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70mm Presentations in Belleville, IL, USA
A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1977-Present

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 07.02.2022
"Alien" advance advert, Belleville News-Democrat, 21st June 1979

What follows is a chronology of 70mm six-track stereophonic sound feature film presentations in the Belleville/St. Clair County (AKA St. Louis Metro East) region of Illinois, USA.

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 emphasis 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

Cinema / BAC Cinema / BAC Quad Cinema / Kerasotes Quad Cinema

St. Clair 10 Cine

An overview of each cinema will be provided in a forthcoming revision.

Part 2: The 70mm Presentations

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

1977-12-14 … CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND … Cinema (14)

1978-12-01 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Cinema (1)

1979-06-15 … DAYS OF HEAVEN … Cinema (1)
1979-06-22 … ALIEN … Cinema (8)
1979-08-17 … THE MUPPET MOVIE … Cinema (6)

1980-02-01 … THE ROSE … Cinema (3)
1980-05-21 … THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cinema (14)
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

"Close Encounters" advert, Belleville News-Democrat, 30th December 1977

1981-07-31 … THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cinema (3)

1983-05-25 … RETURN OF THE JEDI … Cinema (16)

1984-05-23 … INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM … Cinema (12)

1985-06-21 … COCOON … Cinema (6)

1986-05-10 … TOP GUN … Quad Cinema (sneak preview)
1986-05-16 … TOP GUN … Quad Cinema (21)
1986-07-18 … ALIENS … Quad Cinema (11)
1986-10-10 … TOP GUN … St. Clair 10 (11)
1986-11-26 … STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME … Quad Cinema (11)

1987-06-03 … THE UNTOUCHABLES … Quad Cinema (9)

1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Quad Cinema (8)

1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … St. Clair 10 (sneak preview)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … St. Clair 10 (6)

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 a 70mm print order in time for an opening-day delivery (case in point: RETURN OF THE JEDI) or the exhibitor negotiated a mid-run switch to 70mm. In such cases, any 35mm portion of the engagement has been included in the duration figure.

References: Various issues of Belleville News-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, plus projection and sound system trade advertisements and installation records.

If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please consider emailing the author or editor.
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Updated 30-06-22