REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 49: Cleveland)

posted by Michael Zoldessy on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

Medium

Back by popular demand!

The following is Part 49 in an ongoing, semi-regular 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. These easy-to-reference articles serve to provide nostalgia to those who experienced the Cinerama presentations when they were new and to honor the movie palaces in which the memorable screenings took place.

Part 1: New York
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: Syosset / Long Island
Part 32: Kansas City
Part 33: Milwaukee
Part 34: Nanuet / Lower Hudson Valley
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
Part 46: Seattle
Part 47: Phoenix
Part 48: Orlando

And now… Part 49: Cinerama Presentations in Cleveland, Ohio!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Palace
Premiere Date: November 14, 1956
Engagement Duration: 32 weeks
Cinerama Projection Format: 3-strip / 26 frames per second / 7-track stereo
Promotional Hype: “CINERAMA is the ONLY NEW WONDER of the entertainment world!” “CINERAMA cannot and will not be shown in any local or neighborhood theatre and will never be shown on TV” “The only showing in eastern half of U.S. of the first CINERAMA production”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Palace
June 27, 1957
30 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“It’s every holiday you ever dreamed of…come true!” “The New, the 2nd CINERAMA Presentation”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Palace
January 22, 1958
30 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder…CINERAMA!” “The New, the 3rd CINERAMA Presentation”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Palace
August 19, 1958
15 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“CINERAMA takes you to the farthest corners of this planet Earth… Hear Robert Merrill sing new CINERAMA music composed and conducted by Dimitri Tiomkin…visit Shalimar…Ceylon, Nepal, Vale of Kashmir, Happy Land of Hunza…all these and many more await you in the newest and best CINERAMA production.”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Palace
December 2, 1958
27 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Escape with the new CINERAMA to the sun-splashed, moon-drenched mystery-washed South Seas!”

WINDJAMMER
Palace
June 9, 1959
6 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA” “A whole new world of adventure, thrills, excitement and romance await you! An opportunity of a lifetime! There are hundreds more exciting experiences too numerous to mention…come see it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Return Engagement)
Palace
July 21, 1959
3 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Returns to Cleveland by public demand!” “If you must see this great CINERAMA spectacular, now is your last chance!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY (Return Engagement)
Palace
August 10, 1959
3 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Returns to Cleveland by public demand!”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (Return Engagement)
Palace
August 31, 1959
3 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“The CINERAMA that includes the memorable sequence of the late Holy Father Pope Pius XII”

WINDJAMMER (Return Engagement)
Palace
July 18, 1962
3 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“CINERAMA Returns To Palace” “WINDJAMMER In The New CINERAMA” “Your Last Opportunity To See WINDJAMMER”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Palace
August 8, 1962
14 weeks
3-strip / 24fps / 7-track stereo
“The first full-length dramatic story with a dazzling array of stars in CINERAMA”

THE BEST OF CINERAMA
Palace
November 13, 1962
5 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“It’s CINERAMA’s Greatest Moments In One Far-Flung, Fantastic, Unforgettable Adventure!”

WINDJAMMER (Return Engagement)
Palace
February 27, 1963
2 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Returns to Cleveland by public demand!”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Palace
April 11, 1963
25 weeks
3-strip / 24fps / 7-track stereo
“Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer And Cinerama Present 24 Great Stars! 3 Top Directors! In A Fabulous New Dramatic Adventure In Entertainment!”

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
Palace
December 18, 1963
27 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The CINERAMA Screen With Laughter!”

CIRCUS WORLD
Palace
June 25, 1964
7 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“CINERAMA Surrounds You With The Greatest Thrill-Packed Story Ever Filmed!”

BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Great Northern
March 24, 1966
5 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“The new Super Home of CINERAMA” and “Greater Cleveland’s only ‘CINERAMA’ theatre”

KHARTOUM
Great Northern
June 28, 1966
7 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“Where The Nile Divides, The Great CINERAMA Adventure Begins!”

