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Kinopanorama around the World

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Alain Dorange Date: 16.01.2015
USSR Pavilion at the EXPO '58 in Bruxelles in Belgium. Frame from "The March of Todd-AO".

This is a listing as complete as possible of the countries in the world where the Kinopanorama three strip movies were exhibited. For the USSR, the listing of the movies is already given on this site.

1 - Kinopanorama in USSR

The supposed complete theatre listing is as follows:

Moscow: Theatre Mir Kino where the Premiere took place on February 28th 1958 with "Great is my Country."
Leningrad/St Petersburg: theatre name is not known
Kiev: Kino Panorama
Perm: Cristal Panorama
Odessa: theatre name is not known
Varsovia: Relax
Vladivostock: Ocean
Yalta: theatre name is not known

2 - Kinopanorama in Belgium

This was the first Kinopanorama presentation outside the USSR at the Expo 1958 of Brussels from April 17 up to October 1958. The movie is: "Great is my Country" and shown on a screen of 24M x 9M. All Kinopanorama equipment came from the USSR and by the end of the EXPO, it was sent to Paris at the specially designed Kinopanorama theatre.
More in 70mm reading:

in70mm.com's Kinopanorama page

Europe's Largest Panorama Cinema in Moscow

A Picture Visit to Kinopanorama in Paris, 1990

Henri Chretien and his "Cinerama" at the Expo 1937, Paris

Krugovaya Kinopanorama / Circular Kinopanorama

Internet link:

3 - Kinopanorama in France

3.1: Paris: Le Kinopanorama

Film: "Deux heures en Urss" (Two Hours in USSR) (120 min). The French premiere took place on September 25th 1959. The movie is a compilation from the first two Kinopanorama movies: "Great is my Country" and "The Enchanted Mirror". The extracts are compiled by Jean Paul Mauclaire and developed at the Mosfilm Laboratories on film Svema/Osmo. The screen is 20 x 8,45 m and curved by 109 degrees. The stereo sound is on 9 tracks with 98 speakers in the theatre. (5 behind the screen) and some at the ceiling (a beginning of Dolby Atmos!). The prologue is a standard 35mm presentation "Russia 50 years ago".

Film: "Un Francais a Moscou" (A Frenchman in Moscow) (120 min). Opening on October 14th 1960 and again a compilation from the two Kinopanorama movies: "One Hour of Unexpected travel by helicopter” and "Fourth Programme of Panoramic Films: "Circus Performances and On the Red Square". This time, the compilation is from Jean Devaivre and Nina Companeez. Before the movie, there is a Russian three strip short: "Les Oursons" (The Bear Cubs).

Film: "L'Urss a Coeur Ouvert" (USSR with an Open Heart) (90 min). Opening on May 1961 and this is not a compilation but the integral of the Russian counterpart movie of the same title.

The sequences are as follow:
• The wedding Palace (Moscov)
• Restaurant and Cha-cha-cha (Moscov)
• The atomic ice breaker Lenine
• The chess players (Moscov)
• The splendid subway (Moscov)
• Reindeer racing inthe taiga
• Moiesselev Ballets
• The Bolchoi Before the movie, a documentary in standard 35mm: "Tolstoy Vivant" (Tolstoy)

Film: "Kinochoc" (Kinoshock) (120 min). Opening on March 1st 1962 and this is the third compilation composed from the following Kinopanorama movies: "Naughty Curves", "Antarctic for the Whales" and "Amazing Hunting".

Film: "Volga, Volga" (The Volga flows on) (140 min)
Opening on November 21st 1962. This is not a compilation but the integral of the Kinopanorama movie of the same title. Before this movie, a short: "Le Pigeon" (The Pidgeon) in standard 35mm.

Film: "La Loi de l'Antarctic" (The Law of the Antarctic) ( 90 min). Opening on April 26th 1963.This is the fourth compilation from the three Kinopanorama movies: "Winter Study", "On Submarine Scooters" and "The Law of Antarctica".

Film: "La Tragedie Optimiste" (The Optimistic Tragedy) (121 min). Opening on September 1963 an the integral of the Kinopanorama movie of the same title. A short before this film: "Histoire d'un crime" ( A Crime Story and this is not with David Suchet ! ).

So here at this Parisian Kinopanorama theatre, a total of seven three strip movies have been shown. Please note this theatre was equipped with six projectors so there was no need of intermission.
3.2: Marseille: ABC Theatre

From February 22nd 1961 up to March 20th 1962,two three strip movies were shown: "Two Hours in Ussr" and "USSR with an Open Heart". The ABC theatre was equipped with Cinerama equipments but this was nearly compatible with the Kinopanorama.

There were only three major differences:
• 26 frames per second instead of 25fr/sec (negligible).
• 7 soundtracks instead of 9 (easy to accommodate)
• Need of an intermission.

3.3: Romainville and Champigny

Those two cities at the outskirt of Paris did show "Two Hours in USSR" in their Town halls. We can imagine the quality of the presentations! The projectors were the Kinap ones, modified to receive a spool for 2400M of pellicule (instead of the 1200m) in order to have one hour of show before the intermission. It would not have been practical to run six projectors under those conditions. The amplifiers were from Philips.

