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“Superman II”: The 70mm Engagements
“The adventure continues.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 16.05.2017
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter large-format engagements of “Superman II” in North America. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.

“Superman II” was among eight confirmed first-run films released in 1981 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. A dozen 70mm prints were reportedly struck for distribution in North America. The Alexander Salkind production and Warner Bros. release was directed by Richard Donner (uncredited) and Richard Lester and starred Gene Hackman and Christopher Reeve.

“Superman II” opened in late 1980 and early 1981 in several countries throughout the world. The North American premiere was held May 31st (1981) at the Uptown in Washington, DC. The public release in North America commenced June 19th.

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

Warner Bros. circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for “Arthur,” “Body Heat,” “So Fine,” “Prince of the City,” “Under the Rainbow” and “Wolfen” during the release of “Superman II.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “Superman II” varied by venue and screening.

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

Bakersfield — UA’s Movies 6 (24) [70mm from Week 21]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (#1: 9) [Megasound]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (#2: 2) [Megasound]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Village (9) [Megasound]
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin (9) [70mm from Week 3]
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 6 (13) [70mm from Week 5]
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (#1: 16)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (#2: 4)

Washington — Circle’s Uptown (15)

Honolulu — Consolidated’s Waikiki Twin (9)

Boston — Sack’s Cinema 57 Twin (10)

Totowa — UA’s Cinema 46 Triplex (6)

New York — Cinema 5’s Murray Hill (14)
New York — RKO Century’s Cinerama Twin (14)

Springfield — GCC’s Springfield Mall 6 (14)

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.


1981-08-21 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Vogue (1)
1981-09-04 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Picwood (4)
1981-09-11 … Sacramento, CA — Syufy’s Century 6 (1)
1981-10-16 … Philadelphia, PA — RAM’s Parkwood Twin (3)
1981-10-23 … Salt Lake City, UT — Plitt’s Crossroads Triplex (2)
1981-11-25 … Cleveland, OH — Colony (1)

1982-02-10 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm festival]
1982-03-19 … Cleveland, OH — CWRU’s Strosacker [CWRU Film Society series]
1982-03-29 … Ottawa, ON — National Arts Centre Opera
1982-10-08 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (2)
1982-10-22 … Los Angeles, CA — Plitt’s Century Plaza Twin (2)
1982-10-22 … Pasadena, CA — SRO’s Hastings (1)
1982-10-22 … Tucson, AZ — Plitt’s Foothills 4 (1)
1982-10-29 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Hollywood (1) [w/ “Tron”]
1982-10-29 … Philadelphia, PA — Budco’s Regency Twin (1)
1982-10-29 … Seattle, WA — SRO’s Music Box (2) [w/ “Firefox”]
1982-11-12 … Lynnwood, WA — SRO’s Grand Alderwood 5 (4) [w/ “Firefox”]
1982-12-10 … Wichita, KS — Dickinson’s Mall (1)

1983-01-26 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm festival]

The information included in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion, print enclosures, and Dolby records. Special thanks to David Ayers, Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel, Paul Linfesty and Joe Odenthal.

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”: 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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Updated 07-01-23