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“The Abyss”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“There’s everything you’ve ever known about adventure… And then there’s ‘The Abyss’.”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael CoateDate: 26.10.2019
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter presentations of “The Abyss” in North America. These were the best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.

“The Abyss” was among seventeen confirmed first-run films released in 1989 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The 20th Century Fox release — directed by James Cameron and starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn — opened August 9th.

Pre-release screenings included an invitational preview August 2nd at Avco Center in Los Angeles and premieres August ? at the Egyptian during the Seattle International Film Festival and August 8th at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

For the release of “The Abyss,” Fox employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theatre Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the cinemas selected to book a 70mm print.

The 70mm prints of “The Abyss” featured full-frame imagery blown up from Super-35 and Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format).

Seventy-millimeter trailers for Fox’s “Die Hard 2,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Millennium,” “The War of the Roses” and “Worth Winning” circulated during the release of “The Abyss and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation. (Additional 70mm trailers from other studios circulated during this period as well. Which trailers, if any, were seen during the presentations of “The Abyss” varied by venue and screening.)

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

Note that some of the presentations included in this listing may have been presented in 35mm during the latter week(s) 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 non-70mm-equipped 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 switch to 70mm. In these cases, any 35mm portion of the engagement (or movement out of a branded audio auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.

ARIZONA
Phoenix — Harkins’ Cine Capri (10)

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Vancouver — Cineplex Odeon’s Granville 7-plex (7) [THX]

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles (Beverly Grove) — Cineplex Odeon’s Beverly Center 13-plex (9) [THX]
Los Angeles (Canoga Park) — GCC’s Fallbrook 7-plex (10) [THX]
Los Angeles (Hollywood) — UA’s Egyptian Triplex (11) [THX]
Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks) — GCC’s Sherman Oaks 5-plex (7) [THX]
Los Angeles (Westwood Village) — GCC’s Avco Center Triplex (10) [THX]
Mountain View — Syufy’s Century 10-plex (9)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Triplex (6)
Oakland — Renaissance Rialto’s Grand Lake 4-plex (8)
Orange — Syufy’s Century Cinedome 8-plex (10)
Pleasant Hill — Syufy’s Century 5-plex (8)
Redondo Beach — GCC’s Galleria South Bay 6-plex (10) [THX]
Sacramento — Syufy’s Century Cinedome 8-plex (4+)
Sacramento — UA’s Arden Fair Mall 6-plex (4+)
San Diego — UA’s Horton Plaza 7-plex (4+) [THX]
San Francisco — UA’s Galaxy 4-plex (#1: 11) [THX]
San Francisco — UA’s Galaxy 4-plex (#2: 7) [THX]
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 21 (8)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century Berryessa 10-plex (4+)
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18-plex (9) [THX]

COLORADO
Denver — UA’s Continental (4+)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington — Cineplex Odeon’s Wisconsin Avenue 6-plex (6) [THX]
Washington — K-B’s Fine Arts (5)

GEORGIA
Atlanta — UA’s Lenox Square 6-plex (7)

ILLINOIS
Chicago — Cineplex Odeon’s McClurg Court Triplex (8) [THX]
Skokie — M&R’s Old Orchard 4-plex (5)

IOWA
Des Moines — Excellence’s River Hills (10)

KANSAS
Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood 4-plex (8)

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston — Loews’ Cheri Triplex (5)

MINNESOTA
St. Louis Park — Cineplex Odeon’s Cooper Twin (8)

NEW JERSEY
Edison — GCC’s Menlo Park Twin (5)
Paramus — Cineplex Odeon’s Route Four 10-plex (8)
Secaucus — Loews’ Meadow 6-plex (6)
West Orange — GCC’s Essex Green Triplex (6) [THX]

NEW YORK
Garden City — Loews’ Roosevelt Field 8-plex (5)
New York (Brooklyn) — UA’s The Movies at Sheepshead Bay 9-plex (6)
New York (Manhattan) — Cineplex Odeon’s Bay (5)
New York (Manhattan) — Cineplex Odeon’s Ziegfeld (5)
New York (Manhattan) — Loews’ Orpheum Twin (5)
New York (Manhattan) — Trans-Lux’s Gotham (10)
New York (Queens) — UA’s Continental Triplex (5)
Syosset — UA’s Syosset Triplex (5)

ONTARIO
Ottawa — Cineplex Odeon’s Somerset (8)
Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Hyland Twin (9)

OREGON
Portland — LT’s Lloyd 10 (4+) [THX]

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia — Sameric’s Sam’s Place Twin (6)

QUEBEC
Montreal — Cineplex Odeon’s Place Alexis-Nihon Triplex (8)

TEXAS
Austin — Presidio’s Arbor 4-plex (8) [THX]
Dallas — GCC’s Northpark West Twin (5) [THX]
Houston — Cineplex Odeon’s Spectrum 9-plex (9) [THX]

WASHINGTON
Tacoma — GCC’s Lincoln Plaza 8-plex (11) [THX]
Tukwila — Cineplex Odeon’s Southcenter (6)

SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS

1989-09-15 … Evanston, IL — Loews/M&R’s Evanston 5-plex (2)
1989-09-15 … Nashville, TN — Carmike’s Belle Meade (1)
1989-09-15 … San Diego, CA — Mann’s Grove 9-plex (?) [THX]
1989-09-29 … Colma, CA — UA’s The Movies at Metro Center 6-plex (3)
1989-10-06 … Edmonton, AB — Cineplex Odeon’s Meadowlark (3)
1989-10-20 … Apple Valley, MN — GTI’s Apple Valley 6-plex (6)
1989-12-08 … Austin, TX — GCC’s Highland Mall Twin (2)
1989-12-10 … Ottawa, ON — ByTowne [70mm fest; w/ “Batman” & “Lawrence of Arabia”]

1990-03-07 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm fest]

1999-02-03 … Los Angeles (Hollywood), CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian [Cameron series]

2004-09-?? … Boston, MA — Sheraton Hotel [Noreascon 4 / World Science Fiction Convention]

2008-12-20 … Los Angeles (West Los Angeles), CA — Laemmle’s Royal [w/ “Aliens” & “Titanic”]

2009-05-29 … Santa Monica, CA — American Cinematheque’s Aero [70mm series; w/ “Aliens”]

2018-06-26 … Los Angeles (Century City), CA — 20th Century Fox’s Zanuck [Fox Movie Night]

The information in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to Jerry Alexander, Raymond Caple, Bill Kretzel, Mark Lensenmayer, Joe Odenthal, and an extra special thank-you to all of the librarians who helped with this project.

International 70mm engagements of this title 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.
 
More in 70mm reading:

70mm Engagements

70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo

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Updated 26-10-19