“Absolute Beginners”: The 70mm Engagements
“The sounds. The moves. The style. The magic.”
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Compiled by: Michael Coate||Date: 02.11.2016|
|The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Absolute Beginners” in North America. These were the first and arguably best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture. |
“Absolute Beginners” was among sixteen confirmed first-run films released in 1986 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Virgin/Goldcrest production and Orion release — directed by Julien Temple and starring Patsy Kensit, Eddie O’Connell and David Bowie — opened in limited release April 18th.
Pre-release screenings included the film’s world premiere held March 30th at the Palace of Fine Arts during the San Francisco International Film Festival.
For the release of “Absolute Beginners,” Orion employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the theaters selected to book a 70mm print.
The 70mm prints of “Absolute Beginners” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format) and full-frame imagery blown up from Super-35.
Orion circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for “Back to School” and “Haunted Honeymoon” during the release of “Absolute Beginners.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers seen during the 70mm presentations of “Absolute Beginners” varied by venue and screening.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in parenthesis following the cinema name.
Los Angeles — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (3)
San Francisco — UA’s Galaxy 4-plex (10) [THX]
New York — Walter Reade’s Ziegfeld (6)
Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Varsity Twin (3)
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.
SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS
1986-05-09 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Metro (4)
1986-05-09 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Paramount (4)
1986-05-23 … Washington, DC — Circle’s Uptown (4)
1986-06-06 … Houston, TX — AMC’s Town & Country 10-plex (3)
1986-09-12 … El Paso, TX — GCC’s Cielo Vista 10-plex (1)
The information included in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion, print enclosures, TAP records, and Dolby records. Special thanks to Bill Kallay and Bill Kretzel.
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 emailing the author or editor.
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