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“Return to Oz”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“If there’s one thing you must do this summer, it’s Return to Oz…”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 18.02.2021
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “Return to Oz” in the United States and Canada. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.

“Return to Oz” was among twenty-three confirmed first-run films released in 1985 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Walt Disney/Silver Screen Partners II production and Buena Vista release — directed by Walter Murch and starring Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie and Fairuza Balk — opened June 21st.

Pre-release screenings included an invitational preview held June 15th at Mann Plaza in Los Angeles.

For the release of “Return to Oz,” Buena Vista 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 “Return to Oz” featured pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded Baby Boom format with a Split Surround playback option).

Buena Vista circulated 70mm trailers for “The Black Cauldron,” “The Journey of Natty Gann,” “My Science Project” and “One Magic Christmas” during the release of “Return to Oz.” As well, other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period. Ultimately, the 70mm trailers, if any, seen during the 70mm presentations of “Return to Oz” varied by venue and screening.

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

ALBERTA
Calgary — Famous Players’ Sunridge 5-plex (5)
Edmonton — Famous Players’ Londonderry Twin (5)

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Vancouver — Famous Players’ Denman Place (5)

CALIFORNIA
Corte Madera — Marin’s Cinema (3)
Costa Mesa — Edwards’ Town Center 4-plex (2)
Laguna Hills — Edwards/SoCal’s Laguna Hills Mall Triplex (3)
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (2) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Plaza (3)
Montclair — UA’s Town Center Plaza 6-plex (4)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin (2)
Oakland — Cinerama’s Piedmont (3)
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 6-plex (2)
Palo Alto — Renaissance Rialto’s Stanford (3)
Pasadena — Pacific’s Hastings (2)
Sacramento — Syufy’s Century 6-plex (3)
Sacramento — Syufy’s Cinedome 5-plex (3)
San Diego — Mann’s Cinema 21 (3)
San Francisco — Blumenfeld’s Regency I (2)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 23 Twin (3)
Temple City — Edwards’ Temple 4-plex (3)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington — Circle’s Uptown (3)

ILLINOIS
Chicago — Center’s McClurg Court (2)
Northbrook — Center’s Edens Twin (2)
Orland Park — Plitt’s Orland Square 4-plex (2)

KANSAS
Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood 4-plex (1+)

LOUISIANA
Metairie — Cobb’s Lakeside 4-plex (4)

MARYLAND
Catonsville — Einbinder & Brehm’s Westview 8-plex (4)

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston — Sack’s Charles Triplex (4)

MINNESOTA
St. Louis Park — Plitt’s Knollwood 4-plex (5)

MISSOURI
Creve Coeur — Wehrenberg’s Creve Coeur Triplex (4)
Shrewsbury — Wehrenberg’s Kenrick 8-plex (4)

NEVADA
Las Vegas — Syufy’s Cinedome 6-plex (3)

NEW JERSEY
Moorestown — Sameric’s Eric Plaza Twin (4)

NEW YORK
New York — Rockefeller’s Radio City Music Hall (5)

OHIO
Columbus — GCC’s Eastland Mall Twin (4)
Mentor — NTC’s Great Lakes Mall 5-plex (3)
Parma — GCC’s Parmatown 5-plex (3)
Springdale — Mid States’ Tri-County 7-plex (5)

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma City — AMC’s Memorial Square 8-plex (5)

ONTARIO
Toronto — Famous Players’ Hollywood Twin (5)

OREGON
Portland — LT’s Eastgate Triplex (2)

PENNSYLVANIA
King of Prussia — Sameric’s Plaza Twin (3)
Philadelphia — Sameric’s SamEric 4-plex (4)

QUEBEC
Montreal — United’s Capitol 6-plex (3)
Westmount — United’s Westmount Square (5)

TEXAS
Dallas — GCC’s Caruth Plaza Triplex (1+)
Houston — Plitt’s West Oaks 7-plex (6)

UTAH
Salt Lake City — Plitt’s Crossroads Triplex (3)

WASHINGTON
Seattle — Seven Gables’ Guild 45th Twin (1+)
Tukwila — LT’s Parkway Plaza 5-plex (1+)

WISCONSIN
Waukesha — Marcus’ Westown 6-plex (2)

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 smaller, non-70mm-equipped auditorium within a multiplex. As well, the reverse scenario 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 such cases, any 35mm portion of the engagement (or movement out of a branded auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.

SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS AND SCREENINGS

1985-07-03 … San Francisco, CA — Blumenfeld’s Royal (1)
1985-07-03 … Washington, DC — Circle’s Uptown (1) [w/ “Apocalypse Now”]
1985-08-02 … Carmel, IN — Heaston’s Woodland Twin (1) [w/ “Pink Floyd: The Wall”]

1986-06-04 … Toronto, ON — Ontario Science Centre

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, Bill Kretzel, Mark Lensenmayer, and W.R. Miller.

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:

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films

Month by month premiere list of wide gauge and 3-strip films

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo

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Updated 30-06-22