Remembering Cinerama (Part 32: Kansas City)

posted by Coate on June 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 32: Kansas City

The following is Part Thirty-Two 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 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

And now… Part 32: Cinerama Presentations in Kansas City!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Missouri
Premiere Date: June 14, 1956
Engagement Duration: 39 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “CORRECTION: A serious error has arisen about CINERAMA…because CINERAMA is the most imitated motion picture in the world! DO NOT CONFUSE THIS IS CINERAMA WITH ANY OTHER KIND OF ENTERTAINMENT! There is only ONE THIS IS CINERAMA. The only new wonder of the motion picture world!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Missouri
Premiere: March 12, 1957
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “And Now…The Most Eagerly Awaited Announcement In Entertainment History! With Kansas City’s Own John and Betty Marsh!” “It’s Every Holiday You Ever Dreamed Of Come True!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Missouri
Premiere: August 21, 1957
Duration: 35 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “You’ll Be Surrounded By Dazzling Pageantry, Exotic Spectacle, Intimate Drama, Breath-taking Dangers and Forbidden Adventures.” “Your Tickets Are The Magic Keys That Unlock A World Of Adventure Such As You Have Never Experienced”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Missouri
Premiere: April 22, 1958
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Since The Dawn of Time This Has Been Mankind’s Most Fabulous Dream! The Newest CINERAMA Adventure”

WINDJAMMER
Theater: Missouri
Premiere: August 28, 1958
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The thrill-whipped story of a boy baptized into a man by the stormy seas…by the bold, exciting women in distant ports of call!” “Produced in CINEMIRACLE "Presented in CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Missouri
Premiere: December 10, 1958
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Your tickets to the Land of Enchantment! Tonight you will adventure into the exotic blue splendors of the south seas…to the earth’s mystic lands and the world’s strangest people!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: August 30, 1961
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Management Of The Empire Theatre Proudly Announce The $100,000 Conversion Of Its Present Facilities Exclusively For The Presentation Of CINERAMA Productions…the revolutionary entertainment that PUTS YOU IN THE PICTURE!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: November 16, 1961
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Adventure to the four corners of the globe…to astound you with the marvels of the universe”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: January 19, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “See it now…or Never!” “Your last chance to see one of the most popular CINERAMA productions! No other entertainment gives you the unique thrills that you see and live in CINERAMA HOLIDAY”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: March 16, 1962
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Your Last Chance! Escape beyond the horizon "to venture with CINERAMA to the fabulous tropic islands which have lured and thrilled famous adventurers through the centuries.”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: May 4, 1962
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The magic of CINERAMA takes you along to the exotic…the unusual…the far-away places of the world. Live one thousand and one thrills that you must see to believe. Last chance "see it now or never!”

WINDJAMMER (Return Engagement)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: June 6, 1962
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The new CINERAMA presentation…an electrifying breath-taking adventure”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Empire
Premiere: August 8, 1962 (Mid-West Co-Premiere)
Duration: 33 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and CINERAMA present The First Full Length Dramatic Story In CINERAMA With A Dazzling Array Of Stars In Fascinating Roles…It Puts YOU In The Picture!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Empire
Premiere: March 28, 1963
Duration: 37 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: Empire
Premiere: December 19, 1963
Duration: 51 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Capri
Premiere: July 1, 1964 (Mid-West Premiere)
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA puts you in the middle of the most action-filled story you’ve ever seen!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Empire
Premiere: March 17, 1965
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “A Rich, Rewarding Entertainment Experience for the Entire Family”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Empire
Premiere: July 21, 1965
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful, Fun-Trail!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Empire
Premiere: February 21, 1966
Duration: 18 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Super Action Show In Super CINERAMA”

KHARTOUM
Theater: Empire
Premiere: June 27, 1966
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great CINERAMA Adventure Begins!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Empire
Premiere: September 21, 1966
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “This Is The Ultimate In CINERAMA. This Is The Last Word In Truly Incredible Adventure”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Empire
Premiere: February 7, 1967
Duration: 38 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

CUSTER OF THE WEST
Theater: Empire
Premiere: January 25, 1968 (Mid-West Co-Premiere)
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “From the fury and chaos of the Civil War to the glory days of the 7th cavalry…to the final earth-shaking charge at Little Big Horn”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Empire
Premiere: June 12, 1968
Duration: 27 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Empire
Premiere: December 19, 1968 (Mid-West Premiere)
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Theater: Empire
Premiere: May 24, 1973
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE KANSAS CITY MARKET:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (70mm engagement at Brookside)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (70mm engagement at Capri)

TRIVIA:
Kansas City was the 17th U.S. market and 24th worldwide market to equip for Cinerama presentations.

The Missouri Theater underwent several renovations during the Cinerama era: (1) In 1956, the theater equipped for Cinerama presentations and booked Cinerama product exclusively through 1959, (2) In 1960, the theater was re-named the Empire, and by summer 1961 was re-equipped for Cinerama, (3) In December 1963, the 3-strip Cinerama projectors were replaced with 70mm projectors, (4) It closed in autumn 1966 and re-opened in February 1967 as the Empire 1 & 2, and (5) By the early 1970s, the Empire was a four-plex.

Compiled by Vince Young & Michael Coate

References: Boxoffice, The Kansas City Star, Variety

Comments (4)

Aparofan
Aparofan on June 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for the list. I have some of the Cinerama ads from the Empire but not all of them. It’s great to see all the opening dates.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Interesting to see “Custer of the West” on the list. That didn’t have too many Cinerama engagements, did it?

Coate
Coate on June 10, 2009 at 4:57 am

…in a few weeks.

Cobalt
Cobalt on June 25, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Thank you very much for this Cinerama series! Reading the titles, dates, hype, etc brings back a lot of wonderful memories.

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