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More Widescreen At The Fairs
This text is a complement to the previous one: “A Century of Widescreen at the World's Fairs" covering the Fairs not classified as World's Fairs.

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Alain Dorange, Malaysia Date: 14.07.2018
Cinerama in Damaskus. Picture by Richard Babish

I - Damascus International Fair 1954 / Damas - Syria

From September 2nd to October 1st "This is Cinerama" is presented in an outdoor theatre on a 146 degrees curved screen of 23M x 8M. The success is tremendous and irritating the Russians a lot. This is the reason they decide to design a similar 3-strip concept with minor differences (excepted the 9 channels soundtrack) and will present it at the Expo 58 of Brussels under the name of Kinopanorama.

Lowell Thomas Junior is present, acting as promoter of Cinerama and official photographer of the event. The Syrian President Hashem Atassi is also attending this Cinerama Show. For this event, a special Cinerama programme in Arabic has been printed and is now a rare collectable item. Also the narration voice from Lowell Thomas in "This is Cinerama" is replaced by an Arabic one.
More in 70mm reading:

A Century of Widescreens at the World's Fairs

Widescreen In Malaya

A History of Widescreen and Wide-Film Projection Processes

Cinerama Titles Around The World

Internet link:


Cinerama in Damaskus, note the large baffle effects speaker in the middle of the picture. Picture by Richard Babish

II - Constitution Fair 1954/55 / Bangkok - Thailand.

Theme: The Fruits of Freedom.
From December 7th 1954 to January 1st 1955,"This is Cinerama" is shown outdoor twice a night at the USA Pavilion installed at the Lumphini park. This open-air theatre is providing 2000 seats. The King of Siam (King Bhumibal Adulyadej) is overtaken by Cinerama. Then Cinerama is supposed to participate at the Third Indonesian International Fair in Jakarta from August to September 1955 but this project is aborted.

III - Jeshyn Fair 1956 / Kabul - Afghanistan.

3.1 - Geodesic Dome.
The US Pavilion is under a geodesic dome designed by the American engineer R. Buckminster Fuller who will also built similar domes at the Expo 64 (New York), Expo 67 (Montreal). This spherical concept will be used for the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles.

3.2 - CinemaScope.
For the first time here in Kabul, presentation of the widescreen CinemaScope by means of documentaries, creating a huge interest from the locals.

IV - Soviet Exhibition of Science and Culture of 1959 / New York - USA.

This event is a culture exchange between the USA and the USSR. The USSR are exhibiting at the New York Coliseum and the USA are reciprocating during this same summer 59 in Moscow.
Presentation of the Kinopanorama at the Mayfair Theatre and initially the name of this 3-strip process is called Cinepanorama which is the correct translation. The name of Kinopanorama will come shortly after.
Two 3-strip movies are presented:
"Great is my Country" from June 30th 59 to July 20th 1959.
"The Enchanted Mirror" from July 21st 59 to August 2nd 1959.
Then double feature showing from August3rd 1959 for one week. Actually, the projections are provided by a Cinemiracle Equipment, the 3 projectors being in one projection booth and intermission is the required since there are only 3 projectors designed for 120 degrees’ curvature screen as per Cinemiracle design. So, this is far from perfect!

V - American National Exhibition of 1959 / Moscow - URSS.

The American are reciprocating the above mentioned event in Moscow at the Sokol'Niki Park with the following projections:

5.1 - "America the Beautiful" (18 minutes) (11 x 16mm).
Film in Circarama from Walt Disney previously presented at the Expo 1958 in Brussels.

5.2 - "Glimpses of the USA" (12 minutes)
This is the Septorama, shooting with 7 cameras 35mm and projection on 7 screens (10M x 6.5M each), each screen with a TV shape.3 screens are at the front and 4 at the upper part of the theatre designed with a geodesic shape. The movie is from Charles and Ray Eames and show the daily life of the American citizens. This geodesic theatre is also showing 2200 slides during those 12 minutes (9 minutes for the working days and 3 minutes for the weekend).

