John Harvey

October 13, 1936May 3, 2018

Harvey, John, age 81 died peacefully May 3, 2018. He was preceded in death by his Father and Mother, Clyde and Helen Harvey and by his older brother Charlie Robinson. John is survived by his sister-in-law Anne Robinson, his dear friend Donna VanBuren, his niece Joyce Hinson (Butch), his nephew Jim (Kim) Robinson, great-nephew Alex (Katie) Robinson and great-niece Kelly Robinson and his protégé Larry Smith, Willem Bouwmeister and hundreds of Cinerama friends around the world.

John's lifelong love of film began at the Miami Cruise Drive-In. His older brother Charlie was a flashlight boy directing cars to empty spaces but John was more interested in the projection booth. He was known worldwide as “Mister Cinerama”. He built two Cinerama theaters in his home, helped install it in the Pictureville Museum in Bradford, England, installed and ran every showing at the New Neon Movies in Dayton, assisted in the installation at the Seattle Cinerama theatre and the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. John was also a United States Army veteran.

Visitation will be held from 12 -1 pm Wednesday in the GEBHART-SCHMIDT-PARRAMORE FUNERAL HOME, where funeral services will follow at 1 pm. Entombment will be in Woodhill Cemetery in Franklin.

A special thank you to his friends and caretakers at Pinnacle Point Rehab and Bella Care Hospice for their loving care for John. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bella Care Hospice, 7625 Paragon Road, Suite C, Dayton, Ohio 45459.


  • Bella Care Hospice


  • Gathering of Family and Friends Wednesday, May 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, May 9, 2018

John Harvey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debbie Schiely

May 9, 2018

So sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed talking to John when he would come into Duellman electric where I worked. He always had fascinating stories of his work. Praying for the family .

nitrLarry Smith

May 7, 2018

I first met John Harvey in 1977 at the Leet's family home after a very late night New Year's Eve party. I was tired and ready to go home, but everyone said I had to stay to meet John Harvey. He was not only a fellow film buff, but he was the head projectionist at the Dayton Mall Cinema one (and two, and later, 3 & 4) which had over 1,000 seats!
When we would meet up as the years went by I got to know this kind, funny, sweet man as we talked over old films and especially Cinerama! In the early 1980's after locating, rebuilding and assembling Cinerama projectors he installed a deeply curved screen all to play the preview for How The West Was Won in Cinerama. As the years passed he used his vacations to gather more info about the process, and more films.
John helped me become a projectionist when I started working at the Dayton Movies, which became the Neon and then when I started buying the company the New Neon. John Helped us install a dual 35/70mm projector to play Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm. Then he designed and installed a giant silver screen (that get this, flipped down from the ceiling when we played 1:33 format films) to play 2-projector 3-D films the way they did in the early 1950s.
John had gone into business for himself by this time and serviced and installed cinema equipment not only in the tri-state area but he went to Bradford England and with his good friend Willem Boumeester they installed the first public Cinerama theater in England cinema museum called Pictureville (at the time). This was the first Cinerama theater in the world to play true 3-projector Cinerama since the mid-1960s. John made friends with Cinerama experts in Australia, Los Angeles, Oyster Bay NY, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, and they came to see the films again… often it was with John's own Technicolor prints!
John helped make thousands of people happy by bringing back the old movies of their childhood in a way that took them back in time. "So long until tomorrow..."