Remembering Cinerama (Part 23: Minneapolis)

posted by Coate on March 20, 2009 at 5:08 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 23: Minneapolis

The following is Part Twenty-three 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
Part 20: Philadelphia
Part 21: Fresno
Part 22: Detroit

And now… Part 23: Cinerama Presentations in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

A Work in Progress

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Century
Premiere: April 19, 1954
Engagement Duration: 67 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “Minnesota Premiere… the biggest thing that ever stunned an audience!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Century
Premiere: July 27, 1955
Duration: 53 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “A Whole World Of Entertainment Awaits You. And You Can See It Only At The Century Theatre! Cannot And Will Not Be Shown In Any Local Or Neighborhood Theatre!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Century
Premiere: August 7, 1956
Duration: 83 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The New…The 3rd CINERAMA!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Century
Premiere: March 4, 1958
Duration: 38 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Far Beyond The Limits Of Human Imagination!”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Century
Premiere: November 20, 1958
Duration: 31 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Century
Premiere: July 1, 1959
Duration: 48 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Escape With The New CINERAMA Adventure To The Moon-Drenched Mystery-Washed South Seas!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: August 23, 1960
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

CINERAMA HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: December 21, 1960
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: April 12, 1961
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

WINDJAMMER (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: June 12, 1961
Duration: 21 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: November 1, 1961
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

SEARCH FOR PARADISE (Return Engagement)
Theater: Century
Premiere: January 10, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: August 8, 1962
Duration: 31 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The first dramatic story-telling motion picture in fabulous CINERAMA!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: March 14, 1963
Duration: 88 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: Cooper
Premiere: November 19, 1964
Duration: 47 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: October 27, 1965
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Surrounds You With The Greatest Thrill-Packed Story Ever Filmed!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Park
Premiere: December 21, 1965
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Super Action Show In Super Cinerama”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: December 21, 1965
Duration: 26 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: None

KHARTOUM
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: June 20, 1966 (American/Golden Triangle Co-Premiere*)
Duration: 19 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great Cinerama Adventure Begins!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: November 2, 1966
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: December 21, 1966
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s CINERAMA’s Greatest Moments In One Far-Flung, Fantastic, Unforgettable Adventure!”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: February 8, 1967
Duration: 29 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: June 26, 1968
Duration: 31 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An Epic Drama Of Adventure And Exploration!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: January 28, 1969
Duration: 24 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Theater: Cooper
Premiere: September 14, 1973
Duration: ? weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

NEVER SHOWN IN CINERAMA:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN**
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
CUSTER OF THE WEST
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (70mm reserved-seat engagement at Mann)

*The “Golden Triangle” consisted of the Cooper Foundation’s Cinerama venues in Denver, Minneapolis and Omaha. The United States premiere of KHARTOUM took place simultaneously in each of those markets.

**HOLIDAY IN SPAIN was a re-titled re-issue of SCENT OF MYSTERY. The film’s lone Twin Cities engagement was a brief 70mm reserved-seat run under the original title at the Park in 1960.

TRIVIA:
The France Avenue Drive-In was touted in grand-opening promotional material as being Cinerama equipped.

Minneapolis had the United States' longest running engagement of SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD and the second-longest run of HOW THE WEST WAS WON.

In addition to the two engagements at the Century, WINDJAMMER had an engagement at the World in St. Paul in 1959.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY had 70mm (non-Cinerama-promoted) re-issue bookings at various Twin Cities area theaters.

Compiled by Michael Coate

Source: Boxoffice, Minneapolis Tribune, Variety, and “Show Houses: Twin Cities Style” (Kirk J. Besse, Victoria, 1995)

Comments (7)

DanaQualley
DanaQualley on March 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I saw Oklahoma! at the Cooper in the main theater sometime during the mid eighties, It was great. I don’t know if it was in 35mm or 70mm, It was rereleased during the movies anniversary.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on March 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

“The Hallelujah Trail” actually was screened in Cinerama at the Cooper Cinerama. It was sneak previewed there, in April 1965.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on March 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

I should add to the above, “Trail” was screened once only and seats were reserved.

ceasar
ceasar on March 24, 2009 at 9:42 am

I looked up the definition cinerama in wikipedia. The cinerama process paved the way for move improved film like panavision 70mm film for example. If I’m wrong correct me but it also listed the cinerama cinemas and the three projections process which entailed cinerama. But it u look up in wikipedia it does mention various mm of film that proceeded this process.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on April 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm

“Windjammer” actually screened at the Strand theatre in downtown St. Paul. It was presented in Cinemiracle, and according to newspaper reports projected on a “flat” screen! This was said to okayed by the Cinemiracle people.
It opened on 25. Sept 1959 and closed on 8 Nov 1959.
The screening in Minneapolis at the Century were in Cinerama.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on June 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

Just an aside on “Oklahoma!”. The Twin Cities did not have a Todd-AO (70MM) house until 1957 when the Academy opened with “80 Days”. Thus the first run of “Oklahoma!” screened only in 35mm. It did return, to the Academy in 1963 and finally screened in 70.

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