An Internet Tribute to Seattle's

MARTIN

THEATRE

 

Welcome to the new Martin Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle, Washington.
It is February of 1963. My name is John and I will be taking your ticket as you
step into our unique Cinerama entertainment experience.

 


 

Seattle's getting the limelight these days… what with the World's Fair just down
from us at the end of Fourth Street. Smiling people always wave to me from the
gleaming new monorails whizzing by our marquee.

          
 Seattle skyline 1963                                                           Our lobby as seen from 4th Avenue
 

Cinerama is a very special film process commercially developed in the 1950's.
 
               

You're here to see the first time Cinerama's three magic eyes set you in a classic
adventure story!

            
 

Below is a test loop projection for the calibration of "Grimm," ensuring the
three projectors and separate 7-channel soundtrack would be flawlessly in tune.

Behind the scenes were people like Corinne. She's now the Box Office Manager,
but was the head usherette when "This is Cinerama" opened at the Seattle Paramount
on Pine Street. Frankie and Gene overlook the technical crew. Bill Sisom, a treasured
friend, is the uncompromising stage manager. Among other things, he maintains
our unique screen composed of 1200 one inch wide perforated strips some 35 feet high!
If you were backstage, you'd see they look something like tickertape thrown from a
3rd story window on Wall Street. Their bizarre texture, however, was what captured
Cinerama's vibrancy on screen and deflected the light back at perfect angles into the
audience's view.

 

                              
Corinne Strello                          Jack Hamacher                                My Dreamgirl, Tina
Box Office Manager                        Manager                                            Cashier

Christi here will issue you your reserved seat ticket. You'll be pampered by the comfort of the
first rocking chair accommodation ever in a theater. You just try to slip down and duck the
objects hurled toward you from Cinerama's gigantic curved screen!

                      
Christine Thompson, cashier                                            Reserved Seat Tickets
 

Here's a view our impressive 827-seat auditorium, featuring the deeply curved screen-some 32 feet high
and a bewildering 96 feet wide!  Like our sister Martin theater in New Orleans, our auditorium features
surround draperies in a shocking "military red" and unheard of wall to wall carpeting.



 

I don't know it now, but soon I'll be the assistant manager and this will be my office...

                  
  
My office                                                     A promoted man                                                      Jack Hamacher & staff party 

                             
  
Usherettes Mona, Faith and others                             At Mt. Baker                                                  Staff poses for Picture
     cram into my '66 Mustang for a                              
     trip to Mt. Baker.

Rumor has it our next show is gonna be a Western. I hear it's really, really GREAT!
 

              
               

               

          
          
The Making of HTWWW
                 by Dave Hanson.  Amazing!

As a lark to see where HTWWW was filmed, three of us took our one week's vacation
and made our own "Cinerama Holiday."

                          

 
 
Locations for HTWWW

Some should be said about how nice Mr. Martin was.  Roy Martin had the Martin Steamship Line based
in Atlanta, Georgia.  He had a couple of modest theaters in his business portfolio and was approached about
movie houses that would show only Cinerama.  Mr. Martin became caught up in the glitz of Hollywood and
the movie industry. 

Mr. Martin built four Cinerama Theaters: Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis and Seattle.  The Seattle house happened because Mrs. Martin's sister lived in Seattle. When she was visiting in Georgia and saw the Martin Cinerama, she
commented that she wished Seattle had such a venue.

Below are two of the other Martin Cinerama Theatres.

New Orleans:
 


 

St. Louis, MO.



And Seattle, Washington (my picture showing the theater, now owned by the Forman family in 1967)

    

Oh yeah, happy endings...
   
Married the perfect girl                                                    Became a business partner in the adventure travel
In 2007... a grandfather too                                              industry...like Cinerama icon Lowell Thomas.
                                                                                      I vowed to retrace his footsteps. telesisjournals.com
 

Continue in Website to 70 mm Cinerama at the Martin

Other
Pages
Cinerama Reference Center
Cinerama's Arrival in Seattle
Site created by John Sherman Mills, former doorman and assistant manager of the Martin in Seattle.

email: telesisjournals@aol.com