VI - International Labour Exhibition 1961 / Turin - Italy.

Expo from May 1st 61 to October 31st 1961.

"Italia 61" (15 minutes)
The Italian car manufacturer: Fiat places an order with Walt Disney Studios for a Circarama movie to show the past and the present of the Unification of Italy. This is the second generation of the Circarama process: 9 cameras (instead of 11) and the 16mm films are blown up to 35mm.The reduction of the number of cameras is achieved thanks to new lenses from Taylor-Hudson-Cooke covering an angle of 40 degrees. The film is from Elio Picconet with the support of Don Iwerks working presently at the Disney Studios and shows 28 Italian locations. The Circarama theatre has a diameter of 32M and each screen is 10M x 7M.

VII - International Flower Show 1963 / Hamburg - West Germany.

Inside an inflated tent (1000 seats), two 3-strip movies are presented:
- Windjammer (Cinemiracle).
- This is Cinerama (Cinerama with a reduced version of 50 minutes, same as for the Expo 58 in Brussels). Both movies are using the Cinerama equipment under the management of the Deutsche Cinerama GmbH.The curved screen is 29M x 11M.

VIII - National Exposition of 1964 / Lausanne - Switzerland.

8.1 - "La Suisse s'interroge" (Switzerland is asking itself).
Films (35mm) from Henry Brandt shown in 5 parts in 5 separate theatres inside a pavilion with the shape of a pyramid laying down. So, the audience is passing from one room to the next in the following order:
"La Suisse est Belle" (Switzerland is Beautiful) (3 minutes 52”). CinemaScope (Ratio 2.35:1) - Black and White.
"Problemes" (Problems) (3 minutes 42”) Ratio 1.37:1 - Black and White.
"La Course au Bonheur" (Race to Happiness) (3 minutes 52”). Ratio 1.37:1 - Black and White.
"Croissance" (Expansion) (11 minutes 36”) 3 screens side by side (3x35mm - 1.37:1x3) Black and White.
"Ton Pays est dans le Monde" (Your Country is in the World) (7 minutes 44”). 2 screens side by side (2x35mm - 1.37:1x2) Black and White.

Those movies are mounted on endless loops for continuous performances.

8.2 - "La Magie du Rail" (The Magic of the Rail) (20 minutes) Film from Ernst. A. Heinger still under the name of Circarama but the third generation: shooting with 9 cameras Mitchell 35mm. The theatre has a diameter of 30M to accommodate 15000 spectators daily. The sound is on a separate spool, magnetic 6 tracks. All views are taken on board of a train around Europe. There is no dialogue and the music is from B.Schule from Geneva. Each screen is 10M x 7M and the images are having a better definition since there is no blow up. This same Circarama movie is shown the year after (1965) at the IVA Expo (International Expo of the Munchen Transports / West Germany).

8.3 - "Nous Pouvons nous Defendre" (We can protect Ourselves) - (20 minutes) (3 x 70 mm). This was the working title and presented at the Pavilion: Vigilant Switzerland. According to Mr Severin Ruegg of the Filmdigitalisierung Bestand F Zentrum fur Elektronische Medien in Bern, there is no title and no credit but goes by the name of the section of this exhibition: "Wehrhafte Schweiz / La Suisse Vigilante / Svizzera Vigilante". This is a 3-strip movie in Super Panorama 70, projected (DP 70 projectors) on 3 curved screens with a tiny black bar in between. Each screen is 18M x 8M providing a total projected ratio of 6.60:1. The total angle of vision is 200 degrees. However, those 3 screens are not showing a continuous panoramic view because at that time, only 1 camera MCS 70 is available. The film is from Lothar Woff and directed by John Ferhout. The music is from Robert Blum with the London Symphonic Orchestra on 18 stereo magnetic tracks. This is impressive and will never be heard again.

