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70mm Presentations in Tampa Bay
A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1958-Present

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 02.10.2021
‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Tampa Bay premiere advert, Tampa Times, 29th May 1963

What follows is a chronology of 70-millimeter six-track stereophonic sound feature-film presentations in the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg metropolitan area (aka “Tampa Bay”) of Florida, 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

BRANDON
Regency Square 8

CLEARWATER
Clearwater 8 / The Movies at Clearwater
Trans-Lux / Sunshine Mall

LARGO
Tri-City 8

PINELLAS PARK
Palms

ST. PETERSBURG
Center
Crossroads
Crossroads 8
Loew’s
Plaza Twin

TAMPA
Britton
Hillsboro 8
Mission Bell 8 / The Movies at Mission Bell
Northdale Court 6
Palace
Park
University Collection 6
Veterans 24

TARPON SPRINGS
Klosterman Point

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)

1958-11-19 … SOUTH PACIFIC* … Britton (21)

1959-04-15 … SLEEPING BEAUTY … Britton (5)
1959-12-25 … THE BIG FISHERMAN … Center (6)

1960-02-04 … BEN-HUR* … Center (34)
1960-06-29 … CAN-CAN* … Park (10)
1960-09-29 … CAN-CAN* … Center (8)
1960-12-22 … SPARTACUS* … Center (11)

1961-03-08 … EXODUS* … Center (9)
1961-12-20 … KING OF KINGS* … Center (9)

1962-02-22 … EL CID* … Center (12)
1962-05-17 … OKLAHOMA! … Center (3)

1963-02-01 … MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY* … Center (9)
1963-05-29 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA* … Center (11)

1964-05-27 … IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD … Palace (12) [70mm?]
1964-08-21 … CIRCUS WORLD* … Palace (8)
1964-11-25 … MY FAIR LADY* … Center (31)

1965-04-07 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC* … Palace (77)
1965-06-30 … THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES* … Center (15)

1966-01-19 … THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY* … Center (8)
1966-03-17 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO* … Center (36)
1966-12-23 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO … Palace (8)

1967-02-01 … THE BIBLE* … Palms (23)
1967-02-15 … THE SAND PEBBLES* … Center (17)
1967-02-17 … GRAND PRIX* … Palace (11)
1967-11-22 … CAMELOT* … Center (27)
1967-12-22 … GONE WITH THE WIND* … Loew’s (27)

1968-02-07 … DOCTOR DOLITTLE* … Palms (15)
1968-06-12 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY* … Palace (15)
1968-10-25 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY* … Center (9)
1968-12-19 … THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN* … Loew’s (11)
1968-12-19 … STAR!* … Palms (13)
1968-12-20 … ICE STATION ZEBRA* … Palace (10)

1969-01-08 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Trans-Lux (2)
1969-06-27 … SWEET CHARITY* … Crossroads (7)
1969-08-15 … KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA … Palace (6)
1969-12-17 … GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS* … Loew’s (7)
1969-12-17 … HELLO, DOLLY!* … Crossroads (27)

1970-05-15 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Loew’s (3)
1970-05-22 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Palace (3)

1971-02-19 … SONG OF NORWAY* … Palace (11)

1973-03-23 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC … Palace (14)
1973-07-03 … THIS IS CINERAMA … Palace (6)

1983-09-30 … BRAINSTORM … Plaza (5)

1985-07-26 … 2010 … Northdale Court (1)

1986-04-11 … AMADEUS … University Collection (3)
1986-05-10 … TOP GUN … University Collection (sneak preview)
1986-05-16 … TOP GUN … University Collection (25) [unconfirmed]
1986-07-18 … ALIENS … Northdale Court (15) [70mm from Week 9]
1986-07-18 … ALIENS … Tri-City (13)
1986-09-26 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Tri-City (1)

1989-05-24 … INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE … Crossroads (12)
1989-05-24 … INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE … Hillsboro (12)
1989-10-20 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Mission Bell (7)

1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Crossroads (7)
1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Hillsboro (6)
1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Northdale Court (10)
1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Regency Square (8) [70mm from Week 7]
1990-06-15 … DICK TRACY … Tri-City (18)

1992-05-09 … FAR AND AWAY … Hillsboro (sneak preview)
1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Crossroads (sneak preview)
1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Hillsboro (sneak preview)
1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Northdale Court (sneak preview)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Crossroads (7)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Hillsboro (8)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Northdale Court (10)
1992-12-25 … HOFFA … Clearwater (6)
1992-12-25 … HOFFA … Hillsboro (4)

2015-12-25 … THE HATEFUL EIGHT … Veterans (1+)

2017-07-20 … DUNKIRK …Veterans (1+)

Note that some of the titles included in this chronology may have been presented in 35mm (or, recently, DCP) 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, The Hollywood Reporter, Motion Picture Exhibitor, St. Petersburg Times, The Tampa Tribune, Variety, and projection and sound system trade advertisements and installation records.

Special Thanks: Laura Baas (State Library of Florida) and Nick DiMaggio.

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

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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Updated 02-10-21