REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 51: Rochester)

posted by Michael Zoldessy on June 1, 2012 at 8:05 am

Medium

Back by popular demand!

The following is Part 51 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
Part 49: Cleveland
Part 50: Portland

And now… Part 51: Cinerama Presentations in Rochester, New York!

THIS IS CINERAMA
Theater: Monroe
Premiere Date: October 25, 1961
Engagement Duration: 12 weeks
Projection Format: 3-strip / 26 frames per second / 7-track stereo
Promotional Hype: “Now that you’ve seen all the others…get set for the revolutionary screen entertainment event that puts you in the picture!” “First Rochester Showing! At the only theatre in Central-Western New York that can present the century’s greatest show with the new transistorized Cinerama equipment”

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Monroe
January 18, 1962
8 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Beyond The Vast Horizons Of Imagination! SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD as seen through the greatest wonder: CINERAMA”

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
Monroe
March 15, 1962
9 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“New! And Never To Be Forgotten! CINERAMA Transports You To Lush Tropic Islands…Adventure-Splashed With A Thousand Excitements!”

CINERAMA HOLIDAY
Monroe
May 17, 1962
5 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Most Eagerly Awaited Entertainment in Rochester Theatre History!”

SEARCH FOR PARADISE
Monroe
June 21, 1962
4 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Most exciting CINERAMA of them all…”

WINDJAMMER
Monroe
July 19, 1962
5 weeks
3-strip / 26fps / 7-track stereo
“Produced in CINEMIRACLE, Presented in CINERAMA” “Thrill to the exciting sea voyages…and the many fascinating ports of call…in the caribbean…and around the world!”

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Monroe
August 22, 1962 (Western New York Co-Premiere)
11 weeks
3-strip / 24fps / 7-track stereo
“M-G-M and CINERAMA present the first full-length dramatic story with a dazzling array of stars in CINERAMA” “[The Monroe is] The Only Theatre [in Rochester] That Will Or Can Show Cinerama Productions”

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Monroe
May 16, 1963
12 weeks
3-strip / 24fps / 7-track stereo
“Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and CINERAMA present HOW THE WEST WAS WON”

CIRCUS WORLD
Monroe
September 30, 1964
4 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“CINERAMA Puts You in the Middle of the Most Action-Filled Story You’ve Ever Seen!”

THE BATTLE FOR KHARTOUM
Panorama
September 14, 1966
6 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“Grand Opening! Enter a Wonderful New World of Cinerama as You Are Part of Every Scene! [The Panorama is the] Only Theatre in Western New York Built Expressly For The Presentation Of Cinerama.”

GRAND PRIX
Monroe
February 8, 1967 (Western New York Premiere)
20 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“CINERAMA sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!”

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Panorama
October 17, 1968
17 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“An astounding entertainment experience, a dazzling trip to the planets and beyond the stars!”

ICE STATION ZEBRA
Panorama
October 16, 1969
9 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“Ice Station Zebra…remember the name, your life may depend on it!”

THIS IS CINERAMA (Re-Issue)
Panorama
May 16, 1973
5 weeks
70mm / 24fps / 6-track stereo
“THIS IS CINERAMA Is Back To Entertain A Whole New Generation”

CINERAMA FILMS NOT SHOWN IN CINERAMA IN THE ROCHESTER MARKET:
HOLIDAY IN SPAIN
THE BEST OF CINERAMA
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (70mm engagement at Riviera)
MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY (70mm engagement at Riviera)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (shown only as a general release)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (shown only as a general release)
BATTLE OF THE BULGE (shown only as a general release)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE
CUSTER OF THE WEST (shown only as a general release)
KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA (70mm engagement at Riviera)

TRIVIA / NOTES:
Rochester was the 6th market in New York, the 40th market in the United States, the 43rd market in North America, and the 64th market in the world to equip for Cinerama presentations.

The Panorama Theater was located in the Rochester suburb of Penfield.

Compiled by Jim Barg & Michael Coate

References: various issues of Boxoffice, the (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle, and Variety.

Comments (6)

Jim Barg
Jim Barg on June 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Thanks for reading!

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for continuing this great series. Interesting to see the number of weeks each film played in various markets.

telliott
telliott on June 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

I agree Nick. For example here in Toronto where there have been many long runs, “Mad, Mad World” only played 18 weeks at the Odeon Carlton while playing much longer at similar sized cities, some even a year. Also “Circus World” played a measly 5 weeks at the same theatre, the worst run of a Cinerama film in Toronto.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on June 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Telliott, There’s no explanation for it. I find it amazing that “South Seas Adventure” played for a mere 3 weeks in both Tampa and El Paso when in some larger markets the film ran in excess of 70 weeks. Of course I realize that Tampa and El Paso are much smaller markets. But how a major Cinerama attraction (in 3-strip no less) could have such a short life span in the same market that saw long runs of other Cinerama films is simply mind-boggling. For the record I saw “South Seas Adventure” and thought it was just as enjoyable as the other Cinerama films. I guess the bottom line is that no one can predict how well a film will perform in various markets of the same size.

Cinerama
Cinerama on September 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

South Seas Adventure was released in 1958. Tampa and El Paso did not show it till four or five years later. By that time travelog films were not that popular.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment