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Cinerama and ArcLight theaters to close for good


cinecrazydc
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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/california-movie-theater-chains-arclight-cinemas-and-pacific-theatres-to-close-11618277051

Too bad !!   I enjoyed seeing How the West Was Won and Russian Adventure there during the TCM festivals.   Missed Windjammer, much to my dismay, but I had a conflict with something else I wanted to see during the festival and had to pass.  Will never have another opportunity 😒

 

Cinerama RemastersWindjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich (Blu-ray ...WINDJAMMER Cinerama Deluxe Gatefold Soundtrack LP Morton ...

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21 hours ago, cinecrazydc said:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/california-movie-theater-chains-arclight-cinemas-and-pacific-theatres-to-close-11618277051

Too bad !!   I enjoyed seeing How the West Was Won and Russian Adventure there during the TCM festivals.   Missed Windjammer, much to my dismay, but I had a conflict with something else I wanted to see during the festival and had to pass.  Will never have another opportunity 😒

 

Cinerama RemastersWindjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich (Blu-ray ...WINDJAMMER Cinerama Deluxe Gatefold Soundtrack LP Morton ...

Thats Sad.

 

 

    Perhaps painfully, blatantly obvious but sitting thru a film in a cinema/theatre is Special,.

_

I was lucky enough to sit thru a "Live" Screening of .. what i would Call a Comedic Classic/ ,Masterpiece.. -

 

Sherlock Jr.

-

Complete With A(n) InHouse Live (Miniature) Orchestra...

 

 

It was Amazing And Exquisite.

(Though im not Nearly, Thatold.. lol

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Not surprising, how many times can you show very limited number of movies before the public becomes bored of it.  I like Cinerama but the travelogues are not actually "movies".  

I have "This Is Cinerama", "How The West Was Won" and "The Golden Head" in the Smilebox format

Try to remember some new movies are shot in IMAX, none in Cinerama since "2001 A Space Odyssey".

imax.jpg?itok=V0ghao6d

 

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1 hour ago, hamradio said:

Not surprising, how many times can you show very limited number of movies before the public becomes bored of it.  I like Cinerama but the travelogues are not actually "movies".  

I have "This Is Cinerama", "How The West Was Won" and "The Golden Head" in the Smilebox format

Try to remember some new movies are shot in IMAX, none in Cinerama since "2001 A Space Odyssey".

imax.jpg?itok=V0ghao6d

 

It's not just a Cinerama theater closing, it's a chain of west coast theaters (Pacific Theatres and ArcLight).  They just happen to also own the Cinerama Dome, and what's left of the Cinerama company itself.

The Cinerama Dome also shows "regular" films and was used for Hollywood premieres.  It was also used several times as a venue for the TCM Classic Film Festival

 

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On 4/15/2021 at 10:52 AM, hamradio said:

Not surprising, how many times can you show very limited number of movies before the public becomes bored of it.  I like Cinerama but the travelogues are not actually "movies".  

I have "This Is Cinerama", "How The West Was Won" and "The Golden Head" in the Smilebox format

Try to remember some new movies are shot in IMAX, none in Cinerama since "2001 A Space Odyssey".

imax.jpg?itok=V0ghao6d

 

I read a bunch of articles about this before.  The huge IMAX that most people think of is 70/15 format, meaning 15 perforations (sprocket holes) per frame, run through the projector sideways (horizontally).  That is much larger square film area compared to any other film format.  The others had 5 perforations, for widescreen 65 or 70mm films, run through the projector vertically. 

Anyhow, all that has been discontinued.  Now almost all IMAX theaters just show digital media like everyone else.  Back when they were transitioning away from film, the IMAX projectionists were just trying to grin and bear it.

The screen size of the original IMAX was a rectangular 5 stories tall and 7 stories wide, I think.  The first movie I saw was a 26 minute short called "To Fly".  Here is a horribly scanned 2 minute segment, you will have to just use your imagination.  The last few moments of this segment had everyone in the theater gasping, as did many other scenes with slowly moving wide panoramic shots like this, and I remember I grabbed the arm rests of my seat, it seemed as if the whole theater was moving side to side and up and down.

 

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10 hours ago, hamradio said:

Try to remember some new movies are shot in IMAX, none in Cinerama since "2001 A Space Odyssey".

Ok, I know I saw 2001 in the Cinerama dome (also Blue Water, White Death, 1971--yikes!).  In fact, it is the peak movie experience of my life, even though I was too young to fully appreciate it.  But it has always been my understanding that the movie was shot in 70mm Panavision, not Cinerama.  Evidence of this, of course, is that though there is distortion in some pans (symbolic of HAL's state of, um, 'mind'), you don't see the sutures between the three strips that exist in true Cinerama movies.  Anybody have illumination?

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10 hours ago, hamradio said:

Not surprising, how many times can you show very limited number of movies before the public becomes bored of it.  I like Cinerama but the travelogues are not actually "movies".  

I have "This Is Cinerama", "How The West Was Won" and "The Golden Head" in the Smilebox format

Try to remember some new movies are shot in IMAX, none in Cinerama since "2001 A Space Odyssey".

Actually, with two exceptions, none of the movies since the travelogues were "shot in (3-strip) Cinerama"; most of the narrative movies were shot in Super Technirama 70mm, made to be projected on curved Cinerama screens.  Technically, Cinerama would be "not since How the West Was Won".

The other was Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, and I'm still holding fingers crossed for that rumored restoration, with or without Smilebox.

8 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

and what's left of the Cinerama company itself.

