My first introduction to Cinerama was in NYC in 1955, I was 11 years old. A family trip to the Big Apple. Sitting in the 3rd row from the screen, surrounded by wine colored curtains, waiting for the show to start. I noticed 3 projection booths on the orchestra floor. Not knowing what Cinerama was, I thought it might be a new type of three dimension process. The lights went down, a b&w mono sound prologue starts. After about 10 minutes into the prologue, I started to get bored. Nothing different about this movie. Then the narrator said "Ladies and Gentlemen, enjoy your Cinerama Holiday". The horizontal masking started to rise, the wine colored curtains started to open wider and kept going and going. We were flying through the sky, surrounded in picture and sound. WOW, WE DON'T HAVE THIS BACK HOME"
Since that Saturday night at the Stanley Warner Times Square theater, I have been a big time fan of Cinerama. Making sure I saw everything and any thing that was released in Cinerama. In 1996, my wife and I drove for 24 hours (1400 miles) to see a come back of Cinerama in Dayton, Ohio. I flew to Seattle for the "Reel Cinerama Festival". I have been to Pacific's Cinerama Theater (fondly refered to as the Cinerama Dome)to see Cinerama productions.
When "How The West Was Won" was released in "SmileBox" on Blu-Ray, I was over joyed. Now "This Is Cinerama", the first Cinerama production which changed forever the way we look at movies will be in my Cinerama Collection. I am a big Cinerama memorabella collector. I have one entire wall in my home theater dedicated to Cinerama. I can hardly wait to see it on my 92" diaganal screen. The Blu-Ray 1080p picture will show the great depth of field high quality photography Cinerama was famous for.
"This Is Cinerama" has no stars, no plot, but was the highest grossing box office hit of 1952, and it was playing in only one theater. "This Is Cinerama" gives you a breif history of motion pictures, takes you across our beautiful country and around the world. All in the "you are there" magic of the Cinerama Process. Cinerama definately "Puts You In The Picture" Thanks to the "Smile Box" process, it will look like you are watching on a curved screen, which adds to the enjoyment of the film so much.
I recommend "This Is Cinerama" to anyone who is a Cinerama fan, movie buff or just wants to own a piece of American Cinema history.
Yes it is not the same as seeing Cinerama in a Cinerama movie theater, but it is a great experience for any Cinerama fan, and there are thousands of us. No, tens of thousands of Cinerama fans around the world today.
You can have the full Cinerama experience this coming month, Sept 28 - Oct 04, 2012. The Pacific Cinerama Theater in Hollywood, Ca will be having a week long festival in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first public showing of Cinerama on Sept. 30, 1952. Twelve Cinerama Productions will be shown. Plus a new Cinerama film just completed called "In The Picture" This marks the first time that actual Cinerama cameras have been used in over 50 years. Five productions will be shown in the original 3 strip film process, Three digital presentations from the original 3 strip films, two digital productions from the 65mm prints and one presented in 70mm Ultra Panavision. All presented on the full 129 degree curved Cinerama screen. I beleive the screen dimensions are 89' wide and 32' high. I might be a little off on the screen size.