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70mm Presentations in Winnipeg
A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1960-Present

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in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Stephen Leigh, Bill Kretzel, and Michael CoateDate: 12.10.2021
‘Porgy and Bess’ Winnipeg premiere advert, Winnipeg Free Press, 11th April 1960

What follows is a chronology of 70-millimeter six-track stereophonic sound feature-film presentations in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The focus of this work is 5-perf 70mm feature films and the cinemas in which they were exhibited. Short subjects, 8-perf and 15-perf (IMAX, Iwerks, etc.) and Special Venue presentations have not been included (but consideration will be given to adding them in a revision).

The focus here is on the titles that received publicly-promoted, commercial exhibition in 70mm and their playdates. To facilitate an easy-to-reference title- and date-based layout, no details have been provided pertaining to the brand of 70mm (i.e. Todd-AO, Super Panavision, Ultra Panavision, Cinerama, D-150, etc.) or technical particulars of each presentation (i.e. O-neg source, inter-neg source, blow-up, pillarboxed, letterboxed, Dolby A, Dolby SR, five screen channels vs. three, baby boom, split surround, digital sound, etc.).

Part 1: The 70mm-Equipped Cinemas

GARRICK CINEMA: Opened on March 14, 1921, at 330 Garry Street in Winnipeg. This single-screen theatre had approximately 1,500 seats. The first 70mm presentation was "Porgy and Bess" on April 11, 1960, running until April 28, 1960. The last 70mm showing was "Far and Away" on May 22, 1992, running until June 2, 1992. Expanded to two screens on May 16, 1968 with 810 seats in Cinema 1 and 620 seats in Cinema 2. At the time Cinema 1 was among the largest screens in Western Canada and facilitated 70mm attractions. Expanded to four screens on December 21, 1979 with a total of 1,946 seats. Dolby System added to Garrick Cinema 2. The ownership timeline is Independent (1921-1947), Odeon-Morton Theatres (1947-1978), Canadian Odeon Theatres (1978-1984), and Cineplex Odeon Theatres (1984-2002). The cinema closed on March 14, 2002.

GRANT PARK CINERAMA (aka Grant Park Cinema): Opened on August 13, 1969, at the Grant Park Shopping Centre, 127-1120 Grant Avenue in Winnipeg. This single-screen Cinerama theatre had 742 seats and provided the added dimension of real depth with a deeply curved 85-foot screen. The first 70mm presentation was "Krakatoa East of Java" on August 13, 1969, running until September 23, 1969. The last 70mm showing was "Cry Freedom" on February 19, 1988, running until March 25, 1988. Expanded to four screens totaling 1,250 seats on December 22, 1989. Expanded to eight screens on August 28, 1998. The new cinemas were equipped with digital sound. The ownership timeline is National General Cinemas (1969-1970), managed by Famous Players Theatres (1970-1973), Canadian Theatres (1973-1978), Odeon-Morton Theatres (1978), Canadian Odeon Theatres (1978-1984), Cineplex Odeon Theatres (1984-2005), Empire Theatres (2005-2013), and Landmark Theatres (2013-present). The cinema is open and showing movies.

METROPOLITAN THEATRE (aka Allen Theatre): Opened as the Allen Theatre on January 2, 1920, as a playhouse on 281 Donald Street in Winnipeg. This single-screen theatre had approximately 2,500 seats. Closed on June 23, 1923, for alterations and decorating. On July 28, 1923 the theatre was re-opened as a movie theatre by Famous Players Theatres and renamed the Metropolitan Theatre. The first 70mm presentation was "Can Can" on June 29, 1960, running until August 18, 1960. The last 70mm showing was "The Untouchables" on June 3, 1987, running until August 27, 1987. The ownership timeline is Allen Theatre Corporation (1920-1923) and Famous Players Theatres (1923-1987). The theatre closed on November 26, 1987.

