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70mm in Sydney, Australia

All 70mm film lists
Written by: Peter Fraser. With thanks to David Coles and Peter Mason for their assistance. Date: 30.04.1999
Updated 21-01-24

Who is Peter Fraser?

I was born in New Zealand in Wellington in 1945. My parents worked in about five local city cinemas. So I grew up not having to pay to see films. If you saw the film "Cinema Paradiso" (about the kid who loves being in projection rooms) you will get some idea of how I spend my childhood. This also gave me a great appreciation of European cinema at a very early age. I also worked in cinemas when I was at school (part time) working in the shop selling ice creams etc etc.

When I left school I also worked part time as a doorman/usher and relieving manager. I came to Australia in 1967 to live but still correspond with two cinema managers I worked for. We had a 70mm Cinerama cinema in our town (same company as the cinema I worked for). Screen was too high (due to needing fire exits under the screen. It was a disaster. Still the view from the projection room was okay. Not a very big screen. I worked at a 70mm cinema (56 ft wide screen). Another local cinema had a 60ft 70mm screen (the biggest in New Zealand and Australia ).

I managed to see all the early 70mm films and at the cinema I worked at, the screen was wall to wall, ceiling to floor almost which made it great for 70mm.I often went after school to see films where my parents worked. Having to see the "The Sound of Music" for 10 months was not the greatest experience. I did see "The Miracle of Todd-AO" lots of times and sat all over the cinema to see it you could feel anything whilst watching the roller coaster scene. I have a friend of a friend who is getting me a video of this short taken from an 8mm film he has. I also can remember when CinemaScope was installed in the same cinema (for "The Robe") when I was a kid.

Sydney 70mm screens were very small and prints were always wasted in these cinemas. There are a couple of reasonably big screens here now (2 x 50 ft and one 60ft). I saw about 180 70mm films in my life. Saw in New Zealand 5 of the 3 strip Cinerama films.

I have met Keith Swadkins (The International Cinerama Society) and Willem Bouwmeester when they were last in Australia. I have lots of Cinerama souvenirs in my collection and thousands of pages of items if interest and magazines articles. I am a friend of David Coles who occasionally writes for ..in 70mm – The 70mm Newsletter.

I also work part time as an actor when I get the spare time. Does not pay much but I love stage work. Finally I do not like Imax (we have the biggest screen in the world in Sydney. I hate the shape of the screen. I saw Cinerama in many theatres in the late sixties in America: Loved the Warner in New York where I saw "Grand Prix" and "The Dirty Dozen". I saw at the fabulous Capitol cinema also in New York on the Cinerama screen.
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Cinema and Film in Australia

Cinerama at the Melbourne Plaza

A comment to "The lost world of 70mm Theatres"

The lost world of 70mm Theatres By Ian Hanson

In The Picture - Tom Down Under

70mm Release Summary Sydney
Super Panavision 70 in Sydney
Ultra Panavision 70 in Sydney
Todd-AO in Sydney
Super Technirama 70 in Sydney
70mm Blow Up in Sydney – VistaVision
Village Cinema City
70mm Blow-up in Sydney - Spherical
70MM Blow-up in Sydney - Pitt Centre
CinemaScope 55 in Sydney
Sydney in 35mm - Part 1

In 7OMM with Doug Louden

70mm in Sydney
Note: The release dates shown are the dates the films opened to the public. Where known, the invitational premiere dates are shown in brackets.

