You may not remember it, but before iMax there was Cinerama. Not all theaters in the U.S. could show Cinerama movies, because it required a very big screen and three projection booths with synchronized projectors. Cinerama films were shot with three interlocked 35mm cameras to create an image that was three times wider than standard film and provided 146 degrees of arc. Translated, that means that it felt as if you were in the picture, not just looking at it. Well, that was the idea anyway; like iMax, it wasn't perfect.
The first Cinerama film was produced in 1952 (This is Cinerama) and was front-page news in the New York Times. This postcard advertises the second Cinerama film, Cinerama Holiday, released in 1955. Later films included Seven Wonders of the World, Search for Paradise, South Seas Adventure, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, and How the West Was Won. The high cost of making three-camera, wide-screen productions and dwindling popularity finally doomed the Cinerama films.
To find out more about Cinerama and the efforts to preserve and show the films, check out the Widescreen Museum. To find out more about Cinerama and the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco click here.
Note that the postcard has a Cinerama cancellation too. Fancy!