Remembering Cinerama (Part 21: Fresno)

posted by Coate on February 19, 2009 at 10:55 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 21: Fresno

The following is Part Twenty-one 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: 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
Part 20: Philadelphia

And now…Part 21: Cinerama Presentations in Fresno, California!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Warner
Premiere: December 21, 1962
Engagement Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “At last! See the Wonder of THIS IS CINERAMA at the San Joaquin Valley’s most beautiful theatre: the WARNER CINERAMA. Never in a neighborhood theatre… Never on television.”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Warner
Premiere: March 6, 1963
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “YOU walk step by step with Lowell Thomas through every wonderful moment of SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Warner
Premiere: July 25, 1963
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA is back in Fresno!!! And Exclusively In Central California At The Show Place Of The San Joaquin Valley”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Warner
Premiere: October 10, 1963
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “For The 2nd Time… CINERAMA Tells A Story… The Story Of Adventure Hungry Young Men In Quest Of Manhood… Tasting The Salt Spray Of The Ocean… Romancing With The Curacao Girls… An Electrifying Breath-taking Adventure and Glorious Romance… 9 Great Songs! Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Warner
Premiere: November 21, 1963
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “[Fresno’s Warner Theatre] is the place for the greatest thrill of your life! …where for the past 9 months over half a million people have been bedazzled by the world’s leading entertainment spectacle! And now CINERAMA HOLIDAY”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Warner
Premiere: January 9, 1964
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Escape from winter to the exotic isles of a thousand thrills!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Warner
Premiere: March 12, 1964
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “CINERAMA turns your most fabulous dreams into the mightiest of all adventure entertainments!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Warner
Premiere: April 16, 1964 (Western United States Premiere)
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “For The First Time CINERAMA’s Greatest Thrills Together In One Breathtaking Entertainment!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Warner
Premiere: May 27, 1964
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Warner
Premiere: September 30, 1964 (Western United States Premiere)
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Puts You in the Middle of the Most Action-Filled Story You’ve Ever Seen!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Warner
Premiere: December 16, 1964 (Western United States Premiere)
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Thrill To The Excitement, Fun And Adventure Of The Wonderful All New CINERAMA Presentation! You Sail Away And Live All The Excitement Your Mind Ever Imagined In…MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Warner
Premiere: July 28, 1965
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful Fun-Trail!”

THE BATTLE FOR KHARTOUM
Theater: Warner
Premiere: August 10, 1966
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great Cinerama Adventure Begins!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Warnor
Premiere: June 20, 1967
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Warnor
Premiere: June 5, 1968
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “You Don’t Just Watch It! You Are In It!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Warnor
Premiere: June 26, 1968
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the moon, the planets and the still more distant stars.”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Warnor
Premiere: October 23, 1968
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Filmed In The Original 3 Strip Cinerama System!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Warnor
Premiere: December 19, 1968
Duration: 8 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 WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

TRIVIA:
In 1967, the spelling of Fresno’s Cinerama venue was changed from Warner to Warnor.

Compiled by Michael Coate

Source: The Fresno Bee

Theaters in this post

Comments (5)

Knucklehead
Knucklehead on February 23, 2009 at 9:51 am

I love this series!!!

Knucklehead
Knucklehead on February 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

In its heyday, how many cities in the United States showed Cinerama?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

If you go to Roland Lataille’s excellent Cinerama website:

View link

you will count 141 theaters in the United States that showed Cinerama (3-strip and/or 70mm) at one time or another.

Coate
Coate on May 19, 2009 at 2:28 am

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

tomdelay
tomdelay on October 27, 2009 at 2:01 am

Warnors Fresno was originally Pantages, then Stanley Warner, Warner, and finally Warnors. The original Robert Morton pipe organ remains playable in the theatre. When the theatre was purchased by Frank Caglia in 1973, every remaining part of the Cinerama days was removed and the auditorium restored to its original 1928 configuration.

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