“Little Shop of Horrors”: The North American 70mm
“Meet me at the funniest shop in town.”
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following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter
presentations of “Little Shop of Horrors” in North America. These were the
cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.
“Little Shop of Horrors” was among sixteen confirmed first-run films
released in 1986 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Geffen
presentation and Warner Bros. release — directed by Frank Oz and starring
Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Vincent Gardinia — opened December 19th.
For the release of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Warner Bros. employed the
services of Lucasfilm’s TAP (Theatre Alignment Program) to evaluate and
approve the cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.
The 70mm prints of “Little Shop of Horrors” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo
(“A” encoded “baby boom” format) and pillarboxed imagery (approximately
1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm.
Warner Bros. circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for
“Burglar,” “Innerspace,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Over the Top,” “Police Academy 4:
Citizens on Patrol” and “The Witches of Eastwick” during the release of
“Little Shop of Horrors.” As well, other studios circulated 70mm trailers
during this period. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm
presentations of “Little Shop of Horrors” varied by venue and screening.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in
parenthesis following the cinema name.
Costa Mesa — Edwards’ Town Center 4-plex (7)
Los Angeles — Mann’s Bruin (10) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (10) [THX]
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 8-plex (11)
San Francisco — UA’s Coronet (11)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (10)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington — Circle’s Tenley Triplex (10)
Chicago — Cineplex Odeon/Plitt’s McClurg Court (6)
Boston — USA’s Charles Triplex (8)
New York — Loews’ 84th Street 6-plex (8)
New York — Moss’ Criterion Center 6-plex (8)
New York — RKO Cinema 5’s Beekman (11)
New York — RKO Cinema 5’s Gramercy (8)
Toronto — Famous Players’ Hollywood Twin (13)
Philadelphia — Budco’s Regency Twin (8)
Montreal — United’s Palace 6-plex (8)
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
1987-01-30 … Chicago, IL — Cineplex Odeon/Plitt’s Esquire (2)
1987-04-03 … Downers Grove, IL — Classic Cinemas’ Tivoli (1)
1987-07-20 … Atlanta, GA — Fox [10th Annual Summer Film Festival]
1991-07-07 … Los Angeles, CA — Cineplex Odeon’s Odeon [Summer Nights series]
1992-08-05 … Los Angeles, CA — Four Star (1) [70mm festival; w/ “Gremlins”]
1995-01-27 … Bellingham, WA — Mount Baker
1996-04-14 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Plaza [midnight]
2008-07-02 … San Francisco, CA — Castro (2 days) [70mm festival]
2009-03-?? … Seattle, WA — Cinerama [70mm festival]
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 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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