Remembering Cinerama (Part 41: Hartford)

posted by Coate on September 21, 2009 at 8:00 am

REMEMBERING CINERAMA
Part 41: Hartford

The following is Part Forty-One 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 screenings 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
Part 36: Worcester
Part 37: Toledo
Part 38: St. Louis
Part 39: Tampa
Part 40: Calgary

And now…Part 41: Cinerama Presentations in Hartford, Connecticut!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere Date: September 20, 1961
Engagement Duration: 27 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “Only CINERAMA Puts YOU In The Picture!” “New England’s Newest And Truly Most Beautiful Theatre!” “Exclusive Connecticut Showcase Of All CINERAMA Productions!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: March 28, 1962
Duration: 27 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “New… Different! You Take An Adventure To The Four Corners Of The Globe!” “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder…CINERAMA!” “You see motion pictures…but you’re there in CINERAMA!” “Has Not And Will Not Be Shown In Any Other Theatre In Connecticut”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: October 3, 1962
Duration: 25 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “For The First Time CINERAMA Tells A Story!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: March 29, 1963
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s every holiday you dreamed of…come true.” “A Breath-Gasping Story Filled With Thrills You Never Experienced Before!” “Has Not And Will Not Be Shown In Any Other Theatre In Connecticut”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: June 19, 1963
Duration: 32 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: January 29, 1964
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “New And Never To Be Forgotten. An Experience So Exciting, So Fabulous, So Different! Only CINERAMA Puts You In The Picture!” “Live beyond the horizon…follow the boiling sea-trail of history’s most fearless explorers as CINERAMA pitches you into the most spell-binding romance-adventure of all! Marvel as the CINERAMA screen scoops you from your theatre seat and sets you down amid the lush tropic isles that have lured men through the ages. Yes, the one and only CINERAMA puts YOU in the South Seas!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: March 25, 1964
Duration: 31 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: October 29, 1964
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Puts You in the Middle of the Most Action-Filled Story You’ve Ever Seen!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: April 15, 1965
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Most Exciting CINERAMA of Them All!” “Mankind’s Most Fabulous Dream!”

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: July 1, 1965 (New England Premiere)
Duration: 16 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful, Fun-Trail!”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: October 23, 1965
Duration: 8 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s CINERAMA’s Greatest Moments In One Far-Flung, Fantastic, Unforgettable Adventure!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: December 22, 1965
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “SUPER CINERAMA turns the screen into the mightiest battleground ever!”

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: May 11, 1966
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Presented in CINERAMA” “A Rich, Rewarding Entertainment Experience For The Entire Family”

THE BATTLE FOR KHARTOUM
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: August 24, 1966
Duration: 10 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Great CINERAMA Adventure Begins!” “Rarely Is One Motion Picture Singled Out For Such Unparalleled Acclaim!”

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: November 2, 1966
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “You Sail Away And Live All The Excitement Your Mind Ever Imagined In…MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY”

GRAND PRIX
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: February 15, 1967
Duration: 31 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: September 20, 1967
Duration: 6 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “It is more than you have ever seen… more than you have ever known of adventure… as CINERAMA brings you the entertainment achievement of a lifetime!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: June 19, 1968
Duration: 26 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: December 18, 1968 (New England Co-Premiere)
Duration: 17 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE HARTFORD MARKET:
WINDJAMMER
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
CUSTER OF THE WEST (general release)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (roadshow engagement at Cine Webb)
THIS IS CINERAMA 1973 re-issue

NOTES & TRIVIA:
Hartford’s Cinerama Theater was a renovation of the Colonial Theater.

During 1964-65, Hartford’s Cinerama Theater alternated between 3-strip and single-strip presentations, one of the few Cinerama venues to have done so.

The 1966 engagement of MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY was not the first time the film played in Hartford. In August 1964, prior to being branded a Cinerama film, it opened a CineVision engagement at the Strand. Additionally, in January 1964, Hartford had been planning to host the world premiere of a Wonderama presentation of the film, but technical issues forced a delay and, ultimately, a cancellation. (The Wonderama premiere ended up taking place at the Trent in Trenton, New Jersey.)

Compiled by Michael Coate

References: Boxoffice, The Hartford Courant, Variety

Comments (4)

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on September 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Fascinating as always, Michael. I’m amazed by the 23 weeks of “Circus World” and intrigued by the retitling of “Khartoum” as “The Battle for Khartoum”.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm

In this article:
View link
the author says that this was done in the U.S. (probably after the initial engagements) to better describe what the film was about as the city ,its history, and “Chinese” Gordon were unfamiliar to most Americans.

Mark_L
Mark_L on September 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

That 23 week run of CIRCUS WORLD is the current record run for that title, using the 41 cities currently on the list. That’s 1 week more than Montreal, and more than double the average run. I guess they like circuses in Hartford.

nritota
nritota on September 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm

The Cinerama (Colonial) in Hartford was part of the Lockwood and Gordon chain which ran Cinerama and non-Cinerama operations in a number of cities. I had the priveledge of starting my career with L&G just before they were purchased by SBC Theatres.

I still remember what a big deal it was to have Roger Lockwood come into the Cinerama Providence during a run. Both L&G and SBC were class acts in my book.

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