"What's left" included Cinerama Releasing Corporation, which started out as a 60's distributor of the small-town regular-screen Cinerama releases, and went on to include ABC Pictures and some independent 70's B-movies.  Most of which was eventually folded into the last days of American International, IIRC.

9ThCJPIpd_BTANfqaO-wbQ7813.jpeg

(I've just been on a kick for watching YouTube collections of 70's-grindhouse trailers, and that rainbow-C logo turns up VERY frequently.)

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Another thing to consider, Cinerama no longer has the "shock and awe" it once had decades ago.  when it was first introduced, most downtown theater screens were not all the l-a-r-g-e and  TV's were B&W and a bit "ghostly" (example the Honeymooners)  Both...mono sound.

Surround stereo was unthinkable - imagine hearing that for the first time during the mid 1950's!  Early movie producers rejected stereo - even 2 channel. 

"This is Cinerama"  had a normal size screen  intro which opened up to 3D like widescreen.  The sound must had floored people not expecting that!

ThisIsCinerama7.jpg

ThisIsCinerama_Sep2001.jpg

 

Take a modern young person to view that....yawn, big deal.

 

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I remember when Disney wanted "Shock and awe" with their original release of Fantasia 2000 as an IMAX-only film--And although it was certainly worth it on the real-IMAX screen (as opposed to the off-brand "LieMAX" big cineplex screens that came later for studio films), the problem was actually FINDING a dedicated IMAX theater, as there were only a three-figure handful in the entire country.   I remember Boston, at the time, had no non-museum IMAX screens (museums couldn't afford Disney's demands for ticket percentages), and anyone curious to see the movie literally had to go to Providence or NYC to see it.  Fortunately, I had business travel in NYC that month, and caught a screening.  By the time it played normal small-town cineplex screens three months later,, anyone who wanted to see the movie had already made the pilgrimage, and it was basically a "re-release" without fanfare.

I suspect the same problems may have dogged Cinerama's theaters, by the time movies were no longer three-projector, and folks could wait for the regular release of 2001.  There were NOT that many physical Cinerama theaters, assuming your big-city theater actually had one.  (As for what happened to Boston's RKO Theatre, time was not kind to it.  😢 )

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On 4/15/2021 at 9:39 AM, txfilmfan said:

The Cinerama Dome also shows "regular" films and was used for Hollywood premieres. 

The closest I've ever come to famous people was when I saw a special screening of "Hot Fuzz" at the Arclight.  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright sat for a Q&A, and I couldn't think of a question.

 

This is very sad news.  Where are people like Scorsese and Christopher Nolan that yammer on about cinema and the theater experience?  Save the Arclight!

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I've never been to either place. Traffic and parking prevent many from visiting such places.

Los Angeles is not well designed for entertainment districts. Places are so spread out. And too much time and trouble to make the trip.

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More on the film itself.  Here are some comparisons image-wise.  The Cinerama screen used three 35mm films.  Also of note, the original IMAX (15/70) was 10x the surface area of  a 35mm film, or about 3x the surface area of 5/70 (70mm - Todd AO, Super Panavsion 70, etc)

 

Comparative film formats (includes 35mm, Cinerama, IMAX)

https://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/film%20forms.jpeg

 

 The soundtrack for the 15/70 IMAX played back on a separate machine, a 6-channel analog system which used regular 35mm optical film.  Disney World theme parks also used optical film as a medium for repetitive sound loops (as it was more robust than magnetic tape) on their rides, shows, and around the park, prior to arrival of long-form digital storage media in the 1980s/90s.  The IMAX projectors went straight from 35mm optical audio to compact disc.  The 35mm audio decks remained in use for their older films.  These didn't use time code for audio alignment like digital media, but rather operated on electronically synchronized motors - similar to the mechanical synchronization of the Vitaphone system but with some updates...
 

In simpler comparative form:  15/70, 5/70, and standard 35mm:

https://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/imax_filmsize.jpg

 

And finally what an original-style 15/70 IMAX screen looks like.  Much attention has been given to side-to-side peripheral vision with the various widescreen formats.  IMAX 15/70 does that but also immerses the audience in top-to-bottom action.

https://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/imax-bfi-london.jpg

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On 4/16/2021 at 12:03 AM, hamradio said:

Another thing to consider, Cinerama no longer has the "shock and awe" it once had decades ago.  when it was first introduced, most downtown theater screens were not all the l-a-r-g-e and  TV's were B&W and a bit "ghostly" (example the Honeymooners)  Both...mono sound.

Surround stereo was unthinkable - imagine hearing that for the first time during the mid 1950's!  Early movie producers rejected stereo - even 2 channel. 

"This is Cinerama"  had a normal size screen  intro which opened up to 3D like widescreen.  The sound must had floored people not expecting that!

You're right about stereo sound and widescreen coming in together as a double whammy. I didn't see Cinerama until the 1960's, but my dad took us to see the first CinemaScope film, The Robe, after our local theater had been shut down for weeks to make the conversion. The Windjammer preview clip above sort of reminded me of the experience, with the curtain slowly opening as the credits started. Most local theaters had curtains over the screen so I was used to it, but it was one of the greatest experiences of my life (still) to sit there and watch the curtain open..and open..and open over the huge new CinemaScope screen and hear the score for The Robe blasting in stereo. Like you said, "shock and awe". If the goal was to get people away from their TV's, they found the perfect way to do it. You're also right about the quality of TV in those days. Young people  don't understand the huge difference between movies and TV before cable and internet. I remember my brothers and I sometimes having to take turns holding and rotating the rabbit ears (indoor antenna) to even get a signal from the TV station over 40 miles away, depending on weather, cloud cover, etc.  

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