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May 12, 2007

Please join us for a special evening at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Brown Auditorium as RealFilms partners with the MFAH for the Houston premiere of Cinerama Adventure. This unique documentary traces the history and importance of the Cinerama process, the first commercial wide screen production and exhibition format from which Cinemascope, Todd-AO, IMAX, etc., where to evolve from. Anyone who remembers seeing a true, three projector Cinerama projection knows that it was one of the most breathtaking experiences in cinema history. Director/Writer/Editor David Strohmaier, and Producer Randy Gitsch will be in attendance to answer questions and distribute samples of the three-strip 35mm film.

Cinerama Adventure- 97 minutes, 35mm
Director/Writer/Editor: David Strohmaier
Producer: Randy Gitsch
Date: Saturday, May 12h
Location: MFAH's Brown Auditorium
Tickets: At the MFAH box office: $7.00/person, $6.00 for MFAH members, senior adults (55+), and students with ID, FREE for children 5 and under. Tickets are also available online from MFAH
Screening Time:
7:00-8:30 pm followed by Q&A with filmmakers Strohmaier and Gitsch
Door Prize: Signed copy of the DVD

Synopsis: Cinerama Adventure is a feature documentary, produced in association with the
American Society of Cinematographers, filled with rare film clips that have not been seen for over 45 years. The documentary chronicles the amazing story of how the first and still most impressive of the big widescreen processes came into being, and its continuing influence on filmmakers.  All through the 1950s and early 60s a host of Cinerama documentary style world travel and adventure films broke box office records. Newsman explorer, Lowell Thomas, Broadway showman, Mike Todd and King Kong producer, Merian C. Cooper created visual and visceral extravaganzas, projected on to 90-foot wide screens - dazzling audiences, and allegedly sending some fleeing for Dramamine.  In a decade when most people had never even flown in a plane, Cinerama allowed audiences to soar above the pyramids, experience the thrilling and dangerous rituals of primitive tribes, or fly directly into the angry crater of an active volcano.  Evolving out of a WW II virtual reality gunnery trainer whose impact on the war effort is credited with saving over 300,000 lives, this large screen process went on to thrill millions of reserved seat film goers with a gigantic curved screen and seven channels of surround sound at specially equipped theaters all over the world.  Cinerama single handedly brought Hollywood and the film industry to its knees and started the widescreen revolution that is still with us today.

About the Producers:
David Strohmaier
David has long been a film history buff, even before graduating from film school in the early 1970s and starting his career at Warner Brothers. He has worked as a film and avid editor for major studios such as Disney, 20th Century-Fox, editing many M.O.W.s, pilots, and series over the last 20 years including EPCOT documentaries at Disney and two of the CircleVision films made for their theme parks. Some of his more notable editing credits are, Northern Exposure, Dangerous Minds, and three Alien Nation M.O.W.s. David has also served as historical consultant to Paul Allen's Seattle Cinerama restoration theatre project.

Randy Gitsch
One of Randy's first jobs in Hollywood was as a staff researcher in the RKO Studio Archives. There he assisted the BBC in their 6-part studio history, entitled Hollywood; The Golden Years, and veteran director, Richard Wilson, with the Paramount Pictures/Les Films Balenciaga restoration of a "lost" Orson Welles feature, It's All True. Subsequently working as film sales librarian for both the Sherman Grinberg and Energy stock libraries, he produced his first documentary, in response to the film deterioration he had to deal with on a daily basis, 1999's critically acclaimed, Keepers of the Frame.

For More information:
NPR Story
MFAH website
RealFilms website
Cinerama Adventure
Co-sponsored by:
Women in Film and Television