The year after the central panel will be re-released under the title of "Fortress of Peace" in 70mm, bearing the Cinerama logo and the following credit: Cinerama Production Corporation and Farner-Looser Films and distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation. This short is presented with the Technirama 70 "The Golden Head" in 1965 and "Holiday in Spain" in 1966 at the Coliseum London. However, this is an uncomplete movie since the left and right panels are missing. Obviously, no theatre is designed to accommodate such a widescreen on 200 degrees’ curve.

IX - Ocean Expo 1975 / Okinawa - Japan.

Theme: The Sea we would like to See.
This is the year the USA are giving back the Okinawa Island to Japan.

"The Water Seed"
Cartoon movie from Tadanari Okamoto projected on the Dome of the Planetarium of the Museum (Oceanic Culture Museum) with 2 projectors 35mm,1 for 16mm and 3 slide projectors.

X - Kobe Port Island Expo 1981 or Portopia 81 / Kobe - Japan.

Theme: Creation of a New Cultural City on the Sea.

10.1 - "The Sea, The Sky and Life" (15 minutes). Film at the Kobe Steel pavilion and the theatre (800 seats) is bearing the name of: Portorama. The projection is on a semi spherical screen with 2 projectors 70mm equipped Fish Eye lenses. The 2 images are seamless.

10.2 - "Hundred and Eighty Days around the World" (20 minute). Multi screens presentation in 35mm of aerial sequences of the major cities of the World.
XI - Expo 1990 / Osaka - Japan.

Theme: The Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind.

11.1 - "Flowers in the Sky" (15 minutes). This is the first (of only 2) IMAX MAGIC CARPET realised by Michael Scott and Roman Kroitor at the Sanwa Midori-Kai Pavilion. There are 2 screens. The frontal screen is 25M x 18M and the lower one is below the seats at 45 degrees’ angle under the transparent floor. Its dimensions are 27M x 19M.There is a large space between each seat for a better viewing. The only other IMAX MAGIC CARPET movie is "Les Voyageurs du Ciel et de la Mer" (The Travellers from the Sky and The Sea), Franco-Canadian movie (15 minutes) from Jean Perrin, only shown at the Futuroscope (Poitiers - France) until end of December 2012.At the Futuroscope, the screens are bigger: front one of 32M x 21M and lower one of 34M x 22M.
11.2 - "Echoes of the Sun" (20 minutes). Premiere for the IMAX SOLIDO at the Fujitsu Pavilion. This process is taking the tops of IMAX: IMAX DOME 3D + IMAX HD (48fr/sec). The projector has a double window (and double platters). The spectacles are composed of LCD panels (LC Diod). The only other place showing the IMAX SOLIDO will be (again) the Futuroscope at Poitiers.

11.3 - "Flying Raft" (20 minutes). This is a "standard" IMAX movie 2D (24fr/sec) from the director Yoshihide Okumura and produced by Sadaaki Okano. Presented at the Sakinkai Heartopia Pavilion, this movie is composed of aerial takes over the Amazonian Jungle.

11.4 - "The Last Buffalo" (27 minutes). Movie in IMAX 3D (Polarized glasses) from Steven Low and produced by Roman Kroitor and Sally Dundas at the Suntory Pavilion.

11.5 - "The Flower Planet" (12 minutes). First IMAX 2D cartoon from Mark Kirkland and produced by Bob Rogers and George Wiktor at the Mitsui-Toshiba Pavilion.

Theme: The Challenge of a New Road of Development

12.1 - "Postcards: Touring the World (12 minutes). Created by BRC Imagination with Bob Rogers, the founder and chairman. He is the inventor of the "Holavision theatre" a special technique with live actors and ghosts appearing from the smoke. The pictures of those ghosts were on 70mm films (it was first demonstrated at the Vancouver World's Fair in 1986). This is a Circle Vision 360 presentation from IWERKS by using 9 x 35mm cameras. The sponsor is Korean Air Lines.

