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20161126_134110.thumb.jpg.8d04f92f2d479fI went for a walk in Seattle this past week, turned the corner, and there it was- the Cinerama theater.  Mike is our resident Cinerama expert and can fill us in on the history.... maybe even a then-and-now comparison.

20161126_134104.jpg

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I found an article that said when the Microsoft guy Paul Allen paid to refurbish and modernize the Seattle theater a couple of years ago (saving it from demolition), they converted to a 4K digital laser projection system.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=/amp/www.geekwire.com/2014/sneak-peek-cineramas-high-tech-upgrade-creates-one-worlds-top-movie-expericnes/amp/&ved=0ahUKEwjQqujG1crQAhVL8WMKHb9aChwQFgiJAjAk&usg=AFQjCNEyXjEDxs1htXfMocY-bMkGWRLJrQ&sig2=7Nd3T62r5FISe23ySfPlOQ

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I hope Allen can find his way to converting some existing Cinerama prints to digital for projection.  However, it's not clear to me if the curved screen was retained in this latest renovation in Seattle. Conversion to digital was done very successfully with the three-screen movie in the Johnson's Wax Golden Rondelle from the NYWF, after it was moved to Wisconsin. 

A new digital conversion of the Cinerama films could remove the one obvious optical distortion - the three cameras made planar images, so straight lines that extended into two or three of the frames were shown as straight segments with a sharp angle at the join point. The later single-lens Todd-AO process (and the later single-lens Cinerama) curved such lines so that they were smooth arcs when projected.

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There is a photo of the auditorium from the rear on their webpage:

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gx-seattle-cinerama-theater

It appears the necessary strongly-curved screen may be behind the curtains, although the width is smaller than optimum for all but the first few rows, as it was in many Cinerama venues. 

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Wow, that is fantastic! I can't imagine how they made the strip screen so it could be disassembled and reassembled.

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