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News from the International Cinerama Society

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Keith Swadkins (Reprinted from International Cinerama Society Newsletter No. 19 - January 2001). Issue 64 - March 2001

Brenda and Keith Swadkins outside Pictureville cinema, 2003. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev

The International Cinerama Society was conceived as a professionally based society with the sole aim of restoring limited exhibition of the 3-strip Cinerama process. Over the years the focus of the restoration process has moved from it's inception in New Zealand to the United Kingdom and now the ball is firmly in Los Angeles's court. However, whilst there has been no Newsletter for some time, we have not been idle. In many ways the last 18 months have been the busiest and most fruitful so far. The Cinerama negatives have been examined and, although overall they appear to be in good condition, several problems have already been identified and solutions investigated. Cinerama Inc. protected their negatives with color separations, which could be used to retrieve any lost color, or missing sequences but that route is expensive. Even more exprencive is the possibility of digital restoration. Test reels, picked at random from selected titles have been printed and the results are encouraging. The master soundtracks were found to be in terminal condition and these have been restored and copied with the assistance of enthusiastic John Mitchell.

By the time you read this, the reprinting of "This is Cinerama" is scheduled to be underway. Cinerama projection facilities have been set up at the laboratory to view the prints, and the first test reels should be coming of the printer soon. Problems over the finance of a new print of "How The West Was Won", are reputedly resolved and, hopefully, work on this will now go ahead, though as yet there is no confirmation. One breakthrough has been the discovery of the original laboratory grading sheets.

The Cinerma Dome [in Los Angeles] has closed for renovation and is due to reopen in the spring of 2002 equipped with 3-strip Cinerama and a full louvred screen. A gift shop with Cinerama memorabilia is includedin the plans. The Dome will reopen as a focal point of a new entertainment center which include a 14 screen multiplex and retail centre.

Further in 70mm reading:

Speech for Keith Swadkins 2003

To Split or not to Split ... That is the Hollywood Question!

Movies Are Never What They Seem

The Passing of Doris Waller

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Updated 21-01-24