“Grease”: The 70mm Engagements
“Grease is the word”
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The 70mm Newsletter
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
*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 Blow Up List
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