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“Grease”: The 70mm Engagements
“Grease is the word”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 02.11.2016
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Grease” in North America. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience the film.

“Grease” was among eight confirmed first-run films released in 1978 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Robert Stigwood-Allan Carr production and Paramount release — directed by Randal Kleiser and starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John — opened June 16th*.

The film’s world premiere (in 35mm) was held June 4th at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, and the film was released nationally in 35mm on June 16th.

*The studio’s original distribution strategy was to release the film in a limited 70mm exclusive in a dozen key markets a month ahead of a national 35mm rollout. Post-production delays, however, prompted the studio to jettison those plans. But…several weeks into the film’s release, Paramount elected to strike a small run of 70mm prints, marking a rare case of an after-the-fact 70mm release.

The film’s 70mm prints featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format) and full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm.

Opening date YYYY-MM-DD … City — Cinema (duration in weeks) [notes]

1978-06-16 … Los Angeles, CA — Village (15) [70mm from Week 10]

1978-06-16 … Washington, DC — Uptown (16) [70mm from Week 11]

1978-08-16 … New York, NY — Ziegfeld (7)

SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS


1978-11-17 … Austin, TX — Americana (3)
1978-12-01 … Cedar Rapids, IA — Times 70 (3)

1979-05-18 … Los Angeles, CA — Fox (3)
1979-05-25 … New York, NY — State Twin (2)

1981-05-08 … Des Moines, IA — River Hills (2)
1981-05-22 … Dubuque, IA — Cinema Center 4 (1)

1982-11-19 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama [Fri-Sat midnight] (replaced with 35mm)

1984-01-20 … Sioux City, IA — Riviera Twin (2) [midnight]

The information included in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion, print enclosures, and Dolby records. Special thanks to Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel, Stephen Leigh and John Stewart.

International 70mm presentations 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:

“Grease 2”: The 70mm Engagements

“Grease” is Still the Word

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List
 
   
   
   
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Updated 30-06-22