GRAND PRIX
State
February 8, 1967
17 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
State
June 19, 1968
21 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
State
November 13, 1968
13 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Fox Cedar-Center
June 27, 1973
4 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“The Last Time There Was A Show Like This One, It Was This One! THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

CINERAMA PRODUCTIONS NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE CLEVELAND MARKET: HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (general-release engagement at Palace)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (roadshow engagement at Colony)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (shown only as general release)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
CUSTER OF THE WEST (shown only as a general release)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (roadshow engagement at Palace)

TRIVIA / NOTES:
Cleveland was the 2nd market in Ohio, the 19th market in the United States, the 20th market in North America, and the 27th market in the world to equip for Cinerama presentations.

The Great Northern Theater was located in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted. The Fox Cedar-Center was located in South Euclid.

Compiled by Michael Coate, Jeffry Johnson & Vince Young

References: various issues of Boxoffice, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and Variety.

(Thanks to dave-bronx for providing the photo.)

Comments (9)

telliott
telliott on May 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hurray, it’s back! I kept waiting for Cleveland when the series was first introduced, but it never got that far. Great to finally see it.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I am so glad to see this series resume – and with the very city that I have been waiting for, Cleveland. This where my love affair with Cinerama began, on a chilly February morning in 1957 when I was nine. All the kids were given flyers at school that allowed them to see “This is Cinerama” for $.90 on Saturday mornings. My whole family went, now all but one of them gone. I can still so vividly remember that B&W prologue, Lowell Thomas intoning, “Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is Cinerama” and those curtains opening and opening and opening…

I must have seen “HWTWWW” eight or nine times. I also remember seeing “In Search of the Castaways” at the Palace during a lull in Cinerama presentations; it was projected on about the center third of that enormous screen and was somewhat distorted as a result.

The Great Northern was a terrific purpose-built Cinerama house, though its screen had a much shallower curve than the one at the Palace. When I saw either “Khartoum” or “Battle of the Bulge” there, there were posters in the Great Northern lobby advertising “Cinerama’s Russian Adventure” narrated by Bing Crosby, but apparently the film never was actually shown there.

I have always wondered why the Cinerama showings at the Great Northern stopped and Cinerama returned downtown but at the State rather than the Palace (which was still operating at the time). The Cinerama installation at the State seemed to me far more intimate than the one at either the Palace or the Great Northern, even though the State and the Palace both had over 3,000 seats. I think the Palace closed showing “Krakatoa, East of Java” but the Cinerama screen had been removed by then.

According to the archive of Cinerama Theater plans at UCLA, the Vogue Theater, which was owned by Stanley Warner, in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, was a candidate for conversion to Cinerama, but the company opted to build the Great Northern instead.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

There’s a Cinerama archive at UCLA? I’m curious what might be there re Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre. Architectural plans for conversion of existing theater? photos?

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Howard, the collection consists of boxes of architectural plans, however the plans themselves cannot be viewed online. One would have to go to the site UCLA has the collection in storage. The collection is available to legitimate researchers. There is a guide to the collection that can be examined here; I did not see a box listed for the Boyd, though there is one for the Randolph, if you click on the entries under the Container List.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Thanks, I expected it would be only in person. Randolph would be interesting, and 1963 earlier than I would’ve figured but won’t help in Boyd’s restoration. Oh, well.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on May 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Thanks so much for reviving and continuing this series! Lived in Cleveland from 1967-1972 and my only “Cinerama” film seen there was “2001” at the State (went a few times). I also remember quite well a few other great large format films at the Cedar Center and the Colony in Shaker Square. Again, thanks, and keep up the great work.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

A picture of the crowd outside the Palace on the opening night of “Seven Wonders of the World”: View link

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Great to see the series has returned! CSWalczak: Thanks for the link to that great “classic” photo of the Palace. I love seeing photos of the crowds at theatres showing Cinerama films.

phpete57
phpete57 on July 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’m a new poster. I LOVE this series. What a great idea. Any chance of adding Buffalo, New York to the series? Buffalo was my home town and a big Roadshow market in the 1950’s and 60’s. The Loew’s Teck(formerly Shea’s) was the major Theater to show the three strip Cinerama and other wide screen events of the era. Our family spent many a happy time in that theater. If any of you other posters are planning a trip to Los Angeles or already live here, you will probably be interested to know that Arclight Cinemas will be having a 60th birthday celebration in honor of Cinerama from September 28 to October 4, 2012. They will be playing all of the Cinerama Travelogues as well as THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. They will all be played in the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd.

Regards,

PJH

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