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Cinerama Test Shots

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Lowell Thomas Date: 20.06.2010
Mr. Lowell Thomas - in pink.

To Accompany Cinerama Test Shots

L.T. This picture is thrown on the screen merely to remind you of something with which you have so long been familiar. Not my face. I refer to the conventional 35mm motion picture. For forty odd years 35mm films have played a vast role in entertainment and education almost everywhere on this planet. But after two score years, perhaps it's time for something new to appear on the horizon. We are starting off with this 35mm picture so you may the better judge of what you are now to see and her. We call it --

More in 70mm reading:

in70mm.com's Cinerama page

This is Oyster Bay

Internet link:

Cinerama frame blow-up

(After a brief pause L T to continue with something like the following)

L.T. The MacArthur welcome in New York caught us napping. That night we all remarked that it would have been a natural for CINERAMA, for a few test shots. So, out to the middle West went our camera for a few feet of the Far Eastern Commander's welcome by the people of Chicago. We decided to do this no matter what the weather -- favorable or unfavorable. It was unfavorable -- murky, dull, not a day for color.

Note: Natural sound or no sound at all on to the end of MacArthur sequence.

L.T.'s voice over the Cinerama sound but with no picture --)

L.T. The next voice you will hear - and you have noticed of course that our sound system is coming to you from all parts of this room - the next voice will be that of the inventor -- Fred Waller. Fred and I worked together at Paramount twenty years ago.
Cinerama frame blow-up. Lowell Thomas is seen in black suit.

Since then he has been busy on the engineering side both the motion picture, and radio. During the war his talents were used by Uncle Sam, working, with timing devices, bomb sights and so on. It was during the war that he first made wide use of his invention, CINERAMA, which played a large part in the training of our airmen - enabling them to practice gunnery just as though they were in combat. For a few minutes now we are going to run some of Mr. Waller's earlier test shots, both in black and white and in color. Okay Fred --
Cinerama black and white frame blow-up. Filmed inside Fred Waller's Huntington home. Note the head in lower right corner of frame.

(Waller's voice is to cover aircraft carrier, winter scene, autumn shot of car entering estate, water skiing in Hudson, and the roller coaster)

L.T. In imagination many of you no doubt are several jumps ahead of these pictures by now. I suspect you are thinking of spectacles you would like to see, spectacles that would be well nigh overwhelming on a Cinerama screen and with this new sound system. For instance, a great Shakespearean drama, a spectacle of Quo Vadis type with its Mt. Vesuvius finale, Ben Hur, DeMille's King of Kings, a Verdi opera, a great ballet - list is endless. Can you imagine a great choir before you now such as the Vatican Sistine Choir?
Same place in 1997. Mrs. Catherine Monroe (Now Clarke) holding Fred Waller's portrait. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

As a modest preliminary test a neighbourhood Long Island choir was asked to come over to the room where you are sitting. Hurriedly a few simple black and white test shots were made right here. They will appear on the screen now. Then, after you have seen them, we will conclude this brief demonstration for you with a few shots we made the other, a CINERAMA picture of something that didn't involve a long journey, something right here in New York state. The conclusion scene, following the Long Island home talent singing, will demonstrate to you, we hope, how the sight of this planet can be brought to you in a new and impressive way. Or, perhaps I should say, take all of us right to them. Someone recently made the following comparison between 35mm and CINERAMA: 35mm to which we are so accustomed, is like being outside a building looking in through a window. With CINERAMA you have the feeling of being inside, virtually a part of it all.

Now first, a few more black and white scenes, and then a few final test shots in color.
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Updated 07-01-23