Title Released Cinema Notes
"South Pacific" 26 December, 1958 Mayfair Ran until June 1962
"The Miracle of Todd–AO" 26 December, 1958 Mayfair
"Solomon and Sheba" (9) 10 December, 1959 Paris Very small screen. A waste of a 70mm print
"Can-Can" 16 April, 1960 Paris
"Porgy and Bess" 23 June, 1960 Forum Very small screen. A waste of a 70mm print.
"Spartacus" 9 December, 1960 Forum
"Oklahoma!" 9 November, 1961 Paris First time in 70mm
"Black Tights" 23 February, 1962 Forum
"El Cid" 21 April, 1962 Forum
"The Alamo" 26 April, 1962 Paris 26 minutes shorter than USA and New Zealand versions
"West Side Story" (6) 7 June, 1962 Mayfair
"Exodus" 12 July, 1962 Paris
"55 Days at Peking" 26 July, 1963 Forum
"Around the World in 80 Days" 15 August, 1963 Paris First time in 70mm
"Barabbas" 16 August, 1963 Barclay
"The King and I" 10 October, 1963 Paris First time in 70mm
"Lawrence of Arabia" (31 Oct) 1 November, 1963 Barclay 20 Minutes shorter than the London version. 35mm prologue, about Lawrence, was also shown
"Cleopatra" (5) 6 December, 1963 Mayfair 60 minutes shorter than USA version
"The Fall of the Roman Empire" 10 July, 1964 Forum
"It’s a Mad,Mad,Mad,Mad World" 3 December, 1964 Plaza Approx. 38 minutes shorter than the USA version. Shown in Cinerama. Cinema originally built for Grandeur 70 but the 1929/31 70mm era bypassed Australia
"The Long Ships" 26 December, 1964 Barclay
"The Sound of Music" 17 April, 1965 Mayfair Transferred to Paris cinema on 20 Dec.1967 and ran until 2 Oct.1968.
"Circus World" 4 June, 1965 Forum
"Lord Jim" (10) 11 June, 1965 Barclay
"My Fair Lady" (28) 29 July, 1965 Century Very small screen. A waste of a 70mm print
"In Harms Way" (16) 17 Septembe, 1965r Forum
"Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" 14 October, 1965 Paris
"Genghis Khan" 10 December, 1965 Barclay
"The Great Race" 17 December, 1965 Forum
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" 7 April, 1966 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"The Hallelujah Trail" 15 September, 1966 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"Battle of the Bulge" 10 November, 1966 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"The Agony and the Ecstacy" 17 November, 1966 Paris 70mm prologue not screened although it appeared on the video
"Cheyenne Autumn" 18 November, 1966 Forum
"The Lost Command" 23 December, 1966 Forum
"The Professionals" 23 December, 1966 Barclay
"Is Paris Burning" 3 March, 1967 Forum
"Khartoum" (9) 10 March, 1967 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"Gone With The Wind" 25 March, 1967 Ascot Best non-Cinerama 70mm screen in the city
"The Bible…In The Beginning" 1 June, 1967 Century  
"Casino Royale" (8) 9 June, 1967 Barclay
"Grand Prix" (13) 14 July, 1967 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"The Sand Pebbles" 1 September, 1967 Paris Approx. 18 minutes shorter than USA version
"Camelot" (20) 21 December, 1967 Century
"Dr. Dolittle" 21 December, 1967 Mayfair
"Doctor Zhivago" 21 December, 1967 Ascot First time in 70mm
"Far From the Madding Crowd" (21) 22 February, 1968 Ascot
2OO1: A Space Odyssey (1) 2 May, 1968 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"Guns for San Sebastian" 10 May, 1968 Forum
"Zulu" 12 July, 1968 Forum First time in 70mm
"Valley of the Dolls" 25 July, 1968 Plaza
"Becket" 4 October, 1968 Forum First time in 70mm
"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" 1 November, 1968 Forum First time in 70mm
"The Hellfighters" 13 December, 1968 Ascot
"Ben Hur" 13 December, 1968 Forum First time in 70mm
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" 19 December, 1968 Paris
"Finian’s Rainbow" 19 December, 1968 Century
"Custer of the West" 20 February, 1969 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"Funny Girl" 21 March, 1969 Barclay
"Ice Station Zebra" 3 April, 1969 Plaza Shown in Cinerama
"Mackenna’s Gold" 5 April, 1969 Forum
"STAR!" 23 May, 1969 Mayfair