NORTHSTAR CINEMAS: Opened on March 4, 1970, at 286 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. This twin-screen cinema has 689 seats in Cinema 1 and 458 seats in Cinema 2. Cinema 1 equipped with a giant Panorama screen to facilitate 70mm attractions. The latest in six-channel stereophonic sound equipment installed for the ultimate in "wrap around" high fidelity sound production. The first 70mm presentation was "Hello, Dolly!" on March 4, 1970, running until April 16, 1970. The last 70mm showing was "Days of Thunder" on June 27, 1990, running until August 9, 1990. The ownership timeline was Famous Players Theatres (1970-2001). The cinema was closed on December 2, 1999, re-opened on September 8, 2000, and closed for good on March 8, 2001.

ODEON THEATRE (aka Walker Theatre): Opened as the Walker Theatre on December 17, 1906, as a playhouse at 364 Smith Street in Winnipeg. On November 2, 1945, became the Odeon Theatre, a fully modern redesigned and remodeled movie theatre with over 1,100 seats. The first 70mm presentation was "Silverado" on July 10, 1985, running until September 26, 1985. The last 70mm showing was "A Chorus Line" on December 20, 1985, running until January 30, 1986. The ownership timeline is Independent (1906-1945), Odeon-Morton Theatres (1945-1978), Canadian Odeon Theatres (1978-1984), and Cineplex Odeon Theatres (1984-1990). The theatre closed on March 29, 1990.

PORTAGE PLACE CINEMAS (aka Globe Cinema): Opened on September 18, 1987, at the Portage Place Shopping Centre, Portage Avenue at Carlton Street in Winnipeg. This three-screen cinema had a combined seating capacity of 1,200. Cinema 1 Alto had 536 seats and was equipped with 70mm projection equipment. Cinema 2 Rio had 374 seats and Cinema 3 Bijou had 298 seats. The first 70mm presentation was the reissue of "Apocalypse Now" on September 18, 1987, running until September 24, 1987. The last 70mm showing was "Arachnophobia" on July 18, 1990, running until August 16, 1990. The ownership timeline was Famous Players Theatres (1987-2001) and Landmark Cinemas (2002-2014). Closed by Famous Players Theatres on June 7, 2001. Re-opened by Landmark Cinemas as the Globe Cinema on June 21, 2002. The cinema closed on June 15, 2014.

TOWNE CINEMA 8: Opened on August 21, 1981, at 301 Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg. Canada's first eight-plex under one free-standing roof had approximately 1,800 seats. The first 70mm presentation was the reissue of "Apocalypse Now" on October 9, 1981, running until November 19, 1981. The last 70mm showing was a double feature of "2001" and "2010" on June 6, 1995, running until June 12, 1995. The ownership timeline was Landmark Cinemas (1981-1985), Cineplex Odeon Theatres (1985-1995), Landmark Cinemas (1995-present). The cinema was closed by Cineplex Odeon Theatres on February 26, 1995. Re-opened by Landmark Cinemas on April 14, 1995. This cinema is open and showing movies.

Part 2: The 70mm Presentations

Opening date YYYY-MM-DD … TITLE … Cinema (duration in weeks) [notes]

* Reserved-seat engagement (i.e. roadshow)

1960-04-11 … PORGY AND BESS* … Garrick (2)
1960-04-29 … SOLOMON AND SHEBA … Garrick (2)
1960-06-29 … CAN-CAN* … Metropolitan (7)

1961-07-05 … EXODUS* … Garrick (5)
1961-08-16 … SPARTACUS … Garrick (4)

1962-06-13 … OKLAHOMA! … Metropolitan (2)
1962-06-27 … WEST SIDE STORY* … Garrick (6)
1962-09-21 … EL CID … Metropolitan (6)

1963-06-26 … CLEOPATRA* … Metropolitan (18)
1963-09-04 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA* … Garrick (6)

1964-10-28 … MY FAIR LADY* … Metropolitan (21)

1965-11-17 … THE SLEEPING BEAUTY* … Metropolitan (1) [Kirov Ballet]

1966-08-10 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO* … Metropolitan (20)

