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“Memphis Belle”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“Brave young men who rode on the wings of victory.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 01.03.2019
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Memphis Belle” in North America. These were the best cinemas in which to experience the film.

“Memphis Belle” was among twenty confirmed first-run films released in 1990 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Enigma production and Warner Bros. release — directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick Jr., Reed Edward Diamond, Courtney Gaines, Neil Giuntoli, and John Lithgow — opened October 12th.

The 70mm prints of “Memphis Belle” featured pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”-encoded “baby boom” format).

For the release of “Memphis Belle”, Warner Bros. employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.

Seventy-millimeter trailers for “The Bonfire of the Vanities”, “The Rookie” and “The Sheltering Sky” circulated during the “Memphis Belle” release and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation. (Additional 70mm trailers from other distributors circulated during this period as well. Which trailers, if any, were seen during the “Memphis Belle” presentations varied by venue.)

The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has for some entries been included in parenthesis following the cinema name.

Note that some of the presentations included in this listing were presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) of engagement due to 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 THX house) has been included in the duration figure.

Phoenix — Harkins’ Cine Capri (6)

Los Angeles — AMC’s Century 14-plex (8) [THX]
Los Angeles — GCC’s Beverly Connection 6-plex (5) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Plaza (3)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Triplex (4)
Orange — Century’s Cinedome 8-plex (6)
San Francisco — UA’s Metro (4)
San Jose — Century’s Town & Country (10)

Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood 4-plex (11)

Seattle — Seven Gables’ Guild 45th Twin (1+)


1990-11-09 … Newport Beach, CA — Edwards’ Fashion Island 7-plex (4) [THX]
1990-11-16 … Wichita, KS — Dickinson’s Northrock 6-plex (5)

1991-07-08 … Atlanta, GA — Fox [14th Annual Summer Film Festival]

The information included in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Bill Kretzel & John Stokes.

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 Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

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Updated 07-01-23