"The Longest Day" 5 June, 1969 Paris First time in 70mm
"Sweet Charity" (14) 15 August, 1969 Ascot Most successful season in the world – running 8 months. Version shown had the "happy ending" "Melbourne screened the "sad" ending version
"The Lion in Winter" (20) 21 August, 1969 Century
"Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies" 3 October, 1969 Forum
"Hello, Dolly!" (18) 19 December, 1969 Mayfair
"Castle Keep" 20 February, 1970 Forum
"Paint Your Wagon" (5) 6 March, 1970 Barclay
"The Wild Bunch" 20 March, 1970 Forum
"Airport" (15) 16 April, 1970 Ascot Season opened in 35mm. 70mm print screened late into the lengthy season
"Marooned" (27) 28 May, 1970 Mayfair
"The Jolson Story" 2 July, 1970 Astra First time in 70mm. Screened in suburban Parramatta only.
"Patton" (8) 9 July, 1970 Mayfair
"Cromwell" (19) 20 August, 1970 Mayfair
"Waterloo" (18) 19 November, 1970 Paris
"Song of Norway" 24 December, 1970 Mayfair
"Darling Lili" 26 December, 1970 Barclay
"Ryan’s Daughter" (21) 22 January, 1971 Ascot
"Too Late, the Hero" 8 April, 1971 Paris
"Le Mans" (21) 23 July, 1971 Barclay
"Tora! Tora! Tora!" 29 July, 1971 Plaza Best place to see 70mm in Australia.Had the biggest and deepest curved screen.
"The Last Valley" 30 September, 1971 Mayfair
"The Great Battle" 28 October, 1971 Plaza
"Raid on Rommel" 29 October, 1971 Barclay
"Wild Rovers" 19 November, 1971 Barclay
"Nicholas and Alexandra" (7) 8 December, 1971 Paris
"Krakatoa, East of Java" 16 December, 1971 Astra Screened in Suburban Parramatta only. Never shown in Cinerama.
"The Boy Friend" (22) 24 December, 1971 Barclay 25 minutes shorter than original version. Full version was eventually screened in 35mm in the late nineties.
"The Andromeda Strain" 25 August, 1972 Ascot
"The Cowboys" 20 July, 1972 Mayfair
"Poem of Dances" 14 September, 1972 Mayfair
"Scrooge" 17 November, 1972 Forum
"Young Winston" (6) 7 December, 1972 Century
"Never give An inch" 9 February, 1973 Ascot
"The Poseidon Adventure" 1 March, 1973 Plaza
"Lost Horizon" (15) 16 August, 1973 Paris
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" 11 October, 1973 Mayfair First time in 70mm
"The Ten Commandments" 23 November, 1973 Paramount First time in 70mm
"Tom Sawyer" (12) 13 December, 1973 Paris
"Jesus Christ Superstar" 21 December, 1973 Paramount
"The Great Caruso" 17 May, 1974 Sydney Opera House Concert Hall First time in 70mm.Screened for one day only
"The Three Muskeeters" 25 July, 1974 Mayfair Premiered at the Sydney Film festival in June at the STATE - first and only 70mm screening at the STATE until 1980.
"Earthquake" 20 December, 1974 Forum In Sensurround
"That’s Entertainment" 20 December, 1974 Barclay
"The Towering Inferno" 27 March, 1975 Plaza
"Rollerball" (13) 14 August, 1975 Mayfair
"Lucky Lady" (14) 15 April, 1976 Plaza
"Deliverance" 15 April, 1976 Village First time in 70mm
"The Return of a Man Called Horse" 16 December, 1976 Plaza
"Logan’s Run" 17 December, 1976 Paramount
"Star Wars" 27 October, 1977 HOYTS
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (15) 16 March, 1978 Hoyts
"Capricorn One" (26) 27 July, 1978 Hoyts
"Grease" (2) 4 August, 1978 Paramount
"Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" 24 November, 1978 Barclay
"The Wiz" (23) 24 August, 1979 Barclay
"Apocalypse Now" (15) 16 November, 1979 Hoyts
"Alien" (5) 6 December, 1979 Hoyts
"The Muppet Movie" 13 December, 1979 Hoyts
"Star Trek" (19) 21 December, 1979 Paramount Film opened in 35mm. 70mm print screened later on in the season.
"The Rose" 31 January, 1980 Hoyts
"The Black Hole" 28 March, 1980 Barclay
"Can’t Stop the Music" 20 June, 1980 Paramount Sydney season was the most successful in the world
"The Empire Strikes Back" (6) 7 August, 1980 Hoyts
"Russian Adventure" 25 August, 1980 Forum Sat on the shelf for 14 years. Never shown in Cinerama. Screened for 6 days only.
"Divine Madness" 5 December 1980 State Cinema