1967-09-21 … THE BIBLE* … Metropolitan (6)
1967-11-09 … GONE WITH THE WIND* … Metropolitan (13)

1968-07-25 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY* … Garrick (8)

1969-02-06 … CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG* … Garrick (7)
1969-08-13 … KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA … Grant Park (6)
1969-09-24 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Grant Park (3)
1969-11-05 … GRAND PRIX … Grant Park (2)
1969-11-19 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Grant Park (3)
1969-12-10 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO … Grant Park (2)

1970-01-01 … SOUTH PACIFIC … Grant Park (2)
1970-02-11 … MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY … Grant Park (2)
1970-02-25 … THE JOLSON STORY … Grant Park (1)
1970-03-04 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Grant Park (1)
1970-03-04 … HELLO, DOLLY!* … Northstar (11)
1970-03-11 … ICE STATION ZEBRA … Grant Park (1)
1970-03-18 … GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS* … Grant Park (4)
1970-12-18 … SONG OF NORWAY* … Northstar (7)

1971-02-12 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Grant Park (4)
1971-04-23 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Grant Park (4)
1971-06-11 … GRAND PRIX … Grant Park (1)
1971-06-18 … MY FAIR LADY … Grant Park (1)
1971-06-25 … SONG OF NORWAY … Grant Park (1)

1972-01-12 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Grant Park (3)

1973-04-06 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Grant Park (3)
1973-04-27 … CAMELOT … Grant Park (1)
1973-06-29 … THIS IS CINERAMA … Grant Park (2)

1980-11-28 … THE ROSE … Grant Park (2)

1981-05-22 … OUTLAND … Metropolitan (4)
1981-06-12 … RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK … Northstar (48)
1981-10-09 … APOCALYPSE NOW … Towne (6)
1981-11-20 … ALIEN … Towne (3)
1981-12-11 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Towne (1)

1982-01-15 … FAME … Towne (5)
1982-03-05 … QUEST FOR FIRE … Metropolitan (11)
1982-04-09 … APOCALYPSE NOW … Towne (3)
1982-05-21 … QUEST FOR FIRE … Towne (2) [w/ ALIEN Sat/Sun midnight]
1982-06-04 … POLTERGEIST … Northstar (15)
1982-06-04 … STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN … Metropolitan (8)
1982-06-18 … ANNIE … Grant Park (13)
1982-07-30 … TRON … Metropolitan (9)
1982-08-06 … STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN … Towne (5)
1982-08-13 … RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK … Towne (4)
1982-09-17 … ANNIE … Towne (3)
1982-09-17 … CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND … Grant Park (1)
1982-09-17 … PINK FLOYD: THE WALL … Northstar (6)
1982-09-24 … POLTERGEIST … Towne (5)
1982-10-01 … STAR WARS / THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Metropolitan (10)
1982-10-07 … TRON … Towne (3)
1982-10-10 … TOMMY … Towne [midnight]
1982-10-29 … PINK FLOYD: THE WALL … Towne (3)
1982-12-10 … STAR WARS / THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Towne (6)

1983-01-28 … GANDHI … Grant Park (17)
1983-03-25 … LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER … Towne (3)
1983-04-29 … APOCALYPSE NOW … Towne (1)
1983-05-13 … BLUE THUNDER … Garrick (7)
1983-05-20 … POLTERGEIST … Metropolitan (1)
1983-05-21 … ANNIE … Metropolitan (3 days) [matinee]
1983-05-24 … GANDHI … Towne (4)
1983-05-25 … RETURN OF THE JEDI … Grant Park (19)
1983-06-17 … SUPERMAN III … Metropolitan (4)
1983-07-15 … SUPERMAN III … Northstar (3)
1983-07-29 … KRULL … Garrick (5)
1983-09-16 … STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN … Garrick (1)
1983-09-02 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO … Northstar (4)
1983-09-30 … BRAINSTORM … Northstar (5)
1983-10-21 … PINK FLOYD: THE WALL … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-10-21 … THE RIGHT STUFF … Metropolitan (7)
1983-10-28 … THE ROAD WARRIOR … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-04 … TRON … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-11 … FAME … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-18 … THE EXORCIST … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-12-02 … SUPERMAN … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-11 … FAME … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-25 … POLTERGEIST … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-12-09 … ANNIE … Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]
1983-12-09 … THE RIGHT STUFF … Towne (2)

