“Malcolm X”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“Scholar. Convict. Leader. Disciple. Hipster. Father. Hustler. Minister. Black
Man. Every Man.”
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following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter
presentations of “Malcolm X” in North America.
“Malcolm X” was among ten confirmed first-run films released in 1992 with
70mm prints for selected engagements. The 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks
production and Warner Bros. release — directed by Spike Lee and starring
Denzel Washington — opened November 18th.
The 70mm prints of “Malcolm X” featured pillarboxed imagery (approximately
1.85:1) blown up from Super-35 and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”-encoded
discrete: five front + one surround).
For the release of “Malcolm X,” Warner Bros. employed the services of
Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the
cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.
Warner Bros. circulated 70mm trailers for “The Bodyguard,” “Falling Down,”
“Forever Young,” “Point of No Return” and “Sommersby” during the release of
“Malcolm X” which they recommended be screened with the presentation. As
well, other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period. Ultimately,
the 70mm trailers, if any, seen during the 70mm presentations of “Malcolm X”
varied by venue and screening.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in
parenthesis following the cinema name.
Toronto — Famous Players’ Eglinton (4) [THX]
Montreal — Famous Players’ Imperial (8) [THX]
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70mm Blow Up List
2015-02-08 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian*
2015-03-28 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian**
2018-09-23 … Somerville, MA — Frame One’s Somerville***
2018-12-08 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian****
2019-11-04 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama*****
2020-02-08 … Portland, OR — Hollywood*#
2021-07-01 … Santa Monica, CA — American Cinematheque’s Aero*##
2021-09-26 … Los Angeles, CA — AMPAS’ Academy Museum/Geffen**##
2022-01-14 … Santa Monica, CA — American Cinematheque’s Aero
2022-02-19 … Atlanta, GA — Plaza (2 days)
* Screened during the Black History Month series.
** Booked to be screened during the TCM Film Festival but ultimately
replaced with the director’s personal 35mm print. The 70mm print was on
premises during the festival.
*** Screened during the 70mm & Widescreen Film Festival.
**** Screened during the 4 from 40 Acres series with Spike Lee introduction
and Q&A moderated by Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith.
***** Screened during 70mm Film Festival Part II
*# Screened during the Portland Black Film Festival
*## Screened during the Go Big or Stay Home: 70mm Favorites at the Aero
**## Screened during the Academy Museum’s inaugural film series. Included
Q&A with Spike Lee and Denzel Washington.
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 Leo Enticknap
and Mike Schleiger of the American Cinematheque, Bill Kretzel, and Plaza
Theater in Atlanta.
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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