Remembering Cinerama (Part 36: Worcester)

posted by Coate on July 22, 2009 at 4:55 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 36: Worcester

The following is Part Thirty-Six 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
Part 34: Nanuet/Rockland County
Part 35: Denver

And now… Part 36: Cinerama Presentations in Worcester, Massachusetts!

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Showcase Cinemas
Premiere Date: September 18, 1968
Engagement Duration: 13 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Promotional Hype: “CINERAMA For The First Time In Worcester” “An astounding entertainment experience. It takes you on a dazzling trip of discovery into the great age of exploration that is opening up for mankind among the planets and beyond.”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Showcase Cinemas
Premiere: December 18, 1968 (New England Co-Premiere)
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
Theater: Showcase Cinemas
Premiere: August 6, 1969
Duration: 4 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The New CINERAMA Hurls You Into The Incredible Day That Shook The Earth To Its Core!”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE WORCESTER MARKET:
THIS IS CINERAMA original 3-strip version
CINERAMA HOLIDAY
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
SEARCH FOR PARADISE
WINDJAMMER
SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM (35mm general release)
HOW THE WEST WAS WON (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
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (35mm general release)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (35mm general release)
BATTLE OF THE BULGE (35mm general release)
KHARTOUM (35mm general release)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
GRAND PRIX (35mm general release)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (35mm general release)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

Compiled by Michael Coate

References: Fitchburg Sentinel, Worcester Telegram

Comments (6)

MPol
MPol on July 22, 2009 at 5:02 am

Too bad there aren’t any movie theatres left in Worcester! Like many other businesses in Worcester’s downtown area, they’ve either folded or moved south or north, so Worcester’s downtown area has begun to look like a ghost town. I know, because I was there fairly recently.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 22, 2009 at 7:31 am

The Showcase Cinema, which was the Cinerama venue, was the former Loews Poli Palace, and is today the Hanover Theatre, a newly restored live theater complete with a huge Wurlitzer. Further north on Main St. is the Palladium Theater, formerly the Plymouth, now a rock music concert hall. Near it is Mechanics Hall, a 19th-century concert hall; further north is another smaller concert hall, Tuckerman Hall, which served as a silient movie theater decades ago. All of the theaters are listed here in CT. Worcester is not a “ghost town” by any means.

MrDJDude
MrDJDude on July 23, 2009 at 10:51 am

Well, I tihnk MPol comment might be more a result of the giant, empty, dead mall in the heart of downtown Worcester, which casts a bit of a pall. Also not helping is the recent “suspenion of operations” by Worcester’s venerable, if not celebrated Foothills Theatre Company.

I also hope they never take down the “E.M. Loews” marquee on the Palladium. Losing that would be tragic.

MPol
MPol on July 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Thanks, Phantom Screen. You’re right on that one, but I noticed that an awful lot of stores and businesses seemed boarded up, or had soaped-up windows, which is another sign of a store or business that’s folded.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Not a ghost town, but are there any movie theatres left (as opposed to live stages)?

MPol
MPol on July 30, 2009 at 3:34 am

This:

“are there any movie theatres left (as opposed to live stages)?”

is a good question, Ron Newman. Frankly, when I was there last spring, I didn’t see any movie theatres left in Worcester.

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