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“1941”: The 70mm Engagements
“As they roared into battle, only one thing was missing…the enemy.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 20.10.2022
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “1941” in the United States and Canada. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.

“1941” was among nine confirmed first-run films released in 1979 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. A dozen 70mm prints of the film were reportedly struck for distribution in North America. The Universal/Columbia release — directed by Steven Spielberg (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) and starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi — opened December 14th.

Pre-release screenings included the film’s world premiere held on December 13th at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles.

The 70mm prints of “1941” featured full-frame imagery blown up from anamorphic 35mm and six-track stereophonic sound (not Dolby encoded).

Universal circulated 70mm coming-attraction trailers for “The Blues Brothers,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Guyana: Cult of the Damned,” “The Island,” “The Nude Bomb,” “Smokey and the Bandit II” and “Where the Buffalo Roam” during the release of “1941.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “1941” varied by venue and screening.

The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) is included in parenthesis following the applicable cinema name.

Los Angeles — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (9)
San Francisco — Plitt’s Northpoint (9)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 21 (25)

Denver — Mann’s Century 21 (1+)

Boston — Sack’s Cheri Triplex (7)

Totowa — UA’s Cinema 46 Triplex (6)

New York — Reade’s Bay (4)
New York — UA’s Gemini Twin (6)
New York — UA’s Rivoli (6)
Woodbury — UA’s Cinema 150 (6)

Dallas — Plitt’s Cinema Twin (10) [70mm from Week 5]

Salt Lake City — Mann’s Villa (14)

Seattle — Seven Gables’ Crest Twin (10)

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 has been included in the duration figure.


1982-11-26 … Seattle, WA — SRO’s Cinerama [Fri-Sat midnight]

1983-03-25 … Cleveland, OH — Colony (1) [w/ “The Dark Crystal”]

The information included in this article was principally referenced from film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion, print enclosures, and Dolby records. Special thanks to David Ayers, Mike Hensley, Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel, Monty Marin and Vince Young.

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 Cinemas in North America

in70mm.com's list of films blown up to 70mm

70mm Engagements by Title

35mm to 70mm Engagements by Year

Large Format 7OMM Engagements

Month by month premiere list of wide gauge and 3-strip films

Chronological premiere list of major 70mm films

70mm Blow Up List

Dolby Stereo
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Updated 21-01-24