Commentary

  • April 2, 2013

    “2001: A Space Odyssey” 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements

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    “2001: A Space Odyssey” 45th Anniversary
    The Cinerama Engagements

    Compiled by Michael Coate

    Presented here in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a list of the science-fiction classic’s Cinerama-promoted roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada, which offers an opportunity to honor some once-glorious movie theaters. These engagements of 2001 were shown exclusively in major cities prior to the film being given a traditional nationwide release and included reserved seating with an advanced admission price and an average of only ten scheduled showings per week. And, as with most roadshows, these original presentations included an overture, intermission, entr’acte and exit music. As well, souvenir programs were sold.

    The list that follows focuses on the roadshow engagements of 2001 that had reserved seating and were promoted as a “Cinerama” presentation (in this case, a 70-millimeter print featuring six-track stereophonic sound projected onto a large, deeply-curved screen with the Cinerama brand touted in the film’s credits and in newspaper advertising).

  • March 19, 2013

    “South Pacific” 55th Anniversary – The Roadshow Engagements

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    “South Pacific” 55th Anniversary
    The Roadshow Engagements

    Compiled by Michael Coate

    Presented here in commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the release of South Pacific is a list of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical’s roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada, which offers an opportunity to name-drop some once-glorious movie theaters. These were shown exclusively in major cities prior to the film being given a nationwide release. The roadshow engagements included reserved seating with an advanced admission price and an average of ten scheduled showings per week. Much like a Broadway show, the roadshow presentations included an overture, intermission, entr’acte and exit music. As well, souvenir programs were sold. And, unlike the majority of the film’s general-release presentations, these roadshow engagements were presented in 70-millimeter and six-track stereophonic sound.

    This article/list was created for the sake of historical record, but is also a celebration of the mostly now-closed and fondly-remembered “Cinema Treasures” in which the film played. The bookings are arranged chronologically by premiere date. Duration data, measured in weeks, has been included for selected entries. At the time, many of these engagements established a long-run record for their respective city and/or theater (and a few hold to this day).

  • March 15, 2013

    Going to the movies has changed for the better since ‘80s

    Rich Copley of the Herald-Leader argues that theaters have changed for the better in the past 30 years. While we’re not building single-screen palaces, he claims the cinema experience has vastly improved from the chopped up multiplexes of the 80’s.

    How would you compare the two eras?

  • February 8, 2013

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 59: Erie)

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    The following is 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.

    And now… Part 59: Cinerama Presentations in Erie, Pennsylvania!

  • February 1, 2013

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 58: Indianapolis)

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    The following is 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.

    And now… Part 58: Cinerama Presentations in Indianapolis, Indiana!

  • January 18, 2013

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 56: Honolulu)

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    Back by popular demand!

    The following is 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.

    And now… Part 56: Cinerama Presentations in Honolulu, Hawaii!

  • January 11, 2013

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 55: Buffalo)

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    Back by popular demand!

    The following is 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.

    And now… Part 55: Cinerama (& CineMiracle) Presentations in Buffalo, New York!

  • December 10, 2012

    Happy 50th, “Lawrence of Arabia”

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    Compiled by Michael Coate

    On December 10th, 1962, fifty years ago today, David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA had its Royal World Premiere in London at the Odeon Leicester Square. Five days later the epic film premiered in the United States. Presented here to commemorate the golden anniversary of the classic film’s release is a list of (most of) the North American reserved-seat “roadshow” engagements in which the film played. These were the theaters that exclusively played the film before it was given a nationwide general release, and, unlike most of the film’s general-release engagements, these roadshow presentations featured stereophonic sound (the majority in 70mm with 6-track stereo, and some in 35mm with 4-track stereo), advanced admission pricing, an average of ten showings per week, an overture, intermission, entr'acte, exit music, and souvenir program booklets.

    This (work-in-progress) list has been created for the sake of historical record, but also is a celebration of the fondly-remembered cinemas in which LAWRENCE OF ARABIA played as much as it is a celebration of the film. The bookings are arranged chronologically by premiere date, and duration data, measured in weeks, has been included for selected entries.

  • June 29, 2012

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 54: Omaha)

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    Compiled by Michael Coate

    The following is a 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.

    And now… Part 54: Cinerama Presentations in Omaha, Nebraska!

  • June 15, 2012

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 53: San Jose)

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    Compiled by Michael Coate

    The following is a 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.

    And now… Part 53: Cinerama Presentations in San Jose, California!