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De Rochemonts Attend Cinerama Holiday Gala Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #375

This battered original press photo appeared in the Detroit Times on February 15, 1955. Newington resident and film producer Louis de Rochemont (at right in glasses) was attending a premiere of his latest movie with wife Virginia Shaler (in center). Always pushing the envelope, de Rochemont had just released Cinerama Holiday, one of only 10 super-wide screen films made in this format. (Continued below)


Shot with three cameras simultaneously, the colorful movies were projected on a semi-circular screen (165 degrees) that wrapped around the audience. This film, rarely seen today for lack of equipment, featured two actual married couples touring the sights in the United States, France, and Switzerland. The New York Times called the producer “a master of the documentary-travelogue.”  The movie featured a bobsled ride, street scenes of Paris and the Alps, New York, and autumn leaves in New Hampshire. The de Rochemonts both attended this two-hour premiere to benefit the Detroit Memorial Hospital. Notice the spots of gray paint behind Mr. de Rochemont’s head, on his sleeve, and feet and along his wife’s dress designed to flatten the background and focus the attention on the celebrity couple. (Courtesy of J. Dennis Robinson/ Collection)



READ ALSO: King of the Docu0Drama


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