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The Original 70mm Engagements Of "The Empire Strikes Back"
A work-in-progress list

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Michael Coate and William Kallay (Copyright 2003)Date: July 15, 2003
What follows is a list of the known 70mm engagements of the movie "The Empire Strikes Back" (aka "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back"). As one can glean from the list, 70mm engagements were aplenty on this title, with many "out-of-the-way" places often playing the movie in 70mm. What is noteworthy about the release of "The Empire Strikes Back" with regard to the 70mm presentation format is that the film was (at the time) distributed with a record number of large-format prints for a saturation, non-roadshow-type release, eclipsing the record set the previous year by "Alien".

"The Empire Strikes Back" opened with a modest number of initial wave engagements, reportedly 127, most of which are identified in the list below (check this Web site periodically for updates). It appears that with the exception of a few drive-in bookings, all of the first-wave engagements were in the deluxe 70mm format. Additional 70mm engagements were added during the "expansion wave" releases throughout the summer of 1980.

Also of interest to some may be that the 70mm prints of "The Empire Strikes Back" differed from the 35mm version in that some editing differences, additional shots, alternate takes, and extra dialogue can be detected through a comparison of the two versions. It is understood that when the movie was considered "finished," the elements were turned over to the lab and sound facilities so the desired 70mm print order could be prepared. The filmmakers, however, elected to "un-finish" the movie and make a few, albeit subtle, changes that, considering the expense and time involved in re-striking and and/or re-sounding 70mm prints, were reflected only in the film's 35mm prints. There is a bit of irony in all of this trivia: the majority of the public and media who saw the movie in its first month of release saw the "less complete" version.

Additional contributors to this project:

Peter Fraser
José Gonzalez Mancera
Rain Greene
Bill Kretzel
John Sharp

If you have comments or corrections, or information to contribute to this list please contact Michael Coate, William Kallay or Thomas Hauerslev
Further in 70mm reading:

"Star Wars"
Newspaper References
Additional references

“Alien” 70mm openings
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” 70mm openings

Internet link:

World Premiere on May 17, 1980
Washington, D.C.: Kennedy Center

Royal Premiere on May 20, 1980
London: Odeon Leicester Square

NORTH AMERICA

Opened May 21, 1980 (except where noted):

ALBERTA, CANADA
Calgary: Palliser Square
Edmonton: Paramount

ARIZONA
Phoenix: Cine Capri
Tucson: El Dorado (opened June 18)

ARKANSAS
Little Rock: Cinema 150

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Vancouver: Stanley

CALIFORNIA
Corte Madera: Cinema
Fresno: Festival
Hollywood: Egyptian
Lakewood: Lakewood Center (opened June 27)
La Mirada: La Mirada (opened June 27)
Montclair: Movies* (opened June 27)
Monterey: Cinema 70 (opened June 18)
Newport Beach: Newport
Orange: Cinedome 20
Orange: Cinedome 23
Sacramento: Century 26
San Diego: Cinerama
San Francisco: Northpoint
San Jose: Century 22
West Covina: Westcove (moveover; began Dec. 19)
West Los Angeles: Picwood (moveover; began Dec. 17)
Westwood: Avco Center
Woodland Hills: Warner Center* (opened June 27)


COLORADO
Denver: Cooper

CONNECTICUT
East Hartford: Showcase
Orange: Showcase
Stamford: Ridgeway

DELAWARE
Claymont: Tri-State Mall

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington, D.C.: K-B

FLORIDA
Miami: 163rd Street
Miami: Dadeland Twin One
Winter Park: Park West*

GEORGIA
Atlanta: Phipps Plaza

HAWAII
Honolulu: Cinerama

ILLINOIS
Calumet City: River Oaks
Champaign: Virginia
Chicago: Esquire
Chicago: Ford City
Lombard: Yorktown
Moline: Parkway
Niles: Golf Mill
Norridge: Norridge
Orland Park: Orland Square
Peoria: Madison
Schaumburg: Woodfield
Springfield: Esquire

INDIANA
Fort Wayne: Holiday
Indianapolis: Eastwood

IOWA
Des Moines: River Hills
Dubuque: Cinema Center

KANSAS
Wichita: Mall

KENTUCKY
Erlanger: Showcase
Lexington: Northpark
Lexington: Southpark
Louisville: Showcase

LOUISIANA
Metairie: Lakeside

MARYLAND
Towson: Hillendale

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston: Charles
Brookline: Circle (opened June 18)
Seekonk: Showcase
West Springfield: Showcase
Worcester: Showcase

MICHIGAN
Bloomfield Hills: Showcase Pontiac
Burton: Eastland Mall
Harper Woods: Eastland
Livonia: Terrace
Southfield: Americana
Southgate: Southgate
Sterling Heights: Showcase

MINNESOTA
Bloomington: Southtown
Brooklyn Center: Brookdale
Roseville: Har Mar

MISSOURI
Creve Coeur: Creve Coeur
Kansas City: Midland

NEBRASKA
Omaha: Cinema Center

NEVADA
Las Vegas: Parkway (opened June 18)

NEW JERSEY
Edison: Menlo Park
Moorestown: Moorestown Mall
Paramus: Triplex Paramus
Trenton: Twin Lawrenceville

