“The Muppet Movie”: The 70mm Engagements
“More entertaining than humanly possible!”
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following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter
presentations of “The Muppet Movie” in North America. The film’s 70mm prints
consisted of pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from
spherical 35mm photography. The audio was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”
encoded “baby boom” format).
“The Muppet Movie” was among nine first-run films released in 1979 with 70mm
prints for selected engagements. The ITC production and AFD release —
directed by James Frawley and featuring the talents of Muppet performers Jim
Henson, Franz Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt and Dave Goelz, along with a
spectacular lineup of guest stars — opened June 22nd.
The North American premiere of “The Muppet Movie” was held June 21st at the
Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. (The film’s world premiere was held May 31st
at Leicester Square in London.)
The duration of the engagements, measured in weeks played, has been included
in parenthesis following the cinema name.
Note that some of the presentations included in this listing may have been
presented in 35mm during the latter weeks of engagement due to print damage
and the distributor’s unwillingness to supply a 70mm replacement print or
because the booking was moved to a smaller, 35mm-only 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, the 35mm portion of the
engagement has been included in the duration figure.
1979-06-22 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (6)
1979-06-22 … New York, NY — Walter Reade’s Ziegfeld (3)
1979-07-27 … Towson, MD — Rappaport’s Hillendale Twin (10)
1979-08-03 … Southfield, MI — Suburban Detroit’s Northland Twin (9)
ADDITIONAL / SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS
1979-07-13 … New York, NY — UA’s Gemini Twin (4)
1979-08-03 … Lakewood, CA — Pacific’s Lakewood Center 4-plex (7)
1980-02-08 … Cleveland, OH — CWRU’s Strosacker
The information in this article was principally referenced from film
industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion. International
engagements have not been accounted for in this article.
Additional 70mm prints were screened internationally but have not been
accounted for in this article.
If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please
consider emailing the
author or editor.
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