“Always”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“They couldn’t hear him. They couldn’t see him. But he was there when they
needed him… Even when he was gone.”
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The following is a reference / historical
listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Always” in North America.
These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.
“Always” was among seventeen confirmed first-run films released in 1989 with
70mm prints for selected engagements. The Amblin Entertainment production
and United Artists/Universal release — directed by Steven Spielberg (“Close
Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T.”) and starring Holly Hunter and John
Goodman — opened December 22nd.
The 70mm prints of “Always” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”-encoded
Baby Boom format) and pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up
from spherical 35mm.
Pre-release screenings included an invitational preview was held December
18th at Samuel Goldwyn in Beverly Hills.
For the release of “Always,” Universal employed the services of Lucasfilm’s
Theater Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the cinemas selected
to book a 70mm print.
Universal circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for
“Bird on a Wire,” “Coupe de Ville,” “Cry-Baby,” “The Guardian,” “Opportunity
Knocks” and Tremors” during the release of “Always.” Other studios
circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm
trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “Always” varied by venue and
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in
parenthesis following the cinema name.
Los Angeles — GCC’s Avco Center Triplex (9)
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18 (7) [THX]
New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Bay (5) [70mm promoted Jan. 1-4 only]
New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Beekman (5)
New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Regency (7) [70mm promoted Dec. 22-28 only]
Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Showcase (6)
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
2017-08-20 … Santa Monica, CA — American Cinematheque’s Aero [70mm series]
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 David Ayers,
Don Beelik, Bill Kallay and Bill Kretzel.
International 70mm engagements of this title have not been accounted for in
If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please
consider emailing the
author or editor.
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