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Thrillarama Adventure

Thrillarama Adventure(1956)

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Some contemporary reviews and news items referred to the film as Thrillarama. Thrillarama Productions, Inc. was founded in Dallas by exhibitor Albert H. Reynolds. Thrillarama was a two-camera, two projector variation on the three-panel Cinerama process. According to the company's publicity, the system's principal advantages were that it utilized a theater's existing projectors and that the curved screen and adjustments to the projectors could be installed overnight. The projected image had an aspect ratio of approx 3.5:1.
       An Associated Press story printed in the Los Angeles Times of August 10, 1956 reported that at the film's world premiere in Houston there were distortions [keystoning] in the two images, "a readily perceptible seam" screen center, where the two images meshed, and that there were synchronization problems between the two panels. [It is believed that the system featured the same method of synchronization used by the 3-D films made earlier in the 1950s.] Other complaints were leveled at projector light level and color balance between the two images.
According to a New York Times news item of August 16, 1956, the film closed its world premiere engagement after a run of only eight days due to "technical faults," which "centered chiefly on the distance and angle of projection from the booth to the screen" and the difficulty of keeping the two projectors locked in synchronization. The article also noted that "anybody or anything moving outward from the screen center seemed to be going uphill" and that process developer Reynolds was returning to California to attempt improvements. Previously announced bookings in Wichita Falls, San Antonio and Los Angeles were "postponed."
       Although no records of additional screenings of Thrillarama Adventure (occasionally referred to simply as Thrillarama) have been located, the film was reviewed by The Exhibitor in March 1957 based on an unidentified screening. That review mentioned a screen size of 70 by 22 feet and listed several of the same technical flaws seen at the film's original booking. No other films were released in the Thrillarama process.