One of the many innovations in motion picture technology designed to bring people back to the theaters instead of watching television, Cinerama was introduced fifty years ago. It was an early precursor to the IMAX experience.
The Cinerama technique wasn’t completely new when it first appeared and a similar method had been used to film the silent epic Napoleon back in 1927. Cinerama’s widescreen movies were created using three cameras at the same time. In theatres, three synchronized 35mm projectors were employed, with the images shown on three large wraparound screens, which created an illusion of a panoramic view for the members of the audience.
It was a glorious experience for the audience, but it was not an easy technology. Theaters had to be remodeled, special equipment was used to both film the movies and project them, and actors had to change the way they interacted with the camera. Read about how Cinerama came about, how it was done, and see pictures of the equipment, theaters, and movies at Dark Roasted Blend.
(Image credit: Popular Mechanics, August 1952)