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Kinopanorama Paris Update

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Jean-Noël Grosmenil, from Japan/France Date: 11.10.2014
Here is the last picture of one Paris projector, now restored (only the pedestal was in need of a good coat of paint). It's loaded with 2400m reel and the "A panel" test print. This is the Paris original version, not the ones used at Perm, Leningrad or Kiev. I have restored this machine for Bois d'Arcy, we have no need of a such machine. It's in working order and should be exposed very soon at the Cinemathèque. But will never run again.

The Kinopanorama article is full of mistakes. The so called "control desk" was the pre-control table to test the SOUND equipement before a Kinopanorama Show (3x35 and 70 with sep mag sound). It was also used to do the intermission from the booth, during the early 70mm years. At the bottom of that desk, located very close to the sound dubbers, there was 18 pre-amplifiers racks. The MAIN theatre control table was removed since 1974, during the new orchestra refit.

The CCCP tube system, it was just a part of it. Greg Faris has done some cleaning and the main control system, the AC stabilizer and many features were removed. Without realy understanding what he was doing. It was in 1986-87 for the new sound system (STS). The middle racks was for the CP 200 and extras and the remaining parts of Stanford for effect speakers (cut at 800 Hz). It was reported as in working order, this was false. Only two of them were almost working, but not 4. The two left ones were almost empty of valve, mostly the last one. It was used once in 1987, but the center was STS and the effects were Standforf but on Kinap's speaker (never upgraded to STS by Pierre Pinton, a choice).

The KPP projectors were the ones who went to scrap... or almost In 1986-87, Pierre has done a loan for Mr Costa Gavras. 3 projectors, a spare head and one dubber. One of the remaining projector in 1990 went to Kinepolis Belgium, then Lomes. The remaining dubber went to my home lately with the last remainining rack of bi-amplifiers and many Russian spares left in place by Gaumont. The last projector went to CMP, then to scrap. Mostly dismanteled by different projectionists for collectors.

You have also noticed 2 x16mm projectors, it was for Pierre Deparnay conferences. The last film projected in Panorama in Paris was in 1964, not 70's. After the kind of Itinerama-Kinopanorama in Paris suburb, the system never used again. Only the dubbers were used once in 1974 for a sound Festival. The two "B" projectors were "on loan" to Abel Gance, for a relaunch of his "Napoleon". It was way to complicate to transform the system to 4-p and the projectors went back to Paris, located first behind the screen wall, then to Ormoy.

You shoud have many pictures of the remaining saved parts of original material from Paris. I have one dubber in working order and 2x2 bi-amplifiers, rebuilt front speakers and sttabilized AC for the amplifier. Mr Carrin has seen once when they were just overhauled in 2002, in working order. Serge & I have all the prints and the systèm is build to show pictures (Victoria 5 custom). We are waiting for a better sound head, custom made. The system is working "in synch", but computer controlled. We have collected by Dimiti a lot of parts from the Kiev Kinopanorama, Lomo and Perm Cristal Panorama (now an IMAX).
More in 70mm reading:

A Picture Visit to Kinopanorama in Paris, 1990

Internet link:

Silver Screens

The Kinopanorama in Paris was not the same if you compare it to former Panorama theatre in East-block. The booth was a mixture of Cinelume (Cinemeccanica France) and Kinap. Including during the early real Kinopanorama 3-strips, the projectors and some features were adapted:

- for patent problems, for me false but ... The reverted back to the real system in 1961. So you have many Kinopanorama "flavors"
- for easy maintenance - first and second level - by the team and Cinelume. The heavy maintenance was done by Russian's technician monthly during ten years

When Pierre Pinton took a real interest for the Kinopanorama, most of the system was very damaged by UGC. Rinalodo made some upgrade to have 10 working bi-amplifiers. But the fuses were Russian and were mostly changed with quick solutions. Many power transformer burned and it was way to expensive to restore the system. It was put out of service in 1981 and disconnected in 1982. Greg has put it back in working order, but only for sound demos, with 4-chanels.

I wrote a book located at "La mission historique de la ville de Paris", with the last pictures of the theatre before the transformation into body-care shop. It's in French, but you have all the small publishings located at Silver Screens. The only difference, it's a co-writing. A young architect has done the structure, I have done the technical and day to day aspect of the theatre.
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Updated 21-01-24