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Celebrating 40 Years of Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”: A 70mm Reference List
“We are not alone.”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 17.11.2017
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in North America. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.

“Close Encounters” was among two confirmed first-run films released in 1977 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Columbia/EMI presentation was directed by Steven Spielberg (“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.”) and starred Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut.

The 70mm prints of “Close Encounters” featured full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm. The audio on the majority of the 70mm prints was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format), with some of the film’s 70mm prints lacking Dolby noise reduction. (Some of the Dolby-encoded prints were played back on non-Dolby-brand equipment.)

The film’s world premiere was held November 15th at the Ziegfeld in New York.

Columbia circulated 70mm trailers for “The Boys in Company C,” “The Buddy Holly Story,” “Casey’s Shadow,” “The Cheap Detective,” and “Thank God It’s Friday” during the release of “Close Encounters.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers, as well, during this period. The 70mm trailers, if any, ultimately seen during 70mm presentations of “Close Encounters” varied by venue and screening.

The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) 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 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 smaller, non-70mm-equipped auditorium within a multiplex. As well, the reverse scenario 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 such cases, any 35mm portion of the engagement has been included in the duration figure.

All bookings from the summer of 1980 onward were the revised Special Edition cut.

Opened Wednesday, November 16th, 1977….

NEW YORK
New York — Ziegfeld (23)

Opened Friday, November 18th, 1977….

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles — Cinerama Dome (4)

Opened Wednesday, December 14th, 1977….

CALIFORNIA
Costa Mesa — South Coast Plaza Triplex (42)
Lakewood — Lakewood Center 4-plex (23)
Los Angeles — Paramount (22) [m/o from Cinerama Dome]
Orange — Cinedome 6-plex (33)
Pasadena — Hastings (22)
San Diego — Cinema 21 (13)
San Francisco — Coronet (27)
Santa Clara — Cinema 150 (31)

COLORADO
Colorado Springs — Cinema 150 (23) [70mm from Week 14]
Denver — Cooper Twin (27)

ILLINOIS
Belleville — Cinema (14)
Calumet City — River Oaks Triplex (13)
Chicago — Esquire (13)
Evergreen — Evergreen Twin (22)
Skokie — Old Orchard Triplex (21)

KENTUCKY
Louisville — Showcase 8-plex (23)

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston — Cinema 57 Twin (14)

MICHIGAN
Livonia — Mai Kai (24)
Southfield — Americana 4-plex (22)
Southgate — Southgate Triplex (22)
 
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Cinemas in North America

in70mm.com's list of films blown up to 70mm

70mm Engagements by Title

35mm to 70mm Engagements by Year

Large Format 7OMM Engagements

Month by month premiere list of wide gauge and 3-strip films

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films


70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo

 
NEW JERSEY
Paramus — Route Four 4-plex (23)

NEW YORK
Cheektowaga — Holiday 6-plex (14)
Pittsford — Loews Triplex (27)

OHIO
Toledo — Showcase 4-plex (20)

OREGON
Beaverton — Westgate Triplex (canceled due to lawsuit)
Portland — Eastgate Triplex (27)
Portland — Rose Moyer 6-plex (canceled due to lawsuit)

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia — SamEric (22)
Pittsburgh — Warner (13)

TEXAS
Dallas — Medallion (27) [70mm?]
Houston — Alabama (26)
Houston — Town & Country Village Triplex (24)

UTAH
Salt Lake City — Regency (27)

WISCONSIN
West Allis — Southtown Triplex (27)

Opened Friday, December 16th, 1977….

OREGON
Beaverton — Town Center Triplex (27)

Opened Wednesday, December 21st, 1977….

CALIFORNIA
Monterey — Cinema 70 (12)
Palm Springs — Camelot Twin (12)
Santa Barbara — Granada (12)
 
 
Subsequent 70mm engagements & screenings…

1978-02-08 … Honolulu, HI — Waikiki Twin (9) [70mm from Week 6]
1978-03-17 … El Cajon, CA — Parkway Plaza Triplex (20)
1978-04-26 … New York, NY — Bay (3)
1978-04-26 … New York, NY — State Twin (7)
1978-05-12 … Seattle, WA — Crest 70 (17)
1978-05-19 … Los Angeles, CA — Century Plaza Twin (5)
1978-05-19 … Phoenix, AZ — Bethany (4)
1978-05-19 … Scottsdale, AZ — Kachina (4)
1978-06-02 … Port Washington, NY — Sands Point (3)
1978-06-16 … Baltimore, MD — Reisterstown Plaza (5)
1978-06-16 … Vienna, VA — Tysons (8)
1978-06-16 … Washington, DC — MacArthur (4)
1978-06-23 … Dallas, TX — Preston Royal (3)
1978-06-28 … San Francisco, CA — Warfield (2)
1978-06-30 … Toronto, ON — University (3)
1978-07-12 … San Francisco, CA — Warfield (1) [w/ “Logan’s Run”]
1978-09-01 … Atlanta, GA — Fox (4 days) [1st annual summer film festival]

