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Author Topic: "E.T." 70mm
Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1876
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 06-11-2017 04:07 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"E.T.": The 70mm Engagements

“E.T.”: The 70mm Engagements

Compiled by Michael Coate

“He is afraid. He is alone. He is 3 million light years from home.”

The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” in North America. The film’s 70mm prints consisted of pillarboxed imagery (approximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm photography. The audio was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format).

“E.T.” was among eighteen first-run films released in 1982 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Universal release — directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote and Henry Thomas — opened June 11th.

The premiere of “E.T.” was held May 26th as the closing night feature of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. The film’s U.S. premiere was held June 10th at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles.

The 70mm prints of “E.T.” screened in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco were reportedly struck off the original negative, with the balance of the 70mm print run struck off an inter-negative.

A trailer for “The Dark Crystal” was suggested by Universal to be played with the “E.T.” presentations.

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

Note that some of the presentations included in this listing were presented in 35mm during the latter weeks of engagement due to 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 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 format switch to 70mm. In these cases, the 35mm portion of the engagement has been included in the duration figure.

Vancouver — Odeon’s Park (45)

Costa Mesa — Edwards’ Town Center 4-plex (28)
Los Angeles — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (5)
Oakland — Renaissance Rialto’s Grand Lake 4-plex
Orange — Syufy’s City Center Twin (27)
Sacramento — Syufy’s Capitol Twin
San Diego — Mann’s Loma (52)
San Francisco — Blumenfeld’s Regency II
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 21 (1)
Westminster — UA’s Westminster Mall Twin (27)

Washington — K-B’s Cinema (26)

Honolulu — Consolidated’s Waikiki Twin (27)

Calumet City — Plitt’s River Oaks 6-plex (27)
Chicago — General Cinema’s Ford City Triplex (27)
Orland Park — Plitt’s Orland Square 4-plex (28)
Schaumburg — Plitt’s Woodfield 4-plex (27)
Skokie — M&R’s Old Orchard Triplex (21)

Metairie — Cobb’s Lakeside 4-plex (52) [70mm from Week #28]

Minneapolis — Plitt’s Skyway 4-plex (23)

New York — Loews’ New York Twin (27)
New York — Moss’ Movieland
New York — Reade’s Bay (26)

Toronto — Odeon’s Hyland Twin (44)

Beaverton — Luxury Theatres’ Westgate Triplex (43)
Portland — Luxury Theatres’ Eastgate Triplex (43)

Dallas — General Cinema’s Northpark West Twin (27)
Houston — General Cinema’s Galleria 4-plex

Salt Lake City — Plitt’s Crossroads Triplex (48)
South Salt Lake — Syufy’s Century 5-plex (51)


1982-06-17 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 23 Twin (2)
1982-07-02 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (3)
1982-07-16 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Hollywood Pacific Triplex (27)
1982-07-16 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Picwood (22)
1982-07-16 … Newport Beach, CA — Edwards’ Newport Twin (19)
1982-07-16 … Riverside, CA — Sanborn’s Canyon Crest 5-plex (39)
1982-07-16 … Seattle, WA — UA’s Cinema 150 (22) [70mm from Week #2]
1982-07-23 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 23 Twin (43)
1982-10-22 … West St. Paul, MN — Engler’s Signal Hills 4-plex
1982-11-12 … Nashville, TN — Martin’s Belle Meade (5)
1982-12-17 … Colorado Springs, CO — Commonwealth’s Ute 70 (14)
1982-12-17 … Dallas, TX — Plitt’s Caruth Plaza Twin (9)
1982-12-17 … Philadelphia, PA — Budco’s Regency Twin (17) [70mm from Week #7]
1982-??-?? … Atlanta, GA — Columbia

1983-02-18 … Cedar Grove, NJ — Cinema 23
1983-02-18 … East Meadow, NY — UA’s Meadowbrook 4-plex
1983-02-18 … Hicksville, NY — RKO Century’s Mid-Island Plaza Twin
1983-02-18 … Nanuet, NY — UA’s Route 59 (3)
1983-02-18 … New York, NY — Loews’ New York Twin
1983-02-18 … New York, NY — Walter Reade’s Bay
1983-02-18 … Secaucus, NJ — Loews’ Meadow 6-plex
1983-02-18 … Wayne, NJ — Loews’ Wayne 6-plex (3)
1983-02-18 … White Plains, NY — UA’s Cinema
1983-03-04 … Los Angeles, CA — UA’s Egyptian Triplex (3)
1983-03-25 … Chicago, IL — Plitt’s State Lake (1)
1983-03-25 … Evergreen Park, IL — M&R’s Evergreen Triplex (1)
1983-03-25 … Forest Park, IL — Essaness’ Forest Park Triplex (1)
1983-03-25 … Norridge, IL — M&R’s Norridge 4-plex (1)
1983-03-25 … Schaumburg, IL — Plitt’s Woodfield 4-plex (1)
1983-04-01 … Little Rock, AR — UA’s Heights (2)
1983-04-15 … Toronto, ON — Famous Players’ Palace Triplex (3)
1983-05-20 … Cleveland, OH — Colony (1)
1983-05-20 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 21 (3)

