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Pictorium Shows 1979 - 1996 (Gurnee)

All about the shows, music, and performers at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA

Pictorium Shows 1979 - 1996 (Gurnee)

Postby RLAiello » Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:00 am

In another thread, someone asked what the lineup of shows were in the Pictorium from when it opened. Here is what I have on hand from my (borrowed) 1996 SFGA Fact Book:

1979-1980: To Fly
1981-1982: American Adventure
1983-1984: Behold Hawaii
1985-1986: Speed
1987-1988: The Dream is Alive/On the Wing
1989: Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
1990: Circus World
1991: The Last Buffalo
1992: Speed
1993: Niagra, Miracles, Myths & Magic
1994: Blue Planet
1995: Flyers
1996: Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
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Postby redfishpaw » Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:25 pm

1981-1982: AN AMERICAN ADVENTURE - An action film that fives the viewer the thrills of gliding with graceful surfers across a wave seven storeys high, holding on while hard-riding cowboys struggle to stay atop giant bulls, and watch the mist rise from Okefenokee Swamp with all its eerie sounds. Riding down the Olympic bobsled course at Lake Placid, looping on the Demon Roller Coaster, snowmobiling in Heavenly Valley and skimming the Grand Canyon are other highlights.

An American Adventure (1981) 25 minutes. Produced by David Dwiggins. Directed and photographed by Timothy Galfas. A William McCaffery Inc. And Dove Films Production for the Marriott Corporation. Distributed by Marriott's Great America.
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Postby jonrev » Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:37 pm

1997: Special Effects.
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007
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Postby SantaClara82to87 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:31 am

Looks like there was at least one live show in the SC Pictorium. I found a blurb about Wild West Days from an old Great America Bulletin (GAB) dated April 10, 1982 that I have.

"Country music star Mel Tillis performed for guests Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4, in the Pictorium."

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Postby SFGAmfreak4life » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:48 pm

1998 Super Speedway
1999 To the Limit
2000 Alien Adventure/Michael Jordan to the Max
2001 Olympic Glory/Michael Jordan to the Max
2002 To Fly
2003 Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
2004 Top Speed
2005 NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience (shown in 2D)
2006 Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension
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Re: Pictorium Shows 1979 - 1996 (Gurnee)

Postby Tech Services 1 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:46 am

RLAiello wrote:In another thread, someone asked what the lineup of shows were in the Pictorium from when it opened. Here is what I have on hand from my (borrowed) 1996 SFGA Fact Book:

1979-1980: To Fly
1981-1982: American Adventure
1983-1984: Behold Hawaii
1985-1986: Speed


:shock: <<NIT-PIC ALERT>> :shock: <<NIT-PIC ALERT>> :shock:
"To Fly" also ran in 1981. That's the year I started at the park, and I saw the film many times.

"American Adventure" didn't play until late in the season- the World Premier was on July 24th. (check out the invitation in my Picto photo gallery). The foggy brain tells me it may have even been later when it started showing, due to last-minute editing and re-working . . . or maybe that's why the late July premier, instead of May . . . but don't quote me on that. (sometimes it hurts trying to access those old files in the back of the brain :? )
I remember that film was considered a real dog by many of the guests.

"Behold Hawaii" wasn't much of an improvement; real snoozer there.

"Speed" was great. Lots of fun to watch, and it was a return to the style of film that took full advantage of the IMAX format, just as To Fly did.
I wish I could see it again.

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Eegads, has it been that long?
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Postby RLAiello » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:30 am

Was "To Fly" the first IMAX film ever created? I remember seeing that at Great America and also at the Golden Rondelle Theater in Racine, WI (It's owned by Johnson Wax, which has its headquarters in Racine.)

I don't remember much ABOUT the film, since I saw it way back in '78 or '79... but I do remember seeing it.

There was one film that my mom remembers well at Picto... and she always brings it up. It had a train coming right at you... she said it nearly made her wet herself. :oops:

My FAVORITE IMAX of all time has to be "The Last Buffalo". It was simply amazing and nothing has ever topped it.

It's too bad that Santa Clara's Pictorium is out of commission. No matter what's showing in there, it's a nice, cool, relaxing way to take a break from summer's heat.... and possibly learn something at the same time.
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Postby Glorfindel7 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:04 pm

My favorite IMAX had to be American Adventure... Loved the trip through the everglades, then the ride on the Demon and Tidal Wave :)
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To Fly

Postby WestBurbs14 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:22 pm

I remember seeing To Fly. Most of the audience had never seen an IMAX film before. There was a fly-over image presented on a small, center section of the screen, and after a bit of that, the shot widened to use the whole screen, much to the audible enjoyment of the audience - "Ohhhhhh!"

Other memories:
- I was impressed with the efficiency with which people were sent into and out of the theater. Badda-bing, badda-boom!
- During one IMAX show, the host cracked up laughing a couple times during her spiel, making it more enjoyable than the dry recitation of facts would have been.

Yay, IMAX.
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Postby djames42 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:33 pm

RLAiello wrote:Was "To Fly" the first IMAX film ever created? I remember seeing that at Great America and also at the Golden Rondelle Theater in Racine, WI (It's owned by Johnson Wax, which has its headquarters in Racine.)

I don't remember much ABOUT the film, since I saw it way back in '78 or '79... but I do remember seeing it.

I remember seeing it as a kid. The park made a big deal about it being the largest screen in the world, blah blah blah...

"To Fly" starts out with a scene depicting an early balloon flight; the scene fills only about 20% of the center of the screen. That first time I remember thinking, "oh great--so the screen is huge, but the picture is no bigger than at a regular theatre." Then the balloon lifts into the air and the film cuts to a panoramic view using the entire screen -- queue sound of entire crowd going "ooohhhhhhhhhh..."

I also remember a scene of a car driving along a dirt road... Right off a cliff. The audience is then transformed into a hanglider, and you can see every head in the place lean over as they feel themselves falling over the cliff into the water below.

Ah, I remember the day... We have two IMAX theatres here in Seattle, but I still miss the Pictorium whenever I see its empty shell when I visit Great America.
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