NEW YORK
Cheektowaga: Holiday 2
Colonie: Colonie I
DeWitt: Shoppingtown I
Lawrence: Lawrence
Levittown: Nassau Quad
Manhattan: Astor Plaza
Manhattan: Murray Hill
Manhattan: New York Twin (opened June 18)
Manhattan: Orpheum
Rochester: Pittsford Triplex
Yonkers: Central Plaza

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte: Park Terrace
Fayetteville: Bordeaux
Greensboro: Terrace
Raleigh: Cardinal Twin
Winston-Salem: Thruway 1 & 2

OHIO
Columbus: Cinema East
Columbus: Continent
Dayton: Dayton Mall
Dayton: Salem Mall
Springdale: Showcase
Toledo: Showcase

ONTARIO, CANADA
Hamilton: Tivoli
London: Park
Toronto: University
Windsor: Centre

OREGON
Beaverton: Westgate
Eugene: Cinema World

PENNSYLVANIA
Allentown: Allentown 3
Cornwells Heights: Premiere 2
King of Prussia: Twin Plaza
McCandless: Showcase North
Monroeville: Showcase East
Philadelphia: Sameric
Pittsburgh: Warner
Robinson Township: Showcase West

QUEBEC, CANADA
Montreal: Place Du Canada

TENNESSEE
Memphis: Park
Nashville: Belle Meade

TEXAS
Austin: Americana
Dallas: Northpark I & II
Dallas: Prestonwood 5
Fort Worth: Ridglea
Houston: Alabama
Houston: Westchase 5

UTAH
Ogden: Cinedome 70
Salt Lake City: Centre

VIRGINIA
Bailey's Crossroads: K-B Cinema 7* (opened June 18)
Springfield: Springfield Mall
Vienna: Tysons (opened June 18)

WASHINGTON
Seattle: Cinema 150
Tacoma: Tacoma Mall

WISCONSIN
Fox Point: Brownport
Milwaukee: Southtown
Wauwatosa: Mayfair


*****


INTERNATIONAL

AUSTRALIA
Sydney: Hoyts (opened Aug 7)

SPAIN 
Madrid: Reál Cinema Cinerama (opened Sept)
Spanish title: "El Imperio Contraataca"

UNITED KINGDOM
London: Odeon Leicester Square (opened May 21)



***RE-RELEASES/ADDITIONAL ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS***


1981 re-release (Opened July 31)

ARIZONA
Scottsdale: Kachina

CALIFORNIA
Century City: Century Plaza
La Jolla: La Jolla Village
Monclair: Movies
Orange: City Center
San Diego: Glasshouse 6
Santa Barbara: Granada
Torrance: Del Amo
Woodland Hills: Warner Center*

ILLINOIS:
Bloomingdale: Stratford Square
Calumet City: River Oaks

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston: Cheri 1-2-3

NEW JERSEY
Cedar Grove: Cinema 23
Totowa: Cinema 46 Triplex

NEW YORK
Manhattan: Criterion Center
Manhattan: Gemini 2
White Plains:: Galleria Twin


*****


1982 

"Star Wars"/"Empire" double feature (Opened October 1)

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Vancouver: Stanley

ONTARIO, CANADA
Toronto: University


*****


1982 re-release (Opened Nov 19) 
**Included "Revenge Of The Jedi" trailer**

CALIFORNIA
Costa Mesa: South Coast Plaza
Hollywood: Paramount
Lakewood: Lakewood Center
Orange: Cinedome

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington, D.C.: Uptown

ILLINOIS:
Bloomingdale: Stratford Square
Chicago: Ford City
Northbrook: Edens
Oakbrook: Oakbrook


*****


1983 

"Star Wars"/"Empire" double feature (Opened July 29)

NEW JERSEY
Paramus: Route 17 Twin
Totowa: Cinema 46 Triplex

NEW YORK
Manhattan: Warner Twin
Nassau: Syosset


*****


1984

"Star Wars"/"Empire"/"Jedi" triple feature Nov 17-18 (United Way benefit)

ONTARIO, CANADA
Toronto: Cinesphere


 
*****


1985 

"Star Wars"/"Empire"/"Jedi" triple feature (March 28 - one time, one day only)

CALIFORNIA
Hollywood: Egyptian
San Francisco: Coronet
Westwood: Avco Center

COLORADO
Denver: Continental

ILLINOIS
Chicago: Carnegie

NEW YORK
Manhattan: Warner Twin

ONTARIO, CANADA
Toronto: Uptown

TEXAS
Dallas: Northpark I & II

WASHINGTON
Seattle: Cinema 150


*****


1987

CALIFORNIA
Century City: Century 14 (Oct 02-04; Fox Retrospective 3-day engagement)


*****

All of the engagements included in this document were presented in 70mm. The majority of the prints were in six-track Dolby Stereo. Selected engagements were in non-Dolby-encoded six-track stereo, and others were six-track Dolby Stereo prints booked into theatres that had non-Dolby-brand, Dolby-compatible equipment. These presentation variations were not always clearly accounted for on theatre marquees and in the original newspaper advertisement materials.

 
 
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Updated 17-07-13