Villa Theatre
3092 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah


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Windjammer in Cinemiracle

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Windjammer in Cinemiracle
•Cinemiracle (Widescreen Museum)


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In August 1960 the Villa Theatre closed for a week for the installation of Cinemiracle.

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.

Cinemiracle was a competitor of Cinerama and made a few technical improvements to the three-camera widescreen process. Unlike Cinerama, Cinemiracle used three projectors in a single projection booth. The "A" and "C" projectors were pointed at mirrors which redirected the image to same side of the screen that the projector was on.

A new "100-foot" screen was installed at the Villa for the presentation of Windjammer. Unlike Cinerama screens, which were made of hundreds of vertical strips, Cinemiracle screens were made a solid sheet of conventional material and didn't have as much of a curve.

On 1 September 1960 the Villa hosted a benefit premiere of Windjammer. Considerable funds from the premiere were donated to CARE, for relief work in Chile. Actor Tony Randall, who was in Salt Lake for the opening of one of his own films, emceed a program prior to "Windjammer."

Windjammer follows a group of Norwegian boys on a 17,500-mile, year-long voyage as they traced the route of Columbus. The film also includes scenes in Madeira, Trinidad, New York Harbor, a ride in a fire truck over Philadelphia streets, and a a rendezvous with an American Navy task force.One of the Windjammer boys, who is taken on a submarine, goes skin-diving.The camera, after submerging with the sub, takes the audience out of the vessel and to the bottom with the boys.

Windjammer showed at the Villa until 21 December 1960, and then the theater closed for one day for "the installation of Cinemascope." The Cinemiracle equipment and screen were probably removed at that time.