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70mm Blow Up

The 70mm Newsletter

Compiled by William Kallay and Michael Coate - ©1999-2002


Title Format Opening Sound Studio Notes
“Altered States” Spherical (1.85:1) Dec 25 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo (MegaSound) Warner Bros. First of four 70mm releases from 1980/81 to feature MegaSound bass enhancement. OAR blow-up. Sneak previewed in 70mm prior to release.  70mm trailers: ‘Outland’ and ‘Excalibur.’
“The Blue Lagoon” Spherical (1.85:1) June 20 (USA) 6-Track Stereo Columbia World Premiere: June 19 (Los Angeles).  OAR blow-up. As with DP Nestor Almendros’ work on ‘Days Of Heaven,’ this was a magnificently shot film enhanced with 70mm prints.
Blues Brothers, The Spherical (1.85:1) Oct 10 (UK) 6-Track Stereo Universal 35mm release: June 20. Some 35mm prints in 4-track mag stereo.
“Can’t Stop the Music”
Panavision June 20 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo AFD
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (Re-Issue) Panavision Aug 1 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo Columbia This was the 132-min ‘Special Edition,’ and was the version initially made available to home video formats. This version included a newly-shot ending, footage unused in the 1977 edition, and different editing throughout the film.
“Divine Madness” Panavision Sept 25 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo Ladd
Electric Horseman, The Panavision Mar 13 (UK) 6-Track Stereo Universal/Columbia US 35mm release: Dec 21, 1979.
"The Empire Strikes Back"
Panavision May 21 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo 20th Century Fox World Premiere: May 17 (Washington, DC). 136 70mm prints were struck for initial release (a record at the time.)  Due to last-minute changes made to the film, the already prepared 70mm prints contain some different shots, dialogue & transitional wipes compared to the final 35mm prints.  Expanded release June 27.  70mm re-issues in ‘81, ‘82, ‘83 and 35mm-digital in ‘97.   AKA: “Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.”
“Fame” Spherical (1.85:1) May 16 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo MGM
“Heaven’s Gate” Panavision Nov 19 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo United Artists US reserved seat engagement (shortest in history!). Originally set to open in three cities (New York, Los Angeles, Toronto). LA engagement was cancelled.  There was one screening in Toronto. The NY run lasted three days.  OAR blow-up. Premiere version ran 219 min. Cut to 149 for 1981 re-issue/general release.
“The Island” Panavision June 13 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo Universal
“The Jazz Singer” Spherical (1.85:1) Dec 19 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo (SS) AFD OAR blow-up.
“The Ninth Configuration” Panavision Feb 29 (USA) 6-Track Stereo Warner Bros. LA engagement not advertised in 70mm until third week of run. Re-edited into a ‘director’s cut’ & re-issued in Aug 1980 under the title “Twinkle, Twinkle, ‘Killer’ Kane.” Also see database entry for “Twinkle, Twinkle, ‘Killer’Kane.”
“Raise the Titanic” Technovision Aug 1 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo AFD Technovision photography credit misspelled ‘Technivision’ in end credits.  70mm trailer: ‘The Jazz Singer.’
Sargam NA May (India) 6-Track Stereo NA
Saturn 3 Spherical (1.85:1) Feb 15 (USA) 6-Track Dolby Stereo AFD US 70mm release unconfirmed. Title is listed in the book “Wide Screen Movies.”  Advertised in LA for one day only (Feb 10) & in NY for three days only (Feb 10, 15 & 17). Screened in 70mm in London beginning May 8.
Shaan NA Dec (India) 6-Track Stereo NA
Twinkle, Twinkle, ‘Killer’ Kane Panavision Aug 8 (USA) 6-Track Stereo UFD This was a re-edited, re-issued version of “The Ninth Configuration.” Re-issued in yet another edition (in 35mm) in 1985. Which cut (and under which title) will eventually appear  on DVD? Also see database entry for “The Ninth Configuration.” 

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Updated 07-01-23