Remembering Cinerama (Part 25: El Paso)

posted by Coate on April 1, 2009 at 5:00 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 25: El Paso

The following is Part Twenty-five 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
Part 23: Minneapolis
Part 24: Albuquerque

And now… Part 25: Cinerama Presentations in El Paso, Texas!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Capri
Premiere: November 9, 1961
Engagement Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “The Astounding Attraction that Revolutionized the Entertainment World… Only At The Capri In The Entire Southwest Area Can You See THIS IS CINERAMA. Presented by the only theater of its kind in West Texas, New Mexico and Northern Mexico. The Capri is and will be the exclusive CINERAMA Theater in the Southwest.”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Capri
Premiere: January 19, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder… CINERAMA!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Capri
Premiere: March 16, 1962
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “A Whole World Of Entertainment Awaits You At CINERAMA HOLIDAY And You Can See It Only At The Capri Theatre. Projection at its best by projectionist of Local 153 I.A.T.S.E. and M.P.M.O. Dedicated to theatre service”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Capri
Premiere: April 20, 1962
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The newest CINERAMA turns your most fabulous dreams into the mightiest of all adventure entertainments! Exclusive! Cannot And Will Not Be Shown In Any Local Or Neighborhood Theatre”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Capri
Premiere: May 11, 1962
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The 5th And Last Cinerama Presentation To Be Shown In Greater El Paso Until The Gala Opening In November Of The 1st Cinerama Production With Story And Stars, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Capri
Premiere: November 14, 1962
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The First Dramatic Film In Fabulous CINERAMA!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Capri
Premiere: May 29, 1963
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene! [At the] Capri, the only Cinerama theatre within 500 miles”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE EL PASO MARKET:
WINDJAMMER
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (general-release engagement at State)
CIRCUS WORLD (general release)
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (roadshow engagement at Pershing)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (general release)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (general-release engagement at State)
BATTLE OF THE BULGE (general release)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM (general-release engagement at Capri)
GRAND PRIX (roadshow engagement at State)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (general release)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (roadshow engagement at Fox Bassett Center)
ICE STATION ZEBRA[/b] (general-release engagement at Pershing)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (general-release engagement at State)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

TRIVIA:
The Capri had one of the smallest Cinerama screens, measuring a reported 24' x 49'.

El Paso was among a few Cinerama markets that played only 3-strip Cinerama presentations and not any of the 70mm-Cinerama presentations.

Compiled by Michael Coate

Source: Boxoffice and El Paso Herald-Post

Comments (2)

JohnRice
JohnRice on April 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm

That brings back some Cinerama memories for me. I was stationed at Fort Bliss during the time the first five films (the 3 strip travelogs) played there, finishing up my three year Army stint. I remember seeing all of those five films at the Capri. It seemed strange at the time that El Paso was just getting Cinerama in late 1961, eight years since I’d first seen it at San Francisco’s Orpheum, near my home in Northern California. Unlike CinemaScope and 3-D, Cinerama really had a slow national rollout didn’t it? I was to see the whole cycle of Cinerama films start all over again at the Esquire in Sacramento after my Army discharge, starting in 1963 I believe. I’ll be curious to see where it all ended, that is which American city was the last to get the three strip films.

By the way this has been a very interesting and informative series Michael. Thanks for putting all the work into it and posting it here!

telliott
telliott on April 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Love, love, love the Cinerama series Michael, keep up the great work! Look forward to it every week.

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