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“Custer of the West”: The Roadshow Engagements
“A man too big for legend. A motion picture too big for any screen except Cinerama!”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 25.07.2017
The following is a reference / historical listing of the roadshow engagements of “Custer of the West” in North America. These presentations utilized 70mm prints (branded as “Cinerama”) derived from Super Technirama photography and were projected onto large, deeply-curved screens and featured discrete six-track stereophonic sound. The seating was reserved at advanced prices with an average of ten scheduled screenings per week. The cinemas in which these special presentations played also sold souvenir programs.

“Custer of the West” was among fourteen first-run films released as a roadshow during 1968 and among twelve released that year with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Cinerama Releasing Corporation release was directed by Robert Siodmak and starred Robert Shaw, Mary Ure, Jeffrey Hunter and Robert Ryan.

(The film’s world premiere was held at the Casino Cinerama in London on November 9th, 1967.)

1968-01-24 … Dallas, TX — Capri (3 weeks)

1968-01-25 … Denver, CO — Cooper (11)

1968-01-25 … Detroit, MI — Summit (?)

1968-01-25 … Houston, TX — Gaylynn (5)

1968-01-25 … Kansas City, MO — Empire 2 (7)

1968-01-25 … Knoxville, TN — Capri-70 (?)

1968-01-25 … Portland, OR — Hollywood (7)

1968-01-25 … St. Louis, MO — Cinerama (8)

1968-02-01 … Buffalo, NY — Century (5)

1968-02-01 … Montreal, QC — Imperial (12)

1968-02-07 … Louisville, KY — Showcase 1 (4)

1968-02-09 … Columbus, OH — Grand (5)

1968-02-15 … Sacramento, CA — Esquire (5)

1968-02-16 … Cincinnati, OH — International 70 (5)

1968-02-21 … Milwaukee, WI — Wisconsin 1 (4)

Following poor reviews and low attendance for the initial roadshow engagements, Cinerama revised their release strategy on “Custer of the West”, discontinuing the roadshow and issuing the film elsewhere as a continuous performance general release.

In historical accounts of roadshow and 70mm presentations, “Custer of the West” is often overlooked (perhaps justifiably if you’ve seen the film!). Too often historians have mistakenly used New York and/or Los Angeles as a point of reference. “Custer” played the New York and Los Angeles markets only as a general release, fueling the mistaken perception that the film did not play any deluxe engagements.

The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Robert Morrow and Vince Young.

Additional 70mm prints were screened internationally but have not been accounted for in this article.

If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please consider emailing the author or editor.
 
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Super Technirama 70

Ken Draper interviewed

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Updated 25-07-17