“Back to the Future Part III”: The North American
“They’ve saved the best trip for last… But this time they may have gone too
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The 70mm Newsletter
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter
presentations of “Back to the Future Part III” in North America. These were the
best cinemas in which to experience this motion picture.
“Back to the Future Part III” was among twenty confirmed first-run films
released in 1990 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. The Amblin
production and Universal release — directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen — opened May 25th.
Pre-release screenings included the movie’s world premiere held May 21st at the
Universal City 18-plex.
All of the movie’s first-run 70mm engagements included a “See the Future Back to
Back to Back” triple feature screening on May 24th (though the first and second
movie were presented in 35mm in most locales).
For the release of “Back to the Future Part III,” Universal 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 “Back to the Future Part III” featured pillarboxed imagery
(pproximately 1.85:1) blown up from spherical 35mm and Six-Track Dolby Stereo
(“A”-encoded Baby Boom format).
Seventy-millimeter trailers for Universal’s “Darkman,” “Ghost Dad,” “Jetsons:
The Movie,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Problem Child” circulated during the release
of “Back to the Future Part III” 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, seen during the
“Back to the Future” presentations varied by venue and screening.
The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) has been included in
parenthesis following the cinema name.
Los Angeles — GCC’s Avco Center Triplex (8) [THX]
Los Angeles — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (4)
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Triplex (5)
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 8-plex (6)
San Francisco — AMC’s Kabuki 8-plex (11) [THX]
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (5)
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18-plex (7) [THX]
New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Coronet (6)
New York — Cineplex Odeon’s National Twin (7)
Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s Hyland Twin (8)
Dallas — GCC’s Northpark West Twin (4+) [THX]
Houston — Cineplex Odeon’s Spectrum 9-plex (8) [THX]
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 contractual
terms or 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 auditorium) has been included in
the duration figure.
SUBSEQUENT 70MM ENGAGEMENTS & SCREENINGS
1990-06-22 … Los Angeles, CA — Cineplex Odeon’s Showcase (4)
1990-06-27 … San Jose, CA — Syufy’s Century 24 Twin (?)
1990-06-29 … Salt Lake City, UT — Cineplex Odeon’s Crossroads Triplex (1)
1990-08-31 … Carlsbad, CA — SoCal’s Plaza Camino Real 4-plex (3) [w/ “Dick
The information included in this article was principally referenced from film
industry trade publications and regional newspaper promotion, with thanks to
David Ayers and Bill Kretzel.
International 70mm engagements of this title have not been accounted for in this
If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please
consider emailing the
author or editor.
|More in 70mm reading:|
“Back to the Future Part II”: The
North American 70mm Engagements
70mm Blow Up List
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