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The Man Who Saved Cinerama — 10 Comments

  1. I was lucky enough to attend screenings of both HTWWW and THIS IS CINERAMA in Dayton and it remains a high point in my cinema going. Meeting John and Larry was wonderful. Glad to hear Larry is working at the facility in Culpepper—I have attended screenings there and it is a remarkable place. And one I am sure Larry is making contributions to film posterity, just as he did for Cinerama. I had heard about John's stroke and glad you have put him on the map for his incredible dedication to Cinerama.

  2. There is no doubt about John Harvey's enormous contribution towards keeping the flame of Cinerama alive.
    I don't wish to spoil a very good account of John's fine achievements, but may I point out an inaccuracy.
    To be blunt – John Harvey's was NOT the only functioning Cinerama theatre in the world throughout the 1980s.
    John H. Mitchell, who you mention, probably pre-dates John Harvey's set-up by a whisker.
    He has been running 3-strip in his Australian backgarden continuously for the past 34 years, and is looking forward to presenting the Australian Premiere of "In The Picture" in a few weeks time.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, David! I was aware of Mr. Mitchell and his backyard screenings, of course, but I was unable to confirm — even in the interviews I could find with the gentleman himself — any details on when he started or the frequency or outcome(s) of his showings. So, I guess, let's just consider things amended to "…in the northern hemisphere."

  4. Jim,
    You've certainly outdone yourself with the research you've done on Harvey, his longtime passion and his later collaboration with Smith. (How amazing is it that they were to meet? And imagine if they hadn't? Well, we can hope someone else would have come along but it wouldn't have had quite the fascinating story)

    It's amazing how Harvey started out so young and he put so much time, his life into perfecting things. Then the set up in his home. It overtook every room. You have to admire someone who dedicates so much for what they believe in, dream about coming to fruition. An ambitious endeavor that we've been able to enjoy on screen.

    Always a pleasure reading these in-depth articles, Jim.

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday.
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  5. I shed a few tears of nostalgia reading this wonderful tribute. On several memorable occasions film historian Eric Grayson and I (and often an additional entourage) made the journey from Indianapolis to Dayton to see Cinerama. Wow-wow-wow!! Always a magic experience, just so darn cool! We met the great John Harvey and began a friendship with Larry Smith and his lovely now-wife Jenny. The Library of Congress film archives, of course, were originally located in Dayton; they were wise enough to pick up on Larry's expertise (and Jenny works there, too) while still in Dayton. The whole wonderful experience of trucking off to Dayton to see Cinerama seems like only yesterday. Thanks for making it all come alive again.