“Lethal Weapon”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“Two cops. Glover carries a weapon. Gibson is one!”
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Compiled by: Michael Coate||Date: 28.05.2018|
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Lethal Weapon” in North America. The film’s 70mm prints consisted of pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm photography. The audio was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format).
“Lethal Weapon” was among seventeen confirmed first-run films released in 1987 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Silver Pictures production and Warner Bros. release — directed by Richard Donner and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Gary Busey — opened March 6th.
The film’s world premiere was held February 23rd at Mann’s Chinese in Los Angeles. Sneak preview screenings (some in 70mm) were held in selected markets on February 28th.
Trailers for “Full Metal Jacket” and “Burglar” circulated with the “Lethal Weapon” prints and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation.
For the release of “Lethal Weapon” Warner Bros. employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has for some entries been included in parenthesis following the cinema name.
Note that some of the presentations included in this listing might have been presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) of engagement due to print damage and the distributor’s unwillingness to supply a 70mm replacement print or because the booking was moved to a smaller, 35mm-only auditorium within a multiplex. As well, the reverse may have been true in some cases whereas a booking began with a 35mm print because the lab was unable to complete the 70mm print order in time for an opening-day delivery or the exhibitor negotiated a mid-run switch to 70mm. In these cases, the 35mm portion of the engagement (or movement out of a THX-certified auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (11) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Village (11) [THX]
San Francisco — UA’s Coronet (9)
San Jose — Syufy’s Town & Country (13)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington — K-B’s Fine Arts (8)
Chicago — Cineplex Odeon/Plitt’s Esquire (13)
Boston — USA’s Cinema 57 Twin (7)
New York — Loews’ 84th Street 6-plex (11)
New York — Moss’ Criterion Center 6-plex (18)
Dallas — General Cinema’s Northpark West Twin (?) [THX]
SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS
1987-05-08 … San Francisco, CA — UA’s Galaxy 4-plex (5) [THX]
1987-05-20 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Bruin (3) [THX]
1987-05-20 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Fox (1)
1987-06-12 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Plaza (2)
1987-07-10 … Downers Grove, IL — Classic Cinemas’ Tivoli (1)
2004-12-07 … Los Angeles, CA — AMPAS’ Linwood Dunn*
2007-05-04 … Beverly Hills, CA — AMPAS’ Samuel Goldwyn**
*Private AMPAS staff double-feature screening with “Die Hard”
**Screened during The Sound behind the Image series + cast/crew Q&A
The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Don Beelik, Fritz Herzog, Bill Kretzel, and Mark Lensenmayer.
International 70mm presentations of this title 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.
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