1980-01-19 … Cleveland, OH — CWRU Strosacker [Science Fiction Marathon]
1980-08-01 … Boston, MA — Cheri Triplex (4)
1980-08-01 … Chicago, IL — State Lake (2)
1980-08-01 … Los Angeles, CA — Fox (6)
1980-08-01 … Philadelphia, PA — Sam’s Place Twin (3)
1980-08-01 … Seattle, WA — Crest Twin (11)
1980-08-01 … Washington, DC — Tenley Circle Triplex (6)
1980-08-08 … New York, NY — New York Twin (7)
1980-08-08 … Paramus, NJ — Route Four 4-plex (3)
1980-08-29 … Boston, MA — Saxon (1)
1980-09-12 … Oakland, CA — Grand Lake (2) [w/ “2001”]
1980-09-26 … Chicago, IL — McClurg Court (1)
1980-09-26 … Northbrook, IL — Edens Twin (1)
1980-10-17 … San Francisco, CA — Cinema 21 (1) [w/ “2001”]
1980-10-31 … Sacramento, CA — Century 6-plex (1) [w/ “2001”]
1980-11-21 … South Salt Lake, UT — Century 5-plex (2) [w/ “2001”]
1980-11-26 … Orange, CA — Cinedome 6-plex (2) [w/ “2001”]
1980-??-?? … Minneapolis, MN — Uptown (?) [w/ “2001”]
 
 
1981-01-22 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (4 days) [70mm festival]
1981-02-13 … New York, NY — Ziegfeld (4)
1981-03-06 … Los Angeles, CA — Cinerama Dome (3)
1981-05-01 … Calgary, AB — North Hill [midnight]
1981-05-01 … Washington, DC — Uptown (4 days) [70mm festival]
1981-05-15 … Los Angeles, CA — Paramount (1)
1981-05-22 … Las Vegas, NV — Cinedome 6-plex (2)
1981-06-05 … La Mesa, CA — Cinema Grossmont (1)
1981-07-03 … Los Angeles, CA — Picwood (2) [w/ “Alien”]
1981-08-28 … Ottawa, ON — National Arts Centre Opera (2 days)
1981-09-18 … Calgary, AB — North Hill [midnight]
1981-11-06 … Cleveland, OH — Colony (1)
1981-11-27 … Toronto, ON — Science Centre/Ontario Film Theatre

1982-02-03 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm festival]
1982-03-19 … Toronto, ON — Cumberland 4-plex (1) [La Reserve]
1982-08-23 … Atlanta, GA — Fox [5th annual summer film festival]
1982-09-03 … Florence, KY — Florence 6-plex (1)
1982-09-03 … Springdale, OH — Tri-County 7-plex (1)
1982-09-10 … Pittsburgh, PA — Warner (1)
1982-09-17 … Winnipeg, MB — Grant Park (1)
1982-10-01 … Des Moines, IA — River Hills (1)
1982-10-15 … Lincoln, NE — Cooper (1)
1982-10-29 … San Antonio, TX — Galaxy 6-plex (2 days) [Fantastic Films Festival 3]
1982-11-12 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama [Fri/Sat midnight]
1982-11-26 … Scarborough, ON — Cedarbrae 6-plex (1)

1983-08-25 … Saginaw, MI — Temple (3 days) [classic film series]

1985-12-06 … Houston, TX — Commerce Park 8-plex (1) [AMC Series 70]

1989-03-17 … San Antonio, TX — Rivercenter IMAX (1) [70mm festival]

1991-09-13 … Washington, DC — Uptown (1) [70mm festival]
1991-10-25 … Richmond, VA — Ridge 7-plex (1) [70mm festival]
 
 

International 70mm Engagements

 
AUSTRALIA (Released 16 March 1978)
Sydney: Hoyts

DENMARK (Released 3 March 1978)
Copenhagen: 3 Falke Bio

MEXICO (Released 30 June 1978)
Mexico City: Hollywood Cinerama

SWEDEN (Released 3 March 1978)
Stockholm: Astoria

UNITED KINGDOM (Released 13 March 1978)
London: Odeon Leicester Square

All of the engagements included in this document were presented in 70mm. The majority of the prints were in six-track Dolby Stereo. Selected engagements were in non-Dolby-encoded six-track stereo, and others were six-track Dolby Stereo prints booked into theatres that had non-Dolby-brand, Dolby-compatible equipment. These presentation variations were not always clearly accounted for on theatre marquees and in the original newspaper advertisement materials.

Additional contributors to this project:

Peter Fraser
Bill Kretzel
John Sharp

The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Don Beelik, Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel, Mark Lensenmayer and Stan Malone.

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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Updated 21-05-22