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“Superman”: The 70mm Engagements
“You’ll believe a man can fly.”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 16.05.2017
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Superman” in North America. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this film.

“Superman” was among nine confirmed first-run films released in 1978 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Alexander Salkind production and Warner Bros. release — directed by Richard Donner and starring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman and Christopher Reeve — opened December 15th.

The 70mm prints of “Superman” featured full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm photography and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format with a slit-surround playback option*).

The film’s world premiere was held (in 35mm) December 10th at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. As well, several regional premieres/benefit screenings took place between the 11th and 14th, some presented in 70mm.

Warner Bros. circulated 70mm trailers for “Agatha,” “The Exorcist” (re-release), “The In-Laws,” “The Main Event” and “Time After Time” during the release of “Superman.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers, as well, during this period. The 70mm trailers, if any, ultimately seen during 70mm presentations of “Superman” varied by venue and screening.

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

*It should be noted that other than the Northpoint in San Francisco it is undetermined which cinema(s) during first-run release actually played “Superman” in a split-surround presentation since (1) the split-surround aspect of the presentation was considered a test and not promoted, and (2) the split-surround decoding equipment had not yet been made available; instead a prototype of the SA-5 surround adapter for use with the Dolby CP100 was manufactured for the cinema(s) in which the test presentations were held.

It should also be noted 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, 35mm-only auditorium within a multiplex. As well, the reverse scenario is true whereas several bookings 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 has been included in the duration figure.

CALIFORNIA
Costa Mesa — South Coast Plaza Triplex (27) [70mm from Week 3]
Los Angeles (Hollywood) — Chinese (22) [renovated into triplex during run]
Los Angeles (Westwood Village) — National (17)
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills) — Warner Center 6-plex (26) [70mm from Week 3]
San Diego — Cinema 21 (7) [70mm from Week 2]
San Francisco — Northpoint (23) [70mm from Week 2]
San Jose — Town & Country (25) [70mm from Week 7]

COLORADO
Denver — Century 21 (25) [70mm from Week 2]

ILLINOIS
Calumet City — River Oaks 4-plex (21) [70mm from Week 11]
Chicago — Esquire (12) [70mm from Week 3]
Northbrook — Edens Twin (16) [70mm from Week 3]
Oak Brook — Oakbrook (21) [70mm from Week 3]
Schaumburg — Woodfield 4-plex (20) [70mm from Week 3]

KENTUCKY
Louisville — Showcase 8-plex (22) [70mm from Week 12]

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston — Cinema 57 Twin (13) [70mm from Week 4]

MICHIGAN
Livonia — Mai Kai (23) [70mm from Week 3]
Southfield — Americana 4-plex (23) [70mm from Week 3]

MINNESOTA
Bloomington — Southtown (23) [70mm from Week 3]
Brooklyn Center — Brookdale (23) [70mm from Week 3]

NEW YORK
New York — Murray Hill (16)
New York — Astor Plaza (16)
New York — Orpheum Twin (17)

OREGON
Beaverton — Westgate Triplex (23) [70mm from Week 2]
Portland — Eastgate Triplex (23) [70mm from Week 2]

TEXAS
Dallas — Northpark West Twin (21) [70mm from Week 6]

SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS

1979-01-26 … Washington, DC — Embassy Circle (19)
1979-04-04 … New York, NY — Criterion (7)
1979-05-09 … Cheektowaga, NY — Holiday 6-plex (2)
1979-05-25 … San Francisco, CA — Royal (3)
1979-06-08 … Modesto, CA — Briggsmore (2)
1979-07-13 … Renton, WA — Roxy (2)
1979-07-13 … Seattle, WA — Crest 70 (3)
1979-07-25 … Philadelphia, PA — Parkwood Manor (2)
1979-08-31 … San Francisco, CA — Market Street (1)
1979-09-21 … Boston, MA — Charles Triplex (1)
1979-09-26 … Philadelphia, PA — Parkwood Manor (1)

1980-06-27 … New York, NY — State Twin (3)
1980-07-02 … San Francisco, CA — Cinema 21 (3)

1981-01-15 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (4 days) [70mm fest]
1981-01-17 … Cleveland, OH — Strosacker [CWRU Film Society series]
1981-03-19 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (11 days) [70mm fest]
1981-04-10 … Niagara Falls, ON — Pyramid Place (1) [70mm fest]
1981-09-18 … Montreal, QC — York (3)
1981-11-20 … Ottawa, ON — National Arts Centre Opera (2 days)

1982-01-27 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm fest]

1983-01-19 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm fest]
1983-10-28 … Victoria, BC — Haida (1) [70mm fest]
1983-11-11 … Calgary, AB — North Hill (canceled and replaced w/“Pink Floyd: The Wall”) [70mm fest]
1983-11-11 … Edmonton, AB — Meadowlark (1) [70mm fest]
1983-12-02 … Winnipeg, MB — Grant Park (1) [70mm fest]

1984-07-23 … Atlanta, GA — Fox [7th annual summer film fest]

1992-07-17 … Los Angeles (Mid-Wilshire), CA — LACMA Bing [70mm fest]
1992-08-19 … Los Angeles (Mid-Wilshire), CA — Four Star (1) [fest; w/“Terminator 2”]
1992-10-11 … Los Angeles (Century City), CA — Century 14-plex [retro fest]
1992-10-15 … Los Angeles (Century City), CA — Century 14-plex [retro fest]

1999-08-01 … Austin, TX — Paramount [70mm series]
1999-09-03 … Los Angeles (Westwood Village), CA — Plaza [Fri/Sat/Sun midnight]

2008-04-18 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama (1)

The information in this article has been principally referenced from film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion and Dolby Labs’ records, with thanks to Sam D. Chavez, Bill Kretzel, and Vince Young.

International 70mm presentations 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:

“Superman II”: The 70mm Engagements

“Superman III”: The 70mm Engagements

70mm Cinemas in North America

in70mm.com's list of films blown up to 70mm

70mm Engagements by Title

35mm to 70mm Engagements by Year

Large Format 7OMM Engagements

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

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films


70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo
 
   
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