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“Edward Scissorhands”: The 70mm and CDS Presentations
“The story of an uncommonly gentle man. Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 07.12.2015
Updated: 17.03.2023
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “Edward Scissorhands” in the United States and Canada. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.

“Edward Scissorhands” was among twenty confirmed first-run films released in 1990 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The 20th Century Fox release — directed by Tim Burton (“Batman”) and starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder — opened in limited release December 7th before expanding one week later.

Pre-release screenings included an invitational preview held November 29th and world premiere held December 6th at the Avco Center in Los Angeles.

For the release of “Edward Scissorhands,” Fox 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 “Edward Scissorhands” featured pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm and a dual inventory of Cinema Digital Sound (CDS) and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (A-encoded Baby Boom) audio formats. (Note the Baby Boom/.1 LFE tracks were silent on the 70mm prints of “Edward Scissorhands.”)

Historical footnote: Cinema Digital Sound (CDS), along with other digital-audio formats , accelerated the trend of fewer titles released with 70mm prints.

Fox circulated 70mm coming-attraction trailers for “Come See the Paradise,” “The Five Heartbeats” and “Sleeping with the Enemy” during the release of “Edward Scissorhands.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “Edward Scissorhands” varied by venue and screening.

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

* 70mm Cinema Digital Sound
** 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (magnetic)
*** 35mm Cinema Digital Sound [see note below]

Opened December 7th, 1990….

Los Angeles — GCC’s Avco Center Triplex*** (9) [THX]

New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Ziegfeld* (9)

*** A note about the Los Angeles run: During opening weekend, both 70mm-CDS and 35mm-CDS prints were present in the Avco’s projection booth. This engagement was originally scheduled to have been a 70mm-CDS print, but at the filmmaker’s request and as a test a last-minute switch to a 35mm-CDS “show print” was screened instead. The 70mm-CDS print was platter-mounted as a back-up, but after opening weekend the test was considered a success and the 70mm-CDS print was sent to the Coronet in San Francisco (and San Francisco’s planned 70mm-Dolby print was subsequently sent to a cinema in another market). The Los Angeles area newspaper advertisements promoted the originally-scheduled 70mm presentation in advance of release and during the first few days of the test engagement until revised ads appeared for the remainder of the run that reflected the 35mm-CDS presentation. The Los Angeles engagement represented the first time in North America that digital sound was showcased from a 35mm print. (All previous digital sound formats and presentations were either double-system experiments or on a 70mm print.)

Opened December 14th, 1990….

Vancouver — Cineplex Odeon’s Granville 7** (7) [THX]

San Francisco — UA’s Coronet* (8)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex** (8)

Washington — Cineplex Odeon’s Wisconsin Avenue 6** (5) [THX]

Chicago — Cineplex Odeon’s McClurg Court Triplex** (3) [THX]
Oak Brook — Cineplex Odeon’s Oakbrook Triplex** (7) [70mm from Week 4]

Boston — Loews’ Cheri 4** (8)

Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Hyland Twin** (9)

Montreal — Cineplex Odeon’s Place Alexis Nihon Triplex** (9)

Dallas — UA’s The United Artists 8* (8) [THX]
Houston — Cineplex Odeon’s Spectrum 9** (8) [THX]
Plano — GCC’s Collin Creek 6** (8) [THX]

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.


1991-02-08 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 25 Twin (1+)
1991-02-22 … Carmel, IN — CTS Heaston’s Woodland Twin** (1)
1991-02-22 … Downers Grove, IL — Classic Cinemas’ Tivoli** (1) [HPS-4000]

1992-03-21 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere** [70mm festival]

1999-11-12 … Los Angeles, CA – American Cinematheque’s Egyptian** [70mm festival + Anthony Michael Hall Q&A]

2005-08-10 … San Francisco, CA — Castro** [70mm festival]

2018-02-14 … Los Angeles, CA – American Cinematheque’s Egyptian**

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, Bill Gabel, Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel and Paul Rayton.

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.
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
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Updated 21-01-24