Remembering Cinerama (Part 46: Seattle)

posted by Coate on January 8, 2010 at 9:30 am

Part 46: Seattle

The following is Part Forty-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 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
Part 41: Hartford
Part 42: Albany
Part 43: New Haven
Part 44: Sacramento
Part 45: Las Vegas

And now…Part 46a: Cinerama Presentations in Seattle, Washington!

Theater: Paramount
Premiere Date: August 22, 1956 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Engagement Duration: 33 weeks
Projection Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Promotional Hype: “Only CINERAMA can sweep you out of your theatre chair and surround you with spectacle, adventure and awesome scenes such as you have never experienced in any theatre before!” “Only CINERAMA puts you in the picture. It’s more real than reality…you must see it to believe it.” “The Paramount Theatre is the only theatre in the Great Northwest within 1000 miles that can or will be able to present the century’s greatest show!”

Theater: Paramount
Premiere: April 10, 1957 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 19 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “It’s every holiday you’ve ever dreamed of…come true!” “A Whole World Of Entertainment Awaits You. And You Can See It Only At The Paramount Theatre!”

Theater: Paramount
Premiere: August 21, 1957 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 23 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The New…The 3rd CINERAMA!” “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder…CINERAMA!”

Theater: Paramount
Premiere: January 23, 1959 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: CineMiracle
Hype: “The Screen Comes Alive! Experience…those breath-taking adventures…on land and sea!” “The First CINEMIRACLE Presentation”

Theater: Paramount
Premiere: May 11, 1962 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 3 weeks
Format: CineMiracle
Hype: “When The Vast CINEMIRACLE Screen Opens…Opens…Opens… Thrill To The Most Exciting Adventure Trail You Ever Followed!” “You Are The Detective As The Newest And Greatest Attraction In CINEMIRACLE Puts The Whole Family In The Middle Of The Mystery!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: January 24, 1963
Duration: 11 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “Seattle’s first new theatre in 35 years has been specially built for the exclusive exhibition of CINERAMA productions” “The new MARTIN CINERAMA THEATRE represents a dramatic addition to the wonder and glory of Downtown Seattle! With its rich decor and ultra-modern cinematic equipment…the MARTIN CINERAMA offers the ultimate in audience enjoyment!” “It puts YOU into the gigantic 32 x 96 foot picture…with a dazzling array of stars. Only CINERAMA can surround you with talent and magic. From a wild coach ride down a mountain side…to the abandoned revelry of a wine festival. It’s the first fabulous full-length story in CINERAMA!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: April 11, 1963 (Pacific Northwest Co-Premiere)
Duration: 52 weeks
Format: Cinerama (3-strip)
Hype: “The Great Dramatic Motion Picture That Puts You In Every Scene!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: April 22, 1964
Duration: 48 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: March 25, 1965 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 20 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Presented in CINERAMA” “A Rich, Rewarding Entertainment Experience For The Entire Family”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: August 12, 1965
Duration: 12 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA Sends You Roaring With Laughter And Adventure Down That Wide, Wonderful Fun-Trail!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: November 4, 1965
Duration: 7 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Returning By Public Demand!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: December 22, 1965 (Pacific Northwest Co-Premiere)
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The Super Action Show In Super CINERAMA. Unlike anything you have ever seen.”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: April 1, 1966 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 13 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “This Is The Ultimate In CINERAMA. This Is The Last Word In Truly Incredible Adventure”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: June 28, 1966 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 15 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great CINERAMA Adventure Begins!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: February 1, 1967 (Pacific Northwest Co-Premiere)
Duration: 35 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: May 28, 1968 (Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Duration: 77 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: November 19, 1969
Duration: 14 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “From the author of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE and WHERE EAGLES DARE!” “ICE STATION ZEBRA…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: February 25, 1970
Duration: 9 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “The NEW CINERAMA Hurls YOU into the incredible day that shook the earth to its core!”

Theater: Cinerama
Premiere: July 13, 1973
Duration: 5 weeks
Format: Cinerama (70mm)
Hype: “THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation.”

CIRCUS WORLD (general release)
CUSTER OF THE WEST (general release)

Seattle was the 18th of 60 markets in the United States to present 3-panel Cinerama.

During 1968, ownership of the Seattle Cinerama changed from Martin Theatres to United Theatres. By the final Cinerama presentation in 1973, ownership had changed again to Sterling Recreation Organization (SRO).

Some sources cite Southcenter and Tacoma Mall as Seattle-area, Cinerama-capable theaters (70mm single-strip format). No details could be found, however, for any official Cinerama presentations at either venue.

At present, the Seattle Cinerama is one of three venues in the world equipped to present 3-panel Cinerama. The equipment necessary to show 3-panel Cinerama was re-installed during 1999. (The other venues are the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles and the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.)

Compiled by Vince Young & Michael Coate

References: Boxoffice, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Times, Variety

Coming soon…Part 46b: The Revival Years, 1999-Present

Comments (33)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

Seattle – one of only three cities left in the Cinerama world. Why do two of them have to be on the Pacific Coast and the other one be in England? (I live in New Jersey).

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

Thanks again, Michael. Is 77 weeks the third-longest run of “2001” in North America, after Toronto and Los Angeles?

CapnRob on January 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I visited the Cinerama since the remodel. What a cool theater! Even when it’s showing 70mm.

It kills me, here in Denver, that somebody didn’t have the foresight to treat the Cooper with the same respect.

Mark_L on January 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

According to Mike’s lists so far, here are the top 5 runs of 2001:

1) Toronto Glendale (127 weeks)
2) Los Angeles (Warner Hollywood) 80 weeks
3) Seattle Cinerama (77 weeks)
4) San Francisco Golden Gate (73 weeks)
5) Washington DC Uptown (52 weeks)

According to Mike’s Lists so far, the top 5 Cinerama films (by weeks shown):
This Is Cinerama (1717 weeks)
Seven Wonders (1423 weeks)
How The West Was Won (1391 weeks)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1313 weeks)
Cinerama Holiday (1179 weeks)

Many MANY thanks to Michael Coate for these remarkable lists.

Coate on January 9, 2010 at 12:03 am

Bill, Mark, et al… To clarify, Seattle had the fifth longest run of “2001” in North America.

1) Toronto, 127 weeks (Glendale)
2) Los Angeles, 103 weeks (Warner Hollywood + Beverly Hills moveover)
3) San Francisco, 88 weeks (Golden Gate + Penthouse moveover)
4) San Jose, 88 weeks (Century 21)
5) Seattle, 77 weeks (Cinerama)

delta on January 9, 2010 at 5:28 am

and the Bradford Pictureville Cinerama theatre is the only one in the world with regular mothly showings of ‘This is Cinerama’ – on the first Saturday of each month.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

Thanks Mike & Mark. Wow – San Francisco and San Jose are only 42 miles apart. They sure did like their “2001” in that area.

crichardson on May 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Hey Michael!! I have Cinerama ticket stubs (found in my Mom’s coat pocket) dated February 12, 1965. What would that have been for? According to your schedule, it doesn’t look like anything was playing. Was the theater used for other things as well?
Sincerely, Cindy Richardson, Seattle

Coate on June 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

crichardson: “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was playing the Cinerama on February 12th, 1965. (“Mad World” played there from April ‘64 through March '65.)

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