Remembering Cinerama (Part 18: Salt Lake City)

posted by Coate on December 31, 2008 at 6:00 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 18: Salt Lake City

The following is Part Eighteen 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
Part 16: Charlotte
Part 17: Vancouver

And now…Part 18: Cinerama Presentations in Salt Lake City, Utah!

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 1, 1960
Engagement Duration: 16 weeks
Format: CineMiracle
Promotional Hype: “CINEMIRACLE Puts You Right In The Middle Of Thrill-Packed Adventure!”

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: July 21, 1961
Duration: 26 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You Are There!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: January 18, 1962
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “An Entertainment Of Such Irresistible Fascination…That Only The Miracle Of CINERAMA Could Encompass It!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: May 23, 1962
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s worth a trip to Salt Lake City…because it’s every holiday you ever dreamed of…come true! Our 3rd CINERAMA Presentation. The Only Show In The Mountain West That Cannot And Will Not Be Shown In Any Other Theatre.”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: July 25, 1962
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD in the greatest wonder: CINERAMA”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Villa
Premiere: August 22, 1962
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “For The First Time CINERAMA Tells A Story”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 13, 1963
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Most Exciting CINERAMA of Them All!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Villa
Premiere: April 11, 1963
Duration: 39 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “24 Great Stars. 3 Noted Directors. A Fabulous New Dramatic Adventure From M-G-M And CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: January 9, 1964
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA Transports You To Lush Tropic Islands Adventure-Splashed With A Thousand Excitements!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 19, 1964
Duration: 36 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “It’s The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 28, 1964
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Thrills… as the wildest Wild West Show you’ve ever seen rocks you with breathtaking feats of daring!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: March 24, 1965
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Suddenly you’re surrounded by the screen… Suddenly you’re in exotic lands… fascinated by strange customs and stranger people!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: April 14, 1965
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Only once in a lifetime. An Entertainment So Rich. An Experience So Rewarding.”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 6, 1965
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful Fun-Trail!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: March 2, 1966
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “At Last! The super action show in SUPER CINERAMA”

KHARTOUM
Theater: Villa
Premiere: June 29, 1966
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where the Nile divides, their mighty conflict begins!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 21, 1966
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “This is the ultimate in CINERAMA. This is the last word in truly incredible adventure!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 19, 1966
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “You sail away and live all the excitement your mind ever imagined in CINERAMA’s MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 1, 1967
Duration: 28 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: June 12, 1968
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An Epic Drama Of Adventure And Exploration!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: November 13, 1968
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: August 7, 1969
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The New CINERAMA Hurls You Into The Incredible Day That Shook The Earth To Its Core!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 28, 1973
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

NEVER SHOWN IN CINERAMA:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
CUSTER OF THE WEST

Compiled by Michael Coate

Sources: Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune and VillaTheatre.com

Theaters in this post

Comments (8)

telliott
telliott on December 31, 2008 at 10:29 am

Wow, looked at all the photos of the Villa theatre. That sure was some place, must have been great to see a movie there. At least the building is still standing and even though not a theatre anymore you can still see what it was like. We have a former beautiful theatre here in Toronto that is now a bookstore, with the magazine section on the former stage. I wish that more theatres had survived like that.

op712
op712 on January 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I attended the Villa many times to witness 70mm showings. My first experience at the Villa is when we drove down to SLC from E. Idaho in October of 1968 to visit relatives. Most of us kids wanted to see what this “2001: a Space Odyssey” was all about, so the parents dropped us off at the VILLA to witness this movie. Outside of the majority of us being confused on what the story was all about, all of us will never forget the “WOW!” we all said in the presentation – from the time the huge side draw curtains would open to the grandeur of the 70mm being shown on that huge 120 foot plus deep curved screen…and how it sounded as well being with 5 channel behind the screen sound (later on I found out about the 6th channel being surround sound for the wall speakers…)

After this experience, everytime we went down to SLC, I would always see what is playing at the Villa.

