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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Any Cinema 180 fans still around?

Author Topic: Any Cinema 180 fans still around?
Brett Barnes
Film Handler

Posts: 2
From: Carrollton, GA
Registered: Jun 2011

 - posted 06-14-2011 06:42 PM      Profile for Brett Barnes   Email Brett Barnes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking for anyone with info. regarding the old Cinema 180 "Chevy Show" that appeared at the Six Flags Amusement Parks in the 1970's.
Cinema 180 was sort of a forerunner to IMAX. The Chevy Show was so realistic that I remember the audience leaning one way and then another as we appeared to be in a barnstormer bi-plane, a roller coaster, or a speeding Corvette.
Trying to track down any of these old reels.

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Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1580
From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 06-14-2011 08:37 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw an early version of the CHEVY SHOW at the Ohio State Fair in the 60's. It was a hemispherical screen inside of a dome. A 35mm projector sat on the floor and projected up into the screen. The film was 1 reel long and I think one reel was rewinding while the other was being shown. I believe the audience stood while watching. Typical "Cinerama-style" moving cars, undercranking to make things look even faster, etc. Was fun, but I don't remember much about the picture...I probably spent most of my time watching the operator!

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16150
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-14-2011 08:38 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have half a reel of Cinema 180 filum somewhere in the garage... It's amusement park rides...


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Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001

 - posted 06-15-2011 03:43 AM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Chevy Show toured the country. The film was produced by the Jam Handy Organization. Custom lowboy projector using an EX projector and carbon arc in a mini dome screen format.Impressive for the time....especially to a 12 year old (me).

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Phillip Grace
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 138
From: ACMI. Melbourne. Australia.
Registered: Mar 2004

 - posted 06-16-2011 04:18 AM      Profile for Phillip Grace   Email Phillip Grace   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I met one of these in the mid 1980's at an amusement arcade called The Fun Factory in South Yarra, Victoria. It was set up as a permanent attraction. The film for this one was 5-perf 70mm with 6 track magnetic sound. The screen was a dome of 1/4 of a sphere which stood on the flat auditorium floor. It was probably about 20 ft high at the centre. The speakers were arranged along the curve at floor level. Screen shape was maintained by a large vacuum fan which pulled the vinyl screen up into its frame. The audience were free to stand anywhere, but the best effect was along the chord. There were three programs, of about 12 minutes each, which screened from single spools, in rotation all day. The projector was installed in a booth, with the lens height about 8ft above the auditorium floor, pointing upwards, and a throw of about 40 ft. I dont recall where the horizon appeared on the screen. The projector itself was a Ballantyne Pro-70, with no 35mm components, mounted on a Rentec console. Xenon was mounted vertically in the console, with air cooling and water cooling to the diverter mirror. The image on the film was quite distorted, to compensate for the shape of the screen, and was masked to something like a semi-circle at the aperture.
All the films seemed to involve a roller-coaster ride at some point, and I recall some vertical shots from an aircraft circling above the Seattle space needle. Ultra wild field of view and very fast motion was the general rule. The vertigo effect was amazing, and it was common for small children to fall backwards at the camera came to a sudden stop at the end of one of the shows. The f.o.h. staff would stand behind them to catch them. It was a good idea to hang on to the wall beside the unglazed projection room window at this point too, to prevent yourself falling out.

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Rick Raskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1087
From: Manassas Virginia
Registered: Jan 2003

 - posted 06-16-2011 07:13 AM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
King's Dominion in Virginia has one of these attractions and the setup was similar to that described above. I do remember the filum being 70/6 track, but I can't recall which projector was used. The screen seemed under-lit and the sound was booming loud. Overall, I wasn't impressed. I haven't been there in many years so I don't know if it is still operating.

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Sean Weitzel
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 609
From: Vacaville, CA (1790 miles west of Rockwall)
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 06-16-2011 11:34 AM      Profile for Sean Weitzel   Email Sean Weitzel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I ran across about 800 feet of film that I believe was one of these attractions. It was all point of view footage shot in extremely wide angle. There's footage from an Indy 500 race, a dune buggy on sand dunes, a parade, and driving the Los Angeles freeways.



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Mike Rivest
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 177
From: Montréal QC Canada
Registered: Nov 2009

 - posted 06-16-2011 03:55 PM      Profile for Mike Rivest   Email Mike Rivest   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
La Ronde, an amusement park that was built for Expo 67 in Montreal had one. It was removed in the mid 1980's (the print was pretty starched up when I went to it). The park is now part of the Six Flags chains.

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Hillary Charles
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 748
From: York, PA, USA
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 06-16-2011 08:59 PM      Profile for Hillary Charles   Email Hillary Charles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even before Sean posted those frames, I was going to mention this or something similar at Hersheypark. I don't think the installation is still there, but I thought I remembered some dune buggy POV shots! Thanks for the confirmation, Sean. [Smile]

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17673
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-16-2011 10:54 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Continue this discussion in the original thread here.

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