The mission of CinemaTour is to thoroughly research and document the locations and histories of cinemas throughout the world. This information will be shared via the internet as an educational resource for anyone interested in what makes going to the movies special.
In 1995, CinemaTour project director Adam Martin began researching cinemas and their histories in Oklahoma as a personal project while working for a small theater circuit. He named his project "The Vision Project," to reflect the use of information from the past and present to provide a vision for the future. Martin expanded his research to include other areas and, in 1997, began publishing the data on the internet.
During the next two years, movie buffs from around the world began contributing information and pictures to the project, with significant input from contributors in Missouri, Washington, California, Colorado and Alabama. Martin developed a database and custom programs to keep track of the project, which had grown from a couple hundred cinemas to a couple thousand cinemas.
In 1999, Martin polled his contributors and came up with the name "CinemaTour" and registered the domain name "cinematour.com", moving over 18 megabytes of data to its new home.
Throughout 1999 and 2000, the look and feel of CinemaTour.com was refined to increase ease of use and to increase the value of its information. New information was added to the database to track each venue's years of operation, history and architectural data. The custom programming was beefed up to keep up with all of the new information and to export it to the web site in a useable format.
In 2001, CinemaTour.com received a much-needed facelift. The flow of the web site was streamlined and a significant amount of outdated and unused information was removed. The "Help & Hints" section was been created to provide answers to frequently asked questions and development of the "News Room" began with the intent to provide insight on current topics. In addition, development of the "Research Room" also began with the intent to provide contributors with valuable resources which will help fulfill the project's mission statement.
Continued growth of the site in both size and popularity started straining the host server in 2002, causing many site outages late in the year. In response, the Cinemas Around the World section was converted to a new database structure in November and December. Despite the new format, the host server was still not able to keep up.
In January 2003, Brad Miller of Film-Tech offered a new home to Cinematour and the process of moving the site began again. The move offered Cinematour a server configured specifically to the site's current and future needs. With the tireless assistance of Daryl C. W. O'Shea, the site was up and running better than ever in its new home. And then the fun started. In February, the stagnant "News Room" concept was officially abandoned in favor of the Cinematour Forum, creating an interactive community in which both the history and current state of cinemas could be discussed. Additional topics of discussion on the forums include theatre preservation and restoration and ongoing research projects by Cinematour volunteers.
There is a long way to go and a lot of uncharted territory to explore. As the project database closes in on 40,000 venues worldwide, readers are encouraged to participate by contributing information, photos and comments.
There are currently 56,138 cinemas and 92,567 photos in the database.
The content of this website is a research work in progress and is being provided to the public for informational purposes only. As such, articles may contain errors, bias, duplication, or need to be cleaned up. Some documents, images and logos contained in these documents belong to various organizations and corporations. Their inclusion here is for the benefit of the reader and for the benefit of the particular organization, but they are, in fact, the copyrighted property of those organizations. Their presence here does not imply any endorsement of CinemaTour by those organizations. CinemaTour is not affiliated with any cinema or circuit.
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