12.2 - "Breaking Through”, other title: “Imagine" (22 minutes). This is an IMAX 3D on flat screen from Roman Kroitor and John Weiley with a music by Nigel Westlake. The sponsor is Daewoo and shown at the Samyung Earthscape Pavilion.

12.3 - "Journey to the Planets" (16 minutes). From Graeme Ferguson and Toni Myers, this is an Imax format shown in OMNIMAX at the Sunkyong Imagination Pavilion, half animation and half live.

12.4 - "The Enertopia Symphony" (13 minutes). This is an IWERKS movie (870 format at 24fps) with an 8 track Dolby Audio. The screen is 25M x 19M.Shown at the KEPCO Pavilion, the sponsor is Lucky Goldstar. Produced and directed by Wayne Robert Lehrer.

12.5 - "The Fascinating World of Materials" (15minutes). IWERKS 870 movie at the POSCO Pavilion. This is a 3D animated movie (CGI). Directed by Jersy Kular and produced by Xavier Nicolas.

12.6 - "Terabyss" (4.5 minutes). Film in 570 at 30fps. With the 90's we are entering the area of "Motion Simulator Ride" and few hundreds of movies (mostly CGI type) have been created either in 35mm or 70mm and of course since the new century they are all digital. The "huge" screen is 7M x 3M and the 60 patrons are inside a submarine simulator with the screen in front of them. The creators of this film are Richard Yuricich and Allen Yamashita.

12.7 - "Starquest Adventure" (4 minutes). Film in IWERKS 870 Dome at 30fps.This is another Motion Simulator Ride. IWERKS (and later IWERKS-SIMEX) is the leader in Motion Simulator Ride attractions. Shown at the Samsung Starquest Pavilion, Created by Metro Light Studios for Landmark Entertainment, there are 2 dome theatres to speed up the process. Each dome screen is 20M in diameter. Dome built by Spitz Space Systems Inc. Each theater can accommodate 60 "participants”. The 2 projectors 870 pulldowns are from Electrosonic with fisheye lens from Hughes-Leitz. Each projector is provided with an endless loop cabinet. The sound is DTS - 6 tracks on hard disc.

12.8 - "The Guardian" (3.5 minutes) movie 570 at 30fps. Directed by Beck Steve and produced by Liz Ralston for the company Rhythm & Hues and shown at the KIA Motors Pavilion. There are 6 simulator theatres seating 18 people each. The screen is of Torus shape (designed by Sigma Design Group). DTS sound, 6tracks. There are obviously 6 individual projectors with endless loop cabinets.

IMAX have been a prolific supplier of movies at various Fairs, as well as premiering their various processes. Here under is a recapitulative listing. Any missing titles, please kindly let us know .

EXPO 70 - Osaka: "Tiger Child" - IMAX 2D
EXPO 74 - Spokane: "Man belongs to the Earth" - IMAX 2D
EXPO 82 - Knoxville: "Energy! Energy!" - IMAX 2D
EXPO 84 - St Louis: "River Journey" - IMAX 2D
EXPO 85 - Tsukuba: "Skyward" - IMAX 2D
"Heartland" - IMAX 2D
"Shijin No Ie" - IMAX 2D
"We are Born of Stars" - OMNIMAX 3D

EXPO 86 - Vancouver: "A Freedom to Move" - OMNIMAX 2D
"Transitions" - IMAX 3D

EXPO 90 - Osaka: "Flowers in the Sky" - IMAX MAGIC CARPET
"Echoes of the Sun" - IMAX SOLIDO
"Flying Raft" - IMAX 2D
"The Last Buffalo” - IMAX 3D
"The Flower Planet" - IMAX 2D

EXPO 92 - Seville: "Momentum" - IMAX HD
"Le Puits d'Images" - IMAX 2D
"Echoes of the Sun" - IMAX SOLIDO
"Eureka! The Passion to Know" - IMAX DOME

EXPO 93 - Taejong: "Breaking Through” aka: “Imagine" - IMAX 3D
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Updated 30-06-22