“Custer of the West”: The Roadshow Engagements
“A man too big for legend. A motion picture too big for any screen
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The following is a reference / historical listing of the roadshow
engagements of “Custer of the West” in North America. These presentations
utilized 70mm prints (branded as “Cinerama”)
derived from Super
Technirama photography and were projected onto large,
deeply-curved screens and featured discrete six-track stereophonic
sound. The seating was reserved at advanced prices with an average of
ten scheduled screenings per week. The cinemas in which these special
presentations played also sold souvenir programs.
“Custer of the West” was among fourteen first-run films released as a roadshow during 1968 and among twelve released that year with 70mm
prints for selected engagements. The Cinerama Releasing Corporation
release was directed by Robert Siodmak and starred Robert Shaw, Mary
Ure, Jeffrey Hunter and Robert Ryan.
(The film’s world premiere was held at the
Casino Cinerama in London on
November 9th, 1967.)
1968-01-24 … Dallas, TX — Capri (3 weeks)
1968-01-25 … Denver, CO — Cooper (11)
1968-01-25 … Detroit, MI — Summit (?)
1968-01-25 … Houston, TX — Gaylynn (5)
1968-01-25 … Kansas City, MO — Empire 2 (7)
1968-01-25 … Knoxville, TN — Capri-70 (?)
1968-01-25 … Portland, OR — Hollywood (7)
1968-01-25 … St. Louis, MO — Cinerama (8)
1968-02-01 … Buffalo, NY — Century (5)
1968-02-01 … Montreal, QC — Imperial (12)
1968-02-07 … Louisville, KY — Showcase 1 (4)
1968-02-09 … Columbus, OH — Grand (5)
1968-02-15 … Sacramento, CA — Esquire (5)
1968-02-16 … Cincinnati, OH — International 70 (5)
1968-02-21 … Milwaukee, WI — Wisconsin 1 (4)
Following poor reviews and low attendance for the initial roadshow
engagements, Cinerama revised their release strategy on “Custer of the
West”, discontinuing the roadshow and issuing the film elsewhere as a
continuous performance general release.
In historical accounts of roadshow and 70mm presentations, “Custer of
the West” is often overlooked (perhaps justifiably if you’ve seen the
film!). Too often historians have mistakenly used New York and/or Los
Angeles as a point of reference. “Custer” played the New York and Los
Angeles markets only as a general release, fueling the mistaken
perception that the film did not play any deluxe engagements.
The information in this article was principally referenced from film
industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with
thanks to Robert Morrow 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 emailing the
author or editor.
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