“The Sheltering Sky”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“A woman’s dangerous and erotic journey beneath…The Sheltering Sky”
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The 70mm Newsletter
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter
presentations of “The Sheltering Sky” in North America. These were the
cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.
“The Sheltering Sky” was among twenty confirmed first-run films released in
1990 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Warner Bros. release —
directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Last Emperor”) and starring Debra
Winger and John Malkovich — opened December 12th.
The 70mm prints of “The Sheltering Sky” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo
(“A”-encoded “baby boom” format) and pillarboxed imagery (approximately
1.85:1) blown up from Super-35.
For the release of “The Sheltering Sky”, 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 Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for
“The Bonfire of the Vanities,” “Defending Your Life,” “Guilty by Suspicion,”
“If Looks Could Kill,” “New Jack City,” “Nothing but Trouble” and “Out for
Justice” during the release of “The Sheltering Sky.” Other studios
circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm
trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “The Sheltering Sky” varied
by venue and screening.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) is included in
parenthesis following the cinema name.
Los Angeles — AMC’s Century 14 (8) [THX]
New York — City Cinemas’ 57th Street Playhouse (8)
Toronto — Famous Players’ Cumberland 4 (7)
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.
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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