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“The Thing”: The 70mm Engagements
“No special effects you have ever seen, nothing you can possibly imagine, will prepare you for this chilling and spectacular motion picture experience.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 02.03.2016
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” in the United States and Canada. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience the best presentation of this motion picture

“The Thing” was among eighteen confirmed first-run films released in 1982 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. Seven 70mm prints of the film were reportedly struck for distribution in North America. The Universal release — directed by John Carpenter (“Starman,” “Big Trouble in Little China”) and starring Kurt Russell — opened June 25th.

Pre-release screenings included a sneak preview at the Hollywood Pacific in Los Angeles on June 20th and an invitational preview at same venue held June 23rd.

The film’s 70mm prints featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded Baby Boom format) and full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm.

Universal circulated 70mm coming-attraction trailers for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” during the release of “The Thing.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “The Thing” varied by venue and screening.

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

Los Angeles — Pacific’s Hollywood Pacific Triplex (4)
Los Angeles — SRO’s Crest (5)
San Francisco — Blumenfeld’s Royal (5)

Bloomingdale — Plitt’s Stratford Square 4 (2) [opened July 9th]
Chicago — Plitt’s State Lake (3) [opened July 9th]

New York — UA’s Rivoli Twin (#1: 4) [HPS-4000]
New York — UA’s Rivoli Twin (#2: 3)

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 has been included in the duration figure.


1982-08-13 … Cleveland, OH — Colony (1)
1982-09-24 … Cleveland, OH — Variety (1)
1982-10-29 … Seattle, WA — SRO’s Cinerama [Fri-Sat midnight]
1982-10-29 … Wichita, KS — Dickinson’s Mall [Fri-Sat midnight]
1982-11-05 … Lynnwood, WA — SRO’s Grand Alderwood 5 (1) [w/ “Quest for Fire”]
1982-11-05 … Wichita, KS — Dickinson’s Mall [Fri-Sat midnight]
1982-11-12 … Renton, WA — MCR’s Roxy (1) [w/ “Outland”]

1983-01-15 … Cleveland, OH — CWRU’s Strosacker [CWRU Sci-Fi Marathon]
1983-02-11 … Cleveland, OH — Variety [Fri-Sat midnight]

2017-06-17 … Los Angeles, CA — Egyptian [70mm festival]
2017-06-21 … Los Angeles, CA — Egyptian [70mm festival]
2017-08-11 … Santa Monica, CA — Aero [70mm festival]
2017-08-31 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama [70mm festival]
2017-10-15 … Portland, OR — Hollywood [70mm series]
2017-10-30 … Austin, TX — Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
2017-12-28 … Toronto, ON — TIFF Bell Lightbox [70mm festival]
2017-12-29 … Toronto, ON — TIFF Bell Lightbox [70mm festival]
2017-12-30 … Toronto, ON — TIFF Bell Lightbox [70mm festival]

2018-01-03 … Toronto, ON — TIFF Bell Lightbox [70mm festival]
2018-09-14 … Chicago, IL — Music Box [70mm festival]
2018-09-15 … Chicago, IL — Music Box [70mm festival]
2018-09-19 … Chicago, IL — Music Box [70mm festival]

2019-05-24 … Santa Monica, CA — Aero [w/ “Starman”]

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 Bill Kallay and 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.
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List 1982 - by in70mm.com

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Updated 07-01-23