Remembering Cinerama (Part 34: Nanuet/Rockland County)

posted by Coate on July 2, 2009 at 4:55 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 34: Nanuet/Rockland County

The following is Part Thirty-Four 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 historical record of when and where Cinerama and its multi-panel clones were exhibited. The easy-to-reference articles 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
Part 32: Kansas City
Part 33: Milwaukee

And now… Part 34: Cinerama Presentations in Nanuet/Rockland County, New York!

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Route 59
Premiere Date: November 22, 1963
Engagement Duration: 12 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Route 59
Premiere: February 12, 1964
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “IT SURROUNDS YOU bringing you ADVENTURE, SPECTACLE and AWESOME SCENES such as you’ve never experienced in any theatre before!” “Only Cinerama’s 7-track sound surrounds you so realistically from the intimacy of laughter to the roar of thundering spectacle! Only Cinerama’s deep-curved horizon screen sweeps you into breathless adventure so completely! Only Cinerama is truly different in screen, in camera, in sound even in its specially equipped theatre! Let your own eyes and ears prove that Cinerama goes beyond the scope of any other motion picture!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Route 59
Premiere: March 11, 1964
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder: CINERAMA”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Route 59
Premiere: April 8, 1964
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s every holiday you ever dreamed of…come true”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Route 59
Premiere: April 28, 1964
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Popular prices! No seats reserved. Cannot and will not be seen in any local or neighborhood theatre”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE ROCKLAND COUNTY MARKET:
SEARCH FOR PARADISE
WINDJAMMER
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM (35mm general release)
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (35mm general release)
CIRCUS WORLD (35mm general release)
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (70mm engagement at Route 59, not promoted in Cinerama)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (35mm general release)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (70mm engagement at Route 59, not promoted in Cinerama)
BATTLE OF THE BULGE (35mm general release)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
KHARTOUM (70mm engagement at Route 59, not promoted in Cinerama)
GRAND PRIX (70mm engagement at Route 59, not promoted in Cinerama)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (35mm general release)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (70mm engagement at Route 59, not promoted in Cinerama)
ICE STATION ZEBRA (35mm general release)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (35mm general release)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

Compiled by Bill Huelbig & Michael Coate

References: The (Bergen) Record, The (West Nyack) Journal News

Theaters in this post

Comments (7)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 2, 2009 at 5:56 am

Here’s the ad for “How the West Was Won”. Notice the date of the premiere:

View link

It’s a good bet that show had to be postponed. All theaters in the nation went dark that night, if I remember right.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 2, 2009 at 5:59 am

Here’s another ad. I like the tagline, “A Perfect Christmas Gift for Family or Friend”:

View link

Mark_L
Mark_L on July 2, 2009 at 9:48 am

When this theatre was running 3-strip CINERAMA, was it using 1 booth or 3 separate booths.?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

How did there come to be Cinerama in such a non-urban area?

Coate
Coate on July 3, 2009 at 11:22 am

I thought about including the following bit of info as trivia in the original posting but didn’t figuring it was not that significant or interesting, but due to Ron Newman’s question posted above I guess I’ll mention it now as it’s somewhat related to his question.

Nanuet (or “Rockland County” or “Lower Hudson Valley” or whatever name best describes the area) was the next-to-last market in the United States to equip for 3-strip Cinerama presentations, and, judging by the few Cinerama films booked and their relatively brief runs, was one of the least successful markets to play Cinerama.

The failure of Cinerama to stick around in Nanuet or to sustain months-long bookings is probably due to how late in the game the installation was made and, more importantly, the area’s proximity to New York City and Montclair, New Jersey. By the time Cinerama turned up in Rockland County, many of its residents probably had already traveled into NYC or Montclair to see the Cinerama presentations.

JSA
JSA on July 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Could this be the only market where all the Cinerama presentations were in 3-strip?

JSA

Coate
Coate on July 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

No. El Paso was another. And, I haven’t researched it thoroughly to know for sure, but I think Erie, PA and Scranton, PA both fall into this category, as well.

There were also a handful of out-of-the-way markets that ran 3-strip CineMiracle (“Windjammer”) and nothing else, but I haven’t yet figured out if or how I’ll incorporate these into the series.

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