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70mm Presentations in Raleigh
A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1967-Present

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 28.10.2022
What follows is a chronology of 70mm six-track stereophonic sound feature-film presentations in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Research Triangle” region of North Carolina, 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

DURHAM
Lakewood Center / Center
Page Auditorium (Duke University)

RALEIGH
Ambassador
Cardinal
Mission Valley
Sixforks
Tower Merchants

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]

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

1967-01-27 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC* … Center (12)
1967-08-23 … GRAND PRIX … Center (5)
1967-12-22 … GONE WITH THE WIND* … Cardinal (20)

1968-02-14 … GONE WITH THE WIND* … Center (12)
1968-07-24 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY* …Ambassador (10)
1968-08-07 … CAMELOT* … Center (5)

1969-04-17 … CAMELOT … Center (2)
1969-05-08 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Center (2)
1969-05-28 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Center (1)
1969-06-08 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO … Center (2)
1969-07-30 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Center (1)
1969-08-20 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Center (1)
1969-11-21 … KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA … Ambassador (2)
1969-11-26 … KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA … Center (1)

1970-11-25 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO … Center (2)
1970-12-18 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Ambassador (1)

1971-01-09 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Center [late show]
1971-01-20 … HELLO, DOLLY! … Center (1)
1971-02-10 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Center (1)
1971-02-17 … TORA! TORA! TORA! … Center (2)
1971-05-07 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Ambassador (1)
1971-05-28 … PATTON … Center (2)
1971-05-28 … TORA! TORA! TORA! … Ambassador (1)
1971-09-15 … SONG OF NORWAY … Ambassador (2)
1971-10-29 … MY FAIR LADY … Center I (1)

1972-04-14 … SONG OF NORWAY … Center (1)
1972-05-24 … PATTON … Cardinal (1)
1972-11-10 … HELLO, DOLLY! … Center I (1)

1974-06-14 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Center I (1)

1975-04-11 … PANORAMA BLUE … Ambassador (1)
1975-09-19 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Center I (1)

1980-05-21 … THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cardinal (28)

1983-10-06 … BRAINSTORM … Mission Valley [world premiere**]
1983-10-07 … BRAINSTORM … Mission Valley (10)

1984-05-23 … INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM … Cardinal (21)
1984-06-01 … STAR TREK III … Mission Valley (10) [70mm from Week 3]

1985-07-10 … SILVERADO … Mission Valley (6)

1986-05-09 … 2010 … Mission Valley (1)
1986-05-16 … TOP GUN … Mission Valley (28)

1989-11-19 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Duke University Page Auditorium

1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Sixforks [sneak preview]
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Sixforks (6)

** Raleigh was selected by MGM as the locale of the world premiere of BRAINSTORM as a token of appreciation for much of the film being shot in the region. However, the Raleigh premiere took place AFTER the film’s release throughout much of North America because the distributor originally planned to release the movie October 7th, with the premiere being held a day prior on the 6th, but (publicly) citing positive exhibitor response to their plans for an exclusive 70mm launch [or (unofficially/off the record) not wanting to open the same weekend as a new James Bond film!], the company pushed up the release by one week to September 30th but were unable/unwilling to alter their plan on short notice for the October 6th world premiere event. The September 29th “west coast premiere” in Los Angeles by default became the film’s world premiere.

Note that some of the titles included in this chronology were 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.

References: Various issues of Boxoffice, Durham Morning Herald, The Herald-Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, The News and Observer, and Variety; projection and sound system trade advertisements and installation records.

Special Thanks: Ray Caple, Durham County Library, Olivia Raney Library, State Library of North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries.

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

70mm Cinemas in North America

in70mm.com's list of films blown up to 70mm

70mm Engagements by Title

35mm to 70mm Engagements by Year

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

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films


70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo

 
  
  
  

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