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“Out of Africa”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“Based on a true story.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 21.06.2019
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “Out of Africa” in North America. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.

"Out of Africa" was among twenty-three confirmed first-run films released in 1985 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Mirage production and Universal release — directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Klaus Maria Brandauer — opened in limited release December 18th and expanded two days later.

Pre-release screenings included the film’s world premiere on December 10th at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

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

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

Seventy-millimeter trailers for “The Best of Times”, “Howard the Duck”, “Legal Eagles”, “Legend”, “The Money Pit”, “Psycho III” and “Sweet Liberty” circulated during the release of “Out of Africa” and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation. (Additional 70mm trailers from other studios circulated during this period as well. Which trailers, if any, were seen during the presentations of “Out of Africa” varied by venue and screening.)

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

Note that some of the presentations included in this listing may have been presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) of engagement because the booking was moved to a non-70mm-equipped auditorium within a multiplex or due to print damage and the distributor’s unwillingness to supply an expensive 70mm replacement print. 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-certified auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.
More in 70mm reading:

Ultimate "Out of Africa" Performance - in 70mm Open air @ Karen Blixen's museum, Denmark

Miscellaneous notes from Open-Air 70MM Movie Magic at Rungstedlund. Projecting "Out of Africa" at 140 Amperes

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Six-Track Dolby Stereo

Internet link:

Opened Wednesday, December 18th…

Los Angeles — GCC’s Avco Center Triplex (26) [THX]
Los Angeles — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (13)

New York — Loews’ 84th Street 6-plex (10)
New York — Loews’ State Twin (8)
New York — Loews’ Tower East (14)

Opened Friday, December 20th…

Calgary — Cineplex Odeon’s Showcase Grand Twin (10)
Edmonton — Cineplex Odeon’s Westmount 4-plex (20) [THX]

Vancouver — Cineplex Odeon’s Odeon (14)

Costa Mesa — Edwards’ Town Center 4-plex (10)
Mountain View — Syufy’s Century 10-plex (26)
National City — Pacific’s Sweetwater 6-plex (8+)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin (10)
Oakland — Cinerama’s Piedmont (13)
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 6-plex (13)
San Francisco — Blumenfeld’s Regency I (10)
San Jose — Syufy’s Town & Country (10)

Washington — Circle’s Uptown (21)

Chicago — Plitt/Cineplex Odeon’s Esquire (10)
Skokie — M&R’s Old Orchard 4-plex (14)

Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood 4-plex (23)

Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Canada Square 8-plex (16) [THX]
Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Varsity Twin (17)

Philadelphia — Sameric’s Mark I (12)

Austin — Presidio’s Southpark Triplex (20) [THX]
Dallas — GCC’s Northpark West Twin (22) [THX]

1986-01-03 … Toronto, ON — Cineplex Odeon’s Canada Square 8-plex (#2: 5) [THX]
1986-02-14 … New York, NY — Loews’ Astor Plaza (2)
1986-02-21 … Edmonton, AB — Cineplex Odeon’s Plaza Twin (3)
1986-02-28 … San Francisco, CA — Blumenfeld’s Regency II (2)
1986-02-28 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 23 Twin (?)
1986-03-14 … San Francisco, CA — Blumenfeld’s Regency III (13)
1986-03-21 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Paramount (4)
1986-03-21 … Orange, CA — Syufy’s City Center 4-plex (15)
1986-03-28 … Chicago, IL — Plitt/Cineplex Odeon’s Carnegie (1)
1986-03-28 … New York, NY — Loews’ New York Twin (3)
1986-03-28 … Newport Beach, CA — Edwards’ Newport Twin (3)
1986-03-28 … Stanton, CA — Edwards’ Village Center 6-plex (6)
1986-03-28 … Vancouver, BC — Cineplex Odeon’s Oakridge Centre Triplex (12) [THX]
1986-04-04 … Chicago, IL — Plitt/Cineplex Odeon’s Esquire (7)
1986-05-09 … Tucson, AZ — Plitt/Cineplex Odeon’s El Dorado Twin (4)
1986-05-23 … Downers Grove, IL — Classic Cinemas’ Tivoli (2)
1986-05-23 … Los Angeles, CA — UA’s Egyptian Triplex (2)
1986-07-21 … Atlanta, GA — Fox (9th Annual Summer Film Festival)

1987-02-11 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm fest]

1988-11-12 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (venue 25th anniversary fest)

1990-06-07 … Los Angeles, CA — GCC’s Beverly Connection 6-plex (Grand Opening Studio Fest) [THX]
1990-10-20 … Costa Mesa, CA — Edwards’ Town Center 4-plex (British Oscar Film Fest)

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

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.
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Updated 30-06-22