"That’s Entertainment II" 10 December, 1980 Forum First time in 70mm. Screened for one day only
"The Jazz Singer" (12) 13 February, 1981 State The biggest cinema in Sydney had the smallest screen. A waste of a 70mm print
"Oliver" 30 April, 1981 Hoyts First time in 70mm
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" 14 August, 1981 Paramount
"The Sleeping Beauty" 7 May, 1982 State First time in 70mm
Napoleon 24th May 1982 State
"Quest for Fire" 10 June, 1982 Hoyts
"Poltergeist" 6 August, 1982 Paramount
"Rocky III" (11) 12 August, 1982 Hoyts
"Star Trek II" (12) 13 August, 1982 State
"E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial" (25) 26 November, 1982 State
"Pink Floyd – The Wall" 3 December, 1982 Barclay
"Annie" 9 December, 1982 Hoyts
The Best Little Whorehouse inTexas 9 December 1982 PARAMOUNT
"The Return of the Jedi" (26) 27 October, 1983 Hoyts
Brainstorm 9 December, 1983 Pitt Center
"The Right Stuff" 8 March, 1984 Village 70mm print damaged during its opening week. Replaced with a 35mm print.70mm print transferred to suburban Sylvania on 22 March for two weeks. New 70mm print screened in the nineties.
"Greystoke – the Legend of Tarzan" 3 May, 1984 State
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" 19 July, 1984 State
"Gremlins" 13 December, 1984 State
"Amadeus" 14 February, 1985 Hoyts
"2010" 21 March, 1985 State
"Starman" 6 June, 1985 Hoyts
"Lifeforce" 15 August, 1985 Hoyts
"Cocoon" 22 August, 1985 Hoyts
"Santa claus" 5 December, 1985 Hoyts
"Silverado" 12 December, 1985 Hoyts
Young Sherlock Holmes 19 December 1985 Lyceum  
"Rocky IV" 19 December, 1985 Hoyts
"The Year of the Dragon" 9 January, 1986 Hoyts
"Top Gun" 31 July, 1986 Lyceum
"Aliens" (5) 6 November, 1986 Hoyts
"The Mission" 4 December, 1986 Pitt center
"The Color of Money" 19 February, 1987 Greater Union George Street
"The Untouchables" (2) 3 September, 1987 Greater Union George Street
"The Last Emperor" 26 November, 1987 Hoyts
"Cry Freedom" (17) 18 February, 1988 Pitt Center
"Empire of the Sun" (9) 10 March, 1988 Hoyts
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (23) 24 November, 1988 Greater Union George Street
"Willow" 15 December, 1988 Greater Union George Street
"Lawrence of Arabia" 13 July, 1989 Hoyts Restored Director’s cut.
"The Bear" 12 October, 1989 Hoyts
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" June, 1989 State Theatre 70mm print used for one screening only at the premiere and then exported
"Arachnophobia" 26 December, 1990 Pitt Center
"Edward Scissorhands" (20) 21 March, 1991 Hoyts
"The Doors" (29) 30 May, 1991 Hoyts
"Spartacus" (16) 24 October, 1991 Orpheum Restored Director’s cut. Screened in suburban Cremorne only
"Hook" 26 March, 1992 Hoyts
"The Last Boy Scout" 23 april, 1992 Village cinema  
"Howard’s End" 21 May, 1992 Hoyts
"Far and Away" 4 June, 1992 Greater Union George Street Screened in Suburban Paramatta also. This is the only time that two 70mm prints, of the same film, screened in Sydney simultaneously.
"Beauty and the Beast" 11 July, 1992 Greater Union George Street Screened for three days of public previews from 6 to 8 July
"Patriot Games" 13 August, 1992 Greater Union George St  
"Lethal Weapon 3"  3 September, 1992 Village cinema  
1993 No new films screened.
"Remains of the Day" 24 February, 1994 Hoyts
"Baraka" 22 July, 1994 Orpheum First time in 70mm. Screened in suburban Cremorne only. As at January 2000, the film is still screening several times a month. 6th year
"Little Buddha" 28 July, 1994 Pitt Center Very small screen. A waste of 70mm
"Gettysburg" 8 September, 1994 Pitt Center
1995 No new films screened.
1996 No new films screened.
"Hamlet" 22 May, 1997 Hoyts 4 Hour version later replaced with the 3 hour 35mm version
"Vertigo" 10 July, 1997 Pitt Center First time in 70mm. Restored print
"Titanic" (17) 18 December, 1997 Hoyts 35mm print sometimes substituted when inexperienced 70mm projectionists were on duty. Public not advised re this problem.

