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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


Interview with producer Randy Gitsch
European Cinerama Tour opens at the Cinemateket, Copenhagen

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 24.10.2015
Dave Strohmaier, Tattoo shop owner and Randy Gitsch. The tattoo shop can be seen briefly in "Windjammer"

Mr Randy Gitsch, why are you in Copenhagen?

This is our seventh stop on our The 2015 European Cinerama Festival Tour, and we are delighted to be here. I've never been in Copenhagen before, and we are delighted to bring Cinerama back to Copenhagen, because Cinerama WAS shown in Copenhagen at one time, so there should be people here that fondly remember it, just as they do else where the world over, and we are looking forward to show them these films at the Cinemateket.

Doesn't Cinerama require special projectors and special sound equipment?

No, believe it or not, Cinerama has been remastered digitally in a special format. A special letterbox called SMILEBOX, which re-dimensions the image, and slightly stretches and squeezes the three panels of the triptych motion picture to make it resemble a curved screen. It is really a curved screen simulation. You cannot fight it. Your brain will look at that shape, and tell you that you are looking at a curved image, so even on a flat screen; it can give you a curved screen viewing experience.
More in 70mm reading:

Copenhagen Gallery: 2015_Cinerama Festival Tour

Cinerama, David Strohmaier and the "We have all seen it as a kid" thing

in70mm.com's "Windjammer" in Cinemiracle page

in70mm.com's Cinerama page

Cinerama Remaster

The 2015 European Cinerama Festival Tour

Kinopalæet Super Cinerama in Denmark

Cinerama Remaster
Randy Gitsch
Dave Strohmaier

Internet link:

Dave Strohmaier, Per Tofte "Tøffe" Nielsen, Tammy Burnstock and Randy Gitsch during intermission of "Scent of Mystery"

So Cinerama does not require a big curved screen anymore?

No, no it can be done on a flat screen in a theatre or a flat screen on your television monitor at home.

How often do you show these Cinerama films?

Well, we get invited to theatres, museums, and sometimes universities and Dave and I do a presentation on the history of the films, and the particular restoration process you need to restore a triptych. We are very well received everywhere we go. People find these films fascinating, and as I mentioned, a lot of them, if they are at the right age, they recall how popular these films were, and omnipresent in 200+ cities around the world.

What is special about Cinerama and when were they made?

Cinerama had a 14-year lifespan between 1952 and 1966, and there were five motion pictures made in a travelogue style. They acquired another picture made in a similar process [Cinemiracle], that was a travelogue called "Windjammer", and then there were two Hollywood co-productions, which were dramatic films with actors shot in the Cinerama process. There was lastly one Russian picture, because the Russians had a competing three-panel system, and that was released as a Cinerama picture as well. So that was their era, 1952 to '66.
Randy Gitsch introducing "Scent of Mystery"

How much of it is shown now in Copenhagen?

We are showing all of our films except for one [“Search for Paradise"]. All of our films and a documentary that we made on Cinerama in 2002, we are also showing that here in Copenhagen. Then we are showing one picture that Cinerama released called "Scent of Mystery", which is not in Cinerama, however, it was shown in Cinerama theatres and it happens to be the only picture released in Smell-O-Vision". The Smell-O-Vision process has been restored to it.

Why should the Danes go and see Cinerama this weekend?

Well, because Cinerama has not played here in years. Many, many years, and you can now get a clue as to the excitement of the live experience, seeing it in a real theatre on a big screen, and enjoy that experience. It is very theatrical. There is a lot of Showmanship in Cinerama and this is a chance to go back to a theatre and learn about what that was like.
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Updated 21-01-24