Remembering Cinerama (Part 14: Montreal)

posted by Coate on December 5, 2008 at 11:30 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 14: Montreal

The following is Part Fourteen 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

And now…Part 14: Cinerama Presentations in Montreal!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 27 December 1954 (Canadian Premiere)
Engagement Duration: 66 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Promotional Hype: “More Thrills Than You’ve Ever Known In A Theatre. The Imperial is the only theatre in all of Canada than can or will show CINERAMA.”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 05 April 1956 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 52 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The most eagerly awaited announcement in Canadian entertainment history! The new CINERAMA…even more fabulous than the first!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 03 April 1957 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 61 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “An entertainment of such irresistible fascination…that only the Miracle of CINERAMA could encompass it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Version Francaise)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 03 June 1958
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “CINERAMA vient au Canada en francais! [CINERAMA comes to Canada in French!] De retour a la demande generale our un engagement de courte duree… [back by popular demand for a short engagement…] Dialogue entierement en francais! [Narration completely in French!] Le film qui a battu tous les records a Montreal! [The film that has broken all Montreal records!]”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY (Version Francaise)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 21 September 1958
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Vous serez emportee dans l’action CINERAMA pour vivre une adventure extraordinaire! [You’ll be carried away with the CINERAMA effect to live an extraordinary adventure!] Grace a CINERAMA vous avez trois yeux et sept oreilles! [Thanks to CINERAMA you have three eyes and seven ears!]”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Version Francaise)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 16 November 1958
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Un chef-d’oeuvre cinematographique qui vivre dans votre memoire pour toujours! [A cinematic masterpiece that will live in your memory forever!]”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 23 December 1958 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 19 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The One CINERAMA Experience You Have to See to Believe! The Greatest CINERAMA of Them All! The newest CINERAMA turns your most fabulous dreams into the mightiest of all adventure entertainments!”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 05 May 1959
Duration: 42 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “New! And Never To Be Forgotten! CINERAMA transports you to lush tropical islands…adventure-splashed with a thousand excitements! Only at the Imperial Theatre can you escape with the NEW CINERAMA to the sun-splashed, bloom-drenched, mystery-washed South Seas!”

WINDJAMMER
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 23 February 1960
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: 3-strip Cinerama
Hype: “Produced in CINEMIRACLE/Presented in CINERAMA. The NEW CINERAMA presentation…most exciting and colorful of them all!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 12 July 1960
Duration: 24 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The original version of the world’s most imitated picture. The Astounding Attraction that Revolutionized the Entertainment World.”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 25 December 1960
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Never such exciting entertainment! The best entertainment this side of heaven! Canada’s Only CINERAMA Theatre!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 01 April 1961
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Your reserved seat tickets for the most fabulous Easter-time vacation for you and your family!”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 06 June 1961
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Escape through the magic of CINERAMA to the exotic South Seas!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 13 November 1961
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Through the magic of CINERAMA you will visit the world beyond the Himalayas!”

WINDJAMMER (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 02 May 1962
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “The original version in full-range CINEMIRACLE sound! Canada’s first CINERAMA Theatre”

HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 24 May 1962
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “Now CINERAMA takes you on a manhunt…a suspense hunt…a thrill hunt…across an exotic world of excitement! When the vast CINERAMA screen opens opens opens, thrill to the most exciting adventure trail you ever followed!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 08 August 1962 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “For the first time CINERAMA tells a story and a whole new world of wonders becomes a wonderful world for you and your family”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 17 January 1963
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “It’s CINERAMA’s Greatest Moments In One Far-Flung, Fantastic, Unforgettable Adventure! The greatest scenes. The greatest thrills…for the 1st time all in one fabulous entertainment”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 27 March 1963 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 34 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: None

THE BEST OF CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 21 November 1963
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: 3-Strip Cinerama
Hype: “For 3 weeks only…by popular demand”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 18 December 1963 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 58 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “The biggest entertainment ever to hit the CINERAMA screen!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 27 January 1965
Duration: 22 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “This time CINERAMA puts you in the circus…a few feet from your own seat!”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 30 June 1965 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Now CINERAMA send you roaring with laughter and adventure down…THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 05 October 1965
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: None

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 01 February 1966
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “From the secret files of World War II. You will live again the very strong emotions just as you did when seeing the very first CINERAMA”

KHARTOUM
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 22 June 1966
Duration: 19 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Where the Nile divides, the great CINERAMA adventure begins”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 02 November 1966
Duration: 29 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “A total eclipse of all CINERAMA’s [sic] ever presented! A grandiose performance…with thrills to satisfy everyone’s taste…only a few feet from your seat”

GRAND PRIX
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 24 May 1967
Duration: 36 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “You are inside the cars, you are inside the lives…you are inside the glamour capitals of Europe…you really are with the women and men who belong to the great drama of spectacle and speed of GRAND PRIX”

CUSTER OF THE WEST
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 01 February 1968 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “A man too big for legend…a motion picture too big for any screen except CINERAMA”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 24 April 1968
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Back again…but this time in all the splendor and spectacular [sic] of CINERAMA”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 29 May 1968 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 24 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “An adventure which spans the whole history of the human race. It takes you on a voyage of discovery into the great age of exploration that is opening up for mankind among the planets and beyond. And in the mind-stretching finale, you find yourself hurtling through immense star-clusters, past clouds of exploding gas where whole suns are being born, and into strange regions of space and time where forces rage forever incomprehensible to Man. And here, at the end of your journey, you will meet the powers that watched over the birth of our species…and have been waiting ever since for us to emerge from our planetary cradle. As Time Magazine said: ‘2001 provides the screen with some of the most dazzling visual happenings and technical achievements in the history of the motion picture. No film to date has come remotely near ODYSSEY’s depiction of the limitless beauty and terror of outer space.’”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 13 November 1968 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 02 July 1969 (Canadian Premiere)
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “The day the mighty volcano Krakatoa erupts…and you drop into its fiery mouth! You are engulfed by the terrifying tidal wave! You desperately search for the lost children! You outrun a raging river of molten lava!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 08 October 1969
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “Back by popular demand…a sensational voyage…and musical”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 28 January 1970
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “An encore…by request from thousands of CINERAMA fans”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Return Engagement)
Theatre: Imperial
Premiere: 08 April 1970
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “In CINERAMA…within a few feet from your seat…you will live through a trip similar to the one the crew of the Apollo XIII will experience shortly”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-issue)
Theatre: Alouette
Premiere: 01 June 1973
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: 70mm
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

Compiled by Bill Kretzel & Michael Coate

Source: The Gazette, The Montreal Star and Variety

Theaters in this post

Comments (4)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on December 5, 2008 at 11:42 am

The Montreal hype entries certainly outdo most of the ones they came up with in the United States. They really “got” Cinerama up there! My favorite: “Thanks to Cinerama you have three eyes and seven ears”.

Funny how “2001” played in Montreal for only 24 weeks (“only” – a relative term), while it played in Toronto for more than two years.

MPol
MPol on December 6, 2008 at 7:43 am

Bill, I think that, with rare exceptions, the days of popular films playing for a year or two at a given theatre are gone forever.

telliott
telliott on December 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

Could be that Montreal being a bilingual city that 2001 was not as popular with French speaking audiences as it was in Toronto. I think that Toronto was an exception with this film, I remember reading while it was here in it’s record breaking run that people were seeing it again and again. It was described at the time as the ultimate “trip”.

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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