• Romainville: nightly shows from December 28th 1963 to February 26th 1964.
• Champigny: nightly shows from March 25th 1964 to May 19th 1964.
The Colosseum in Oslo in the fall of 1995. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

4 - Kinopanorama in Norway

This is the West European Premiere in Oslo at the Colosseum theatre from February 12th 1959 up to end of March 1959. The film is: "Great is my Country". This is at the Colosseum theatre that "Windjammer" was having the European Premiere on April 25th 1958 in Cinemiracle process. Consequently, this three strip Kinopanorama movie was fully compatible as the screen is 120 degrees curved. "Windjammer" was also tested at the Kinopanorama in Paris and was said to look better than its presentation at the Empire Cinerama (also in Paris). This is due to reason that the Kinopanorama theatre was having a 120 degrees screen and the Empire Cinerama a 146 degrees screen.

5 - Kinopanorama in West Germany

Presentation in June 1961 at the Capitol Theatre in West Berlin (at that time). Film: "Zwischen Nordpol Und Krim" ( Two hours in USSR). This is now the French editing which will be shown in some of the countries below. For the Premiere, the Soviet Ambassador Mr M. G. Perwuchin was invited. This movie was shown with Cinerama equipments and German narration.
The Colosseum in Oslo in the fall of 1995. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

6 - Kinopanorama in Sweden

"Two Hours in USSR" was shown with Cinerama equipment and English soundtrack. Presentation by mid 1962 at the Draken (Goteborg) and a re-run at the Vinterpalatset. The film is "Great is my Country", shown on Cinerama equipment and with an English soundtrack.

7 - Kinopanorama in Italy

Presentation from May 10th 1961 up to July 27th 1961 at the Manzoni Cinerama theatre in Milan. The film: "Due Ore in USSR" (Two Hours in USSR). Cinerama equipment and Italian soundtrack.

8 - Kinopanorama in the USA

8.1 : New York

During the Russian Trade Fair at the Coliseum in 1959, the Kinopanorama process is presented under the name of Cinepanorama which is actually the correct name used by the Russians. The name of Kinopanorama was the translation for "export". The theatre is Mayfair in New York and the equipment is Cinemiracle with 3 projectors so there was an intermission

Two films were presented:
"Great is my Country" from June 30th 1959.
"The Enchanted Mirror" from July 21st 1959.

Then those two movies are alternatively shown from August 3rd 1959 .

8.2 : Kinopanorama in Cinerama.

This could have been called: "The Best of Kinopanorama". The unexpected title is: "Cinerama's Russian Adventure" (122mn). This film is composed from various extracts of three strip Kinopanorama movies and presented in three strip Cinerama. This compilation is realised by J. Jay Frankel and Harold J. Dennis. The Premiere is taking place on March 29th 1966 at the McVickers theatre of Chicago for eleven weeks. There is a short prologue narrated by Bing Crosby. The McVickers is the only place where this movie could be seen in three strips. Other theatre were using simple 70mm process (or so called Ultra Cinerama).
9 - Kinopanorama in Cuba

Presentation at the Radio Centro ( Havana ) from April 17th 1961 up to December 20th 1963.We do not know the projected titles but the equipment was the Kinap one and have been shipped from Perm Kinopanorama (USSR). Here in Cuba, the process is called "Soviet Cinerama".

10 - Kinopanorama in South Africa

Presentation at the Cinerama Theatre of Johannesburg from July 6th 1962 up to December 19th 1962. The film: "Two Hours in USSR" on Cinerama equipment.

11 - Kinopanorama in Japan

The theatre is Asakusa Shohikuza in Tokyo.
The film: "Ooinaru Rakuen" (Two Hours in USSR) We do not know the exact dates but this was during 1961 / 1962. In Japanese, the Kinopanorama is called: Kinerama. In Japanese, the Cinerama is called: Shinerama. Like those two processes, the difference between those two names is obvious!!!
An article written in "New York VARIETY":

Tokyo, November, 13, 1962 / RUSSIAN" KINERAMA" IN TOKYO FOLDEROO

The highly touted showing of Kinerama´s "Two Hours in USSR" at Shochiku-za in the Asakusa section of this city ended a four-months run with a take that hardly paid the theatre operating costs. Shochiku had remodeled the house at a cost of more than $55,000 for the Soviet version of the Cinerama technique in the hopes of competing with the Yank originals, which have been a box-office hit for many years at the Toho theatres. Opening month of July, however, showed a gross of only $27,770 and subsequent months showed sharp drop. In the final month of October the picture was drawing as few as 180 patrons daily and less $85 at the box office. One reason given for the bad biz is the location of house, which is fast by strip houses and other theatres catering to non-class audiences. It failed to draw the hefty numbers of tourists and groups of students who flock to Cinerama showings. For time being, the theatre will be incorporated into Shichiku´s SY chain.
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Updated 04-05-22