1984-02-10 … APOCALYPSE NOW … Towne (1)
1984-02-17 … THE RIGHT STUFF … Grant Park (3)
1984-05-23 … INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM … Metropolitan (17)
1984-06-01 … STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK … Northstar (8)
1984-06-08 … GHOSTBUSTERS … Garrick (20)
1984-10-26 … GHOSTBUSTERS … Towne (11) [70mm from Week 7]
1984-12-07 … 2010 … Northstar (10)
1984-12-14 … DUNE … Metropolitan (9)
1984-12-14 … STARMAN … Towne (14)

1985-03-29 … RETURN OF THE JEDI … Metropolitan (2)
1985-06-21 … COCOON … Metropolitan (8)
1985-07-10 … SILVERADO … Odeon (11)
1985-07-19 … THE BLACK CAULDRON … Northstar (sneak preview)
1985-07-24 … THE BLACK CAULDRON … Northstar (5)
1985-08-16 … COCOON … Northstar (8)
1985-11-27 … ROCKY IV … Metropolitan (9)
1985-12-04 … YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES … Northstar (8)
1985-12-20 … A CHORUS LINE … Odeon (6)

1986-05-10 … TOP GUN … Metropolitan (sneak preview)
1986-05-16 … TOP GUN … Metropolitan (9)
1986-07-02 … BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA … Northstar (6)
1986-07-18 … ALIENS … Metropolitan (12)
1986-08-29 … TOP GUN … Northstar (8)
1986-10-31 … TOP GUN … Towne (23)
1986-11-26 … STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME … Metropolitan (13)

1987-01-16 … THE MISSION … Northstar (9)
1987-04-17 … STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME … Towne (2)
1987-06-03 … THE UNTOUCHABLES … Metropolitan (8)
1987-08-05 … STAKEOUT … Northstar (13)
1987-09-18 … APOCALYPSE NOW … Portage Place (1)
1987-12-11 … EMPIRE OF THE SUN … Northstar (5)

1988-02-19 … CRY FREEDOM … Grant Park (5)
1988-05-20 … WILLOW … Portage Place (14)
1988-11-23 … COCOON: THE RETURN … Grant Park (4)

1989-05-24 … INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE … Portage Place (10)
1989-06-22 … BATMAN … Northstar (14)
1989-11-03 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Portage Place (2)

1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Portage Place (8)
1990-06-27 … DAYS OF THUNDER … Northstar (6)
1990-07-18 … ARACHNOPHOBIA … Portage Place (4)

1992-05-09 … FAR AND AWAY … Garrick (sneak preview)
1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Garrick (sneak preview)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Garrick (6)

1995-06-16 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY / 2010 … Towne (1)

Note that some of the titles included in this chronology may have been presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) of their engagement due to contractual terms or print damage (and the distributor’s unwillingness to supply a 70mm replacement print) or because the booking was moved to a non-70mm-equipped 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, any 35mm portion of the engagement has been included in the duration figure.

During the roadshow era, the reserved-seat policy, in some instances, was relaxed during the summer and/or latter weeks of the run. Any non-roadshow portion of such an engagement has been included in the applicable duration figure.

References: Various issues of Boxoffice, Motion Picture Exhibitor, Variety, Winnipeg Free Press, and projection and sound system trade advertisements and installation records.

Special Thanks: Library and Archives Canada, Winnipeg Public Library.

If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please consider emailing the author or editor.

Dedicated to Bill Kretzel, 1956-2017
 
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Cinemas in North America

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films

Month by month premiere list of wide gauge and 3-strip films

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo


 
  
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