“Little Buddha”: The North American 70mm Engagements
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The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter large
format engagements of “Little Buddha” in North America. These were the
cinemas worth seeking out to experience this film.
“Little Buddha” was among two confirmed first-run films released in 1994
with 70mm prints for selected engagements (plus one restoration re-release
and two special one-off premieres). The Miramax release — directed by
Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Last Emperor,” “The Sheltering Sky”) and starring
Keanu Reeves, Ying Ruocheng, Chris Isaak and Bridget Fonda — opened May
25th. (“Little Buddha’ was released in numerous countries throughout the
world prior to any exhibition in North America.)
For the release of “Little Buddha,” Miramax 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 “Little Buddha” featured Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A”
encoded “baby boom” format) and full-frame imagery sourced from a
combination of 65mm and anamorphic 35mm.
Historical footnote: Some of the 35mm prints of “Little Buddha” included
digital sound (Dolby Digital), which accelerated an industry trend of fewer
titles released with 70mm prints and a generally-smaller 70mm print run on
those titles selected to be printed in 70mm.
Miramax circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for
“Ciao, Professore!” and “Pulp Fiction” during the release of “Little
Buddha.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well.
Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “Little
Buddha” 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 4 (12) [THX]
Atlanta — Lefont’s Tara 4 (6)
New York — City Cinemas’ Cinema 1,2,3 (8)
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
1994-05-20 … Seattle, WA – Landmark’s 5th Avenue [SIFF/Bertolucci
2004-03-06 … New York, NY — Museum of the Moving Image [Bertolucci
The information included in this article was principally referenced from
film industry trade publications, regional newspaper promotion, print
enclosures, TAP records, and Dolby records. Special thanks to Bill Kallay
and Bill Kretzel.
International 70mm engagements of this title have not been accounted for in
If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please
consider emailing the
author or editor.
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“Little Buddha”: The North
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