1985-07-19 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Plaza (2)
1985-07-19 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Hollywood Pacific Triplex (4)
1985-07-19 … Montreal, QC — Cineplex Odeon’s Champlain Twin (5) [Version Francaise]
1985-07-19 … New York, NY — Loews’ Orpheum Twin
1985-07-19 … New York, NY — Loews’ State Twin
1985-07-19 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (3)
1985-07-19 … San Francisco, CA — Blumenfeld’s Royal
1985-07-19 … Toronto, ON — Famous Players’ Hyland Twin (5)
1985-08-09 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 24 Twin (1)
1985-12-26 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere* (11 days)

1986-06-06 … Los Angeles, CA — Pacific’s Hollywood Pacific Triplex (1) [w/“Back to the Future”]

1987-06-30 … Universal City, CA — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18-plex**

1990-07-22 … Los Angeles, CA — Cineplex Odeon’s Fairfax Triplex***

2017-06-18 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian****
2017-06-23 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian****

* Screened during the (annual) “Ford 70mm Film Festival”
** Screened during the “Magnificent Movie Poll” grand-opening event
*** Screened during the “Classic Film Festival”
**** Screened during the “82 Blowup! Series”

The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Bill Kretzel, Monty Marin and Vince Young.

Additional 70mm prints were screened internationally (but have not been accounted for in this article).

If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please consider contacting the author or editor.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7046
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 06-11-2017 06:00 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Coate
Additional 70mm prints were screened internationally...
...and struck internationally, too. Back in January I inspected one that Universal had just repatriated from the UK. The edge code indicated that the print stock was made in Britain. The year was 1982, and so thankfully, it was on 5384 (lo-fade) stock; probably one of the first lo-fade 70mm release prints to have been made there.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 06-11-2017 08:02 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My memory fails me sometimes but here's what I recall.

The Edwards Town Center 4 in Costa Mesa had a sneak preview in 35mm. It was in Auditorium 4. I remember this very clearly because there was a lot of buzz around the movie. The preview was sold out hours ahead of the evening screening and there was semi-chaos when they started letting us in.

It later played there in Auditorium 1 in 70mm. Saw it several times. On one occasion there was a repetitive "click" noise in the audio for the first 10 minutes or so. Presumably something magnetic had come in contact with the first reel. The click gradually dropped in level until it was gone.

It did later play in 70mm at the Big Newport. My recollection is it was a very short run though. "I could be wrong. In fact I often am." Also I recall it looking kind of oddly small on that very large screen due to the aspect ratio.

Also saw it in 70mm at the UA Westminster Twin. That place was a hellhole. The auditorium walls were corrugated steel. The acoustics were terrible.

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Phillip Grace
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 143
From: ACMI. Melbourne. Australia.
Registered: Mar 2004

 - posted 06-12-2017 01:18 AM      Profile for Phillip Grace   Email Phillip Grace   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In Melbourne, Australia, E.T. was screened in 70mm at the Forum 1 (912 seats) and ran for about 500 performances before the print was repatriated. As I recall there was a 35mm copy running simultaneously upstairs in Forum 2 (525 seats). The 35mm season continued at the Russell Cinemas. Now that was a successful film!

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 797
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009

 - posted 06-12-2017 10:09 AM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice! How was the print after those 500 shows?

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004

 - posted 06-14-2017 07:01 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw the Crossroads SLC release in 1982 in 70mm and was not impressed with the blowup presentation, outside the image was simply brighter than if it was a 35mm due to the larger aperture opening.

Poor labwork, with a light grainy image and I'll forgive the pillarbox presentation on the screen due to a 1.85:1 dupe.

Plus, the venue itself was definitely early 1980's: shotgun seating, 250 seat house, screen not even 35 feet wide, used a platter system and joined the reels with opaque tape.


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Stephan Shelley
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: castro valley, CA, usa
Registered: Nov 2014

 - posted 06-14-2017 07:45 PM      Profile for Stephan Shelley   Email Stephan Shelley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Grand Lake played E.T. for 9 months same 70mm print.

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Phillip Grace
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 143
From: ACMI. Melbourne. Australia.
Registered: Mar 2004

 - posted 06-15-2017 02:40 AM      Profile for Phillip Grace   Email Phillip Grace   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Victor.

The print was fine at the end of its run, apart from some oil on one spool. The magnetic sound tracks provide the surface of the emulsion with quite a bit of protection from abrasion. The projectors were Victoria X, and the oil leak was associated with one of the shafts on the mag sound head. The drain hole inside the mechanism was a bit small so the oil could accumulate and overflow past the shaft. The hole was enlarged slightly so the leak was cured, but the print wasn't cleaned. (Dual projectors with reels doubled up onto 6000 ft spools - rewinding by hand).

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12213
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 06-15-2017 07:18 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The magnetic tracks are on the base of the film. Though I suppose they could help with cinch marks since the emulsion would be spaced out from the next wrap.

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