My last show I saw at the Villa is when MANN Theatres still ran this place. The movie was “Hunt for Red October” in the fall of 1990, and I could tell the change from carbon arc and the Century “JJ’s” to the Christie SLH xenon lamphouse and the Norelco “AA-2”. The changeover with the xenon lamphouse really ruined large screen movies since the light was simply not there as with the usage of carbon arc – the loss of color and contrast was definitely apparent..at least to my eyes.

Now, I miss the grand ol' Palace, but at least glad to see the building being still used.

Also, on a side topic: I also do miss the Cinedome 70 theatre in Ogden. That was also a great place to witness 70mm presentations.

op712
op712 on January 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm

70mm showings are even better than any digital showing any day of the week.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 2, 2009 at 8:48 am

Could this be the only city where “Ice Station Zebra” played longer than “2001”?

op712
op712 on January 2, 2009 at 9:05 am

Almost a year…what I heard…

op712
op712 on January 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

Also, The OP can add to the list above additional 70mm releases at the VILLA (from my memory..) 1981 IJ:Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984 IJ:Temple of Doom. (sadly, Villa didn’t get any of the Star Wars series – Plitt had those premieres at the Centre..but all in 70mm)

Coate
Coate on April 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Here’s a revised and updated version of “Part 18: Salt Lake City” from my “Remembering Cinerama” series.

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 1, 1960
Engagement Duration: 16 weeks
Format: CineMiracle
Promotional Hype: “CINEMIRACLE Puts You Right In The Middle Of Thrill-Packed Adventure!”

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: July 21, 1961
Duration: 26 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You Are There!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: January 18, 1962
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “An Entertainment Of Such Irresistible Fascination… That Only The Miracle Of CINERAMA Could Encompass It!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: May 23, 1962 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s worth a trip to Salt Lake City… because it’s every holiday you ever dreamed of… come true!” “Our 3rd CINERAMA Presentation. The Only Show In The Mountain West That Cannot And Will Not Be Shown In Any Other Theatre…”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: July 25, 1962
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD in the greatest wonder: CINERAMA”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Villa
Premiere: August 22, 1962
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “For The First Time CINERAMA Tells A Story”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 13, 1963 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Most Exciting CINERAMA of Them All!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Villa
Premiere: April 11, 1963
Duration: 39 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “24 Great Stars. 3 Noted Directors. A Fabulous New Dramatic Adventure From M-G-M And CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: January 9, 1964 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA Transports You To Lush Tropic Islands Adventure-Splashed With A Thousand Excitements!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 19, 1964 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 36 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “It’s The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 28, 1964
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Thrills… as the wildest Wild West Show you’ve ever seen rocks you with breathtaking feats of daring!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: March 24, 1965 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Suddenly you’re surrounded by the screen… Suddenly you’re in exotic lands… fascinated by strange customs and stranger people!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Villa
Premiere: April 14, 1965 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Only once in a lifetime. An Entertainment So Rich. An Experience So Rewarding.”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 6, 1965
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful Fun-Trail!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: March 2, 1966
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “At Last! The super action show in SUPER CINERAMA”

KHARTOUM
Theater: Villa
Premiere: June 29, 1966
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where the Nile divides, their mighty conflict begins!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 21, 1966
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “This is the ultimate in CINERAMA. This is the last word in truly incredible adventure!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: October 19, 1966
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “You sail away and live all the excitement your mind ever imagined in CINERAMA’s MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Villa
Premiere: February 1, 1967
Duration: 28 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Villa
Premiere: June 12, 1968
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An epic drama of adventure and exploration!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: November 13, 1968 (Mountain States Premiere)
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theater: Villa
Premiere: August 7, 1969
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The New CINERAMA Hurls You Into The Incredible Day That Shook The Earth To Its Core!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Theater: Villa
Premiere: September 28, 1973
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE SALT LAKE CITY MARKET:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
CUSTER OF THE WEST

TRIVIA:
The Salt Lake City market had three Cinerama-equipped theaters in total: the Villa (accounted for above), Plaza (3-strip) and Century 21 (70mm). There is no record of any Cinerama presentations at the Plaza or Century 21.

Compiled by Michael Coate

References: Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune, VillaTheatre.com

Coate
Coate on May 18, 2009 at 8:27 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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