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Arthur Levine

Theme Parks Crash the Oscars

By March 6, 2006

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Only a theme park geek like me (and if you're at the About Theme Parks site reading this, you just may be part of the elite club) would have noticed this, but last night's Oscars telecast included a couple of theme park shout-outs. First, Dolly Parton pimped her Tennessee park, Dollywood, before launching into a rousing rendition of her song, "Travelin Thru," from the film Transamerica. Later, a montage showcasing widescreen films included a brief point-of-view roller coaster clip from the movie, This is Cinerama. The wood coaster featured in the clip was from the defunct Rockaway Playland at Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY. Cinerama was a pre-IMAX, large-screen movie format that used three lenses and three screens, and the circa-1952 This is Cinerama was the first film to employ the system. Another montage from this year's Academy Awards featured film noir and included a clip from Orson Welles' classic, Lady from Shanghai--but not the hall of mirrors finale. Had the Oscars broadcast that famous fun house scene, theme parks would have scored a Hollywood hat trick. Theme parks love to use movie blockbusters to inspire attractions such as Revenge of the Mummy and Terminator 2:3D at Universal Studios in Florida and California.
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