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• To record the history of the large format movies and the 70mm cinemas as remembered by the people who worked with the films. Both during making and during running the films in projection rooms and as the audience, looking at the curved screen., a unique internet based magazine, with articles about 70mm cinemas, 70mm people, 70mm films, 70mm sound, 70mm film credits, 70mm history and 70mm technology. Readers and fans of 70mm are always welcome to contribute.

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More about Tonhallen

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Udo Heimansberg, Düsseldorf, GermanyDate: 19.10.2012
I was absolutely thrilled to find my favourite Cinema, the Cinerama Tonhallen Theater (it's proper name from 1963, before that Tonhallen Theater) on your page!

I enclosed a photograph taken from the outside in December 1965. It's from the archive of the town of Düsseldorf, and it was not taken because of the Cinema, but to show the big store beside it. The cinema is on that foto by accident- thank God!

It's the second week of the running time of THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL which was called in Germany 40 WAGEN WESTWÄRTS. I was there in this week to see the film! Maybe I'm sitting in the 2 p.m. performance while this photograph was taken!

Note that the Cinerama sign was removed at that time. I heard, they had to pay for it, so they dropped it. It was again used in 1966, about 8 month before they closed down.
More in 70mm reading:

"Windjammer" at the Tonhallen-Lichtspiele", Düsseldorf, Germany

"The Last Valley" introduction

DP70 / Universal 70-35 / Norelco AAII - The Todd-AO Projector

Cinemiracle/Cinerama in Germany

Cinemiracle/Cinerama in Deutschland's "Windjammer" in Cinemiracle page

Internet link:

Metropol Düsseldorfer Filmkunstkino GmbH
HRB 34556, Amtsgericht Düsseldorf
Steuer-Nr. 106/5717/3222
Geschäftsführer: Udo Heimansberg
Brachtstraße 15
40223 Düsseldorf
Telefon 0211 17 111 94
Fax 0211 17 111 95

It was opened as Todd-AO-Theatre in 1958 with OKLAHOMA! and after WINDJAMMER in Cinemiracle they still continued with the DP70 and WEST SIDE STORY, CAN-CAN & EL CID (among others) in 70mm and reopened in 1963 after 3 month of rebuilding for 3-strip-Cinerama in May 1963 with HOW THE WEST WAS WON. The Cinerama-screen was installed before the stage on the photograph - it reached from side to side (the white pillars you can see left and right) and was about 24m wide. December 1963 they run THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM. In between there was the first run of 55 DAYS AT PEKING in 70mm. After GRIMM followed a more than 20 week-engagement of IT'S A MAD, MAD,MAD,MAD WORLD.

There was a season of Cinerama-Films like SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD and SOUTH SEA ADVENTURE in 1964. After that they dropped the 3-strip-process but carried on showing 70mm on the giant screen, a.o. UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, THE GREAT WALL, GENGHIS KHAN, LORD JIM, PORGY AND BESS, BATTLE OF THE BULGE, DOCTOR DOLITTLE. After a 30 week re-run of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO the theatre closed due to demolition of the whole building complex on that photograph!
Click the Lord Jim advert to see an enlargement

The projection room was also rebuild for Cinerama- the wall was completly opened as one window for the projectors from one side to the other and projectors stood in the left and right corner. There was no left and right booth in the auditorium. The projection room was above the balcony.

I hope I can send you more material soon. There is another projectionist from that period who worked in the Theatre - he promised me more stuff.

So far for today, hope you enjoy it.
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Updated 07-01-21