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“Total Recall”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“They stole his mind. Now he wants it back.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 05.06.2022
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “Total Recall” in North America. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.

“Total Recall” was among twenty confirmed first-run films released in 1990 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Carolco/Ronald Shusett production and TriStar release — directed by Paul Verhoeven (“RoboCop”) and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox— opened June 1st.

Pre-release screenings included the world premiere held May 31st at Hollywood Pacific in Los Angeles and a Seattle International Film Festival screening June 1st at the Cinerama.

For the release of “Total Recall,” TriStar 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 “Total Recall” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”-encoded “baby boom” format) and pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm.

TriStar circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for “Air America,” “The Doors,” “The Freshman,” “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Narrow Margin” during the release of “Total Recall.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “Total Recall” varied by venue and screening.

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

Corte Madera — Pacific’s Cinema (4)
Los Angeles — AMC’s Century 14 (#1: 10) [THX]
Los Angeles — AMC’s Century 14 (#2: 3) [THX]
Los Angeles — GCC’s Beverly Connection 6 (6) [opened June 6th] (THX)
Los Angeles — Pacific’s Hollywood Pacific Triplex (7)
Los Angeles — UA’s Coronet Triplex (#1: 10) [THX]
Los Angeles — UA’s Coronet Triplex (#2: 3)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Triplex (5)
Orange — Syufy’s Century Cinedome 8 (9)
San Francisco — UA’s Galaxy 4 (11) [THX]
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 21 (2)
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18 (8) [THX]

Denver — UA’s Continental (1+)

Honolulu — Consolidated’s Waikiki Twin (8) [HPS-4000]

Boston — Loews’ Cheri 4 (6)

New York — Loews’ 19th Street East 6 (10)
New York — Loews’ 84th Street 6 (4)
New York — UA’s Gemini Twin (10)
New York — UA/Moss’ Criterion Center 6 (16)

Toronto — Famous Players’ Uptown 5 (7)

Philadelphia — SamEric’s Sam’s Place Twin (5)
Philadelphia — SamEric’s Sam’s Place Twin (#2: 3) [opened June 8th]

Dallas — UA’s The United Artists 8 (11) [THX]
Houston — Cineplex Odeon’s Spectrum 9 (11) [THX] (70mm from Week 5)

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.


1990-06-15 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (6)
1990-06-27 … New York, NY — Cineplex Odeon’s Regency (5)
1990-06-27 … San Rafael, CA — Pacific’s Regency 6 (5)
1990-07-20 … Casper, WY — Movie Palaces’ America (2)
1990-07-20 … Laguna Niguel, CA — Mann’s Rancho Niguel 8 (3) [THX]
1990-07-27 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 24 Twin (1+)
1990-09-21 … San Antonio, TX — Rivercenter IMAX (4)

1991-02-13 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm festival]

1998-01-02 … Chicago, IL — Cineplex Odeon’s Navy Pier IMAX (1) [late night series]

1999-11-19 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian [70mm festival; w/ “Altered States”]

2000-07-11 … Austin, TX — Paramount (2 days) [70mm festival]

2001-10-06 … Columbia Heights, MN — Heights [late show]

2004-03-08 … Seattle, WA — Cinerama [Cinerama & 70mm festival]

2006-07-01 … Santa Monica, CA — American Cinematheque’s Aero [70mm festival; w/ “Terminator 2”]

2007-09-27 … San Francisco, CA — Castro [70mm festival; w/ “Terminator 2”]

2012-08-24 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian [Mayan Calendar Countdown]

2019-06-14 … Chicago, IL — Music Box [70mm festival]

2020-01-05 … Portland, OR — Hollywood [70mm festival]

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 David Ayers, 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 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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“Total Recall”: The North American 70mm Engagements
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Updated 30-06-22