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Directed by Merian C. Cooper

United States 1952 115 mins.

Cinerama, introduced to the film-going public in 1952, was a key technology in the mid-50’s rush to innovate on the big screen as television threatened the movie theater’s very existence. Consisting of three 35mm images laid next to each other and projected onto a curved, extremely wide screen, Cinerama images were, at the time, the foremost in cinematic experience. This fascinating documentary, directed by King Kong’s Merian C. Cooper and made as a kind of introductory moment for the fledgling technology, features test footage shot to show off Cinerama’s capabilities. Through this footage, the film becomes a detailed window into 1950’s detritus and an elegy to the other, lesser film technologies that have perished along the march of progress. Elected to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 2002.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.