1. November 2005


Just a quick note regarding the list "70mm in Sydney" located on your (fantastic) web-site.

In his exhaustive list Peter fraser has quoted:

""Titanic" (17) 18 December, 1997 Hoyts Only 70mm screening in Australia. 35mm print sometimes substituted when inexperienced 70mm projectionists were on duty. Public not advised re this problem."

I am a Melbourne projectionist of 25+years experience in the industry and currently work at both the Melbourne IMAX Theatre and also at the art-deco ASTOR THEATRE in suburban St. Kilda. I have shown "TITANIC" in 70mm many, many times here in Melbourne, so perhaps a correction to claim it has only ever been shown in Sydney is in order?

The 1936 ASTOR is one of the few Australian venues still capable and actually still showing 70mm features on a regular basis. As a retro-nostalgia house, we usually feature a different DOUBLE FEATURE every night of the week - just like the good old days. The 70mm print of "2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY"; "HAMLET" and "PINK FLOYD THE WALL" still feature regularly on our program calendar - as have a number of other 70mm titles such as "LAWRENCE OF ARABIA"; "ITS A MAD, MAD. MAD, MAD WORLD"; "INDIANA JONES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM"; "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK"; "POLTERGEIST"; "BARAKA" - and of course James Cameron's 1997 epic "TITANIC" in all its 70mm DTS glory!

Peter is certainly to be congratulated on his work in compiling such an extensive list, and lm sure for the sake of historical record and clarity, he would be pleased to see any updates included as this type of information comes to light.

Keep up the good work!

Kind Regards,

Melbourne IMAX Theatre
ASTOR Theatre, St. Kilda.
(Melbourne, Australia)
The Master 8 November 2012 Orpheum (Cremorne)  
"The Hateful Eight" 14.01.2016 • Event George Street
• Cremorne Orpheum
...in Ultra Panavision 70

The invited audience premiere was the night before on the 13
Fantastic Beasts 17/11/2016 Cremorne Orpheum
"Dunkirk" 20/07/2017 Event George Street
"Murder on the Orient Express" 09/11/2017 Randwick Ritz
"Joker" 03/10/2019 Randwick Ritz
"Tenet" 27/08/2020 Randwick Ritz
"Death on the Nile" 10/02/2022
"Oppenheimer" 23.07.2023 • Ritz Cinemas Randwick
Orpheum Cremorne
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Updated 21-01-24