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"Tron": A 30-Year Look Back And The Original 70mm Engagements
“It all happens inside a computer.”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Michael Coate Date: 09.07.2012
On 9 July 1982, thirty years ago today, Walt Disney’s “Tron” was released in about 1,100 cinemas in the United States and Canada. The groundbreaking though unsuccessful film was a visual and aural delight and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Sound and Costume Design. More amazing than the film’s amazing visual effects is trying to figure out why the film was not nominated for a Visual Effects Oscar!

Of note to large-format film enthusiasts is that “Tron” was produced in a mixture of 5/65 and 8/35 formats. Disney struck about forty high-quality 70-millimeter prints for distribution in North America, and a list of the venues in which the 70mm six-track version were booked is provided below. Some may find it surprising the number of cinemas in major markets denied an opportunity to showcase “Tron” in the best presentation manner available at the time because most of the 70mm-equipped cinemas were showcasing other 70mm product that beat “Tron” to market (“E.T.”, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, “Annie”, etc.). Cinemas in some major cities absent from the list of initial 70mm bookings did, however, screen a 70mm print in the autumn of 1982 and/or spring of 1983 when Disney re-issued the film with the hope it might find an audience during a less-crowded moviegoing season.
 
More in 70mm reading:

Is "Tron" filmed in 65mm?

Yes, "TRON" was filmed in 65mm

"The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever"

Super Panavision 70

Films shown in 70mm in Los Angeles, CA, USA


Internet link:


 
So do I think “Tron” is a good movie? After 30 years I still can’t decide! One thing is certain: the film was ahead of its time due to the innovative use of computer graphics. Its influence can be observed in countless movies, television programs and video games. I think anyone working in the film, computer and video-game industries owes a debt of gratitude to “Tron” and its talented production crew.

“Tron” memories… As a teenager, I saw “Tron” in the summer of ’82 at the Barstow Twin in Barstow, California. I had looked forward to seeing it thanks to the arcade game and articles in magazines such as Starlog, but upon seeing it I recall having a difficult time keeping the characters straight or understanding the computer terminology and thinking the movie was not as enjoyable as the arcade game. What I remember most was on the way out of the cinema, enthusiastically spotting the one-sheet for that summer’s re-issue of my then-favorite movie, “Star Wars”, which included a banner in the corner of the poster promising the first glimpse of footage, in the form of a coming attractions trailer, for "Return of the Jedi" (then known as “Revenge of the Jedi”), due for release the following year. I would see “Star Wars” several (more) times during that summer re-issue, and “Tron” was quickly forgotten.

Over the years, though, thanks to the fantastic Special Edition LaserDisc (and subsequent DVD and Blu-ray) and the new 70mm print struck in 1999 that made the rounds, I’ve come to appreciate “Tron” and think it deserves some recognition on the 30th anniversary of its release.
 
 

North American first-run 70mm Six-Track Stereophonic Sound engagements

 
A supplement to this reminiscence for film history and technology enthusiasts is a list of the original, North American first-run 70mm Six-Track Stereophonic Sound engagements of “Tron”. All opened 9 July 1982 except where noted.

Bloomingdale, IL – STRATFORD SQUARE
Calgary, AB – CHINOOK
Catonsville, MD – WESTVIEW
Cedar Grove, NJ – CINEMA 23
Chicago, IL – McCLURG COURT
Chicago Ridge, IL – CHICAGO RIDGE MALL
Edmonton, AB – LONDONDERRY
El Cajon, CA – PARKWAY PLAZA
Greenfield, WI – SPRING MALL TRIPLEX
Gretna, LA – WESTSIDE
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI – WOODS
Hillside, IL – HILLSIDE SQUARE
Honolulu, HI – ROYAL (13 Aug)
Las Vegas, NV – CINEDOME 6
Livonia, MI – TERRACE
Los Angeles, CA – CENTURY PLAZA (13 Aug)
Los Angeles, CA – CHINESE
Los Angeles, CA – VILLAGE (16 July)
Los Angeles, CA – VOGUE (30 July)
Montclair, CA – MONTCLAIR
Montreal, QC – CLAREMONT (23 July)
New York, NY – STATE 2
Northbrook, IL – EDENS 2
Orange, CA – Cinedome 6
Paramus, NJ – ROUTE 4 SEVENPLEX
Pittsburgh, PA – WARNER
Portland, OR – BAGDAD
Portland, OR – ROSE MOYER
Quebec City, QC – CANADIEN (22 July)
Reno, NV – CENTURY 6
Sacramento, CA – CENTURY 6
San Antonio, TX – NORTHWEST
San Diego, CA – GLASSHOUSE 6
San Diego, CA – LA JOLLA VILLAGE
San Jose, CA – CENTURY 24
Secaucus, NJ – MEADOW SIX
Southfield, MI – NORTHLAND
Springdale, OH – TRI-COUNTY
Toronto, ON – HOLLYWOOD
Tucson, AZ – EL CON
Valley Stream, NY – SUNRISE MULTIPLEX CINEMAS
Vancouver, BC – DENMAN PLACE
White Plains, NY – UNITED ARTISTS
Winnipeg, MB – METROPOLITAN (30 July)
Woodbury, NY – CINEMA 150

In addition to the engagements cited above, there were several 70mm prints booked in international markets during its worldwide release.
 
 
  
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