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“American Flyers”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“Find out how fabulous a good movie can make you feel.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 11.10.2020
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “American Flyers” in the United States and Canada. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.

“American Flyers” was among twenty-three confirmed first-run films released in 1985 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. Five 70mm prints were reportedly struck for distribution in North America. The Warner Bros. release — directed by John Badham and starring Kevin Costner, David Grant, Rae Dawn Chong, Alexandra Paul and Janice Rule — opened August 16th.

Pre-release screenings included sneak previews on August 10th in selected markets, including a 70mm presentation in Chicago (McClurg Court) and Los Angeles (Village).

For the release of “American Flyers,” Warner Bros. employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.

The 70mm prints of “American Flyers” featured full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format).

Seventy-millimeter trailers for “After Hours,” “The Color Purple,” “Krush Groove,” “The Protector,” “Spies Like Us” and “Target” circulated during the release of “American Flyers” and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation. Additional 70mm trailers from other studios circulated during this period as well. Which trailers, if any, seen during the “American Flyers” presentations varied by venue and screening.

The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in parenthesis following the applicable cinema name.

Los Angeles — Mann’s Plaza (6)

Denver — Commonwealth’s Cooper Twin (4+)

Chicago — Center’s McClurg Court (4)

New York — Cinema 5’s Beekman (5)

Dallas — GCC’s Northpark West Twin (8)

Note that some of the presentations included in this listing may have been presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) of 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 (or movement out of a branded auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.


1985-09-27 … Costa Mesa, CA — Edwards’ South Coast Plaza Triplex (3)
1985-10-11 … Toronto, ON — Famous Players’ Eglinton (3)
1985-10-18 … Irvine, CA — Edwards’ University 6-plex (6)
1985-11-01 … Toronto, ON — Famous Players’ Uptown 5-plex (2)
1985-11-22 … Oakland, CA — Cinerama’s Piedmont (2)
1985-11-22 … San Diego, CA — Mann’s Loma (1)
1985-12-06 … Oakland, CA — Cinerama’s Piedmont (2) [w/ “The Emerald Forest”]

The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Bill Kretzel and Kenneth Mitchell.

International 70mm engagements of this title have not been accounted for in this article.

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

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

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo

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Updated 07-01-21