they done in Charlotte which is a crying shame.

raysson
raysson on March 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Other RESERVED SEAT ENGAGEMENTS that played at Charlotte’s Carolina Theatre in 70mm and 6 Channel Stereophonic Sound

“DOCTOR ZHIVAGO”

“HAWAII”

“SOUTH PACIFIC”

“THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE”

“SWEET CHARITY”

“PATTON”

“LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”

“STAR!”

“HELLO DOLLY”

“OKLAHOMA!”

“THE KING AND I”

“MARY,QUEEN OF SCOTS”

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