Remembering Cinerama (Part 20: Philadelphia)

posted by Coate on February 13, 2009 at 8:00 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 20: Philadelphia

The following is Part Twenty 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
Part 18: Salt Lake City
Part 19: Boston

And now…Part 20: Cinerama Presentations in Philadelphia!

A Work in Progress

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 5, 1953 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Engagement Duration: 72 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “The Only Really All-New Wonder Of The Entertainment World”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: February 16, 1955
Duration: 63 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You’ve never lived until you’ve sat in a specially equipped CINERAMA theatre!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: April 24, 1956
Duration: 68 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The New…The 3rd CINERAMA!”

THRILLARAMA
Theater: Fox
Premiere: January 21, 1957 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 1 week
Format: Thrillarama
Hype: “You’re In The Biggest Screen You’ve Ever Seen!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 2, 1957 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 27, 1958
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Never before such a wide, wide world of sight… sound… and fabulous adventure! Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: February 1959
Duration: 35 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: August 8, 1962
Duration: 30 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The first dramatic story-telling motion picture in fabulous CINERAMA!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: March 7, 1963 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 39 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: December 19, 1963
Duration: 27 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: June 25, 1964 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Surrounds You With The Greatest Thrill-Packed Story Ever Filmed!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: March 1965
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: None

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: July 1965
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful, Fun-Trail!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: September 1965 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: December 1965 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The super action show in Super Cinerama. Unlike anything you have ever seen!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: February 1, 1967 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 37 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: May 22, 1968 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 30 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience a dazzling trip to the moon, the planets and the stars beyond.”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: December 18, 1968
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

NEVER SHOWN IN CINERAMA:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM
CUSTER OF THE WEST
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (70mm reserved-seat engagement at Stanley)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

TRIVIA:
The Boyd was Cinerama installation #6.

Compiled by Vince Young & Michael Coate

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer and Variety

Comments (9)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 13, 2009 at 8:39 am

Thanks Vince Young & Michael Coate!

Photo of “South Seas Adventure” at the Boyd Theatre:
View link

Photo of “How the West was Won” with a band at the Boyd:
View link

Friends of the Boyd have a “Cinerama Holiday” postcard, donated recently to us:
View link
Here’s the back of the postcard with Boyd Theatre details:
View link

Want more information & free Weekly Updates about our cause to ensure the Boyd is restored & reopened including with a film series? enter your information at www.FriendsofTheBoyd.org

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 14, 2009 at 11:55 am

During the Cinerama days, the Boyd Theatre was owned and operated by Stanley Warner Theatres, and the Randolph (formerly known as Keith’s Chestnut Street Theatre) was owned and operated by William Goldman Theatres.

ceasar
ceasar on February 18, 2009 at 11:37 am

I saw 2001 when I was 8 yrs old at the old Joy Theatre which was torned down twenty years ago. When I got older I saw 2001 once again when I was in junior high school when it was released. Being eight then I can tell you the music scared me then but now I enjoy watching more and more; I suggest u buy the 2 disc version dvd for the documentries are wonderful watch.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

Ceasar, you saw “2001” at the Joy Theatre in which city & state?

ceasar
ceasar on February 18, 2009 at 11:51 am

Joy Theatre,Vicksburg Ms. It had an art deco theme for a single screen cinema. Sometime in the seventies at the old battlefield mall here in Vicksburg a four screen cinema came which is now torn down came into being.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm

The Joy isn’t on this website. Perhaps you could go to link above “add theater” and add it?

Coate
Coate on April 23, 2009 at 1:26 am

Here’s a revised and updated version of Part 20: Philadelphia of the “Remembering Cinerama” series.

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 5, 1953 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Engagement Duration: 72 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “The Only Really All-New Wonder Of The Entertainment World”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: February 16, 1955 (Pennsylvania Co-Premiere)
Duration: 63 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You’ve never lived until you’ve sat in a specially equipped CINERAMA theatre!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: April 24, 1956
Duration: 68 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The New…The 3rd CINERAMA!”

THRILLARAMA
Theater: Fox
Premiere: January 21, 1957 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 1 week
Format: Thrillarama
Hype: “You’re In The Biggest Screen You’ve Ever Seen!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 2, 1957 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Since the dawn of time…this has been man’s most fabulous dream…” “The newest, the mightiest of all CINERAMA Adventures”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: October 29, 1958
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Never before such a wide, wide world of sight… sound… and fabulous adventure!” “Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: February 17, 1959
Duration: 35 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Escape to the last romantic refuge left on earth” “Only at the Boyd Theatre, Phila., Pa. can you ESCAPE with the new CINERAMA to the sun-splashed, moon-drenched, mystery-washed south seas!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: August 8, 1962 (Pennsylvania Co-Premiere)
Duration: 30 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The first dramatic story-telling motion picture in fabulous CINERAMA!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: March 7, 1963 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 39 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: December 19, 1963
Duration: 27 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: June 25, 1964 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Surrounds You With The Greatest Thrill-Packed Story Ever Filmed!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: March 9, 1965 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: None

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: July 27, 1965
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful, Fun-Trail!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: September 22, 1965 (Pennsylvania Premiere*)
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Thrilling Entertainment That Places You Right In The Middle Of The Most Fabulous Adventure You Ever Lived!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Boyd
Premiere: December 22, 1965 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The super action show in Super Cinerama. Unlike anything you have ever seen!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: February 1, 1967 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 37 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: May 22, 1968 (Pennsylvania Premiere)
Duration: 30 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience — a dazzling trip to the moon, the planets and the stars beyond."

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Randolph
Premiere: December 18, 1968
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE PHILADELPHIA MARKET:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM (35mm general-release engagement at Stanton)
CUSTER OF THE WEST
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (70mm non-reserved-seat engagement at Stanley)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

TRIVIA:
Philadelphia was the 5th market to equip for Cinerama presentations.

In addition to the Cinerama run at the Boyd, WINDJAMMER played some CineMiracle engagements in the greater Philadelphia area, including Glenside, PA (Keswick), Lancaster, PA (King), Asbury Park, NJ (St. James), and Atlantic City, NJ (Warner).

*Prior to playing the Boyd, MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY played in 1964 at Cheltenham in a 70mm Cinevision non-reserved-seat presentation and in several 35mm general-release houses. Also in 1964, MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY screened in the Wonderama format, including area engagements in Plainfield, NJ (Strand) and Trenton, NJ (Trent). The presentation at the Boyd in 1965 was the Pennsylvania premiere engagement of the Cinerama version.

Compiled by Vince Young & Michael Coate

References: Boxoffice, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Variety

Coate
Coate on May 18, 2009 at 11:28 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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