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“True Lies”: The North American 70mm Engagements
“When he said I do, he never said what he did.”

The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate Date: 05.06.2022
The following is a reference / historical listing of the 70-millimeter engagements of “True Lies” in the United States and Canada. These were the cinemas worth seeking out to experience this motion picture.

“True Lies” was among one re-issue and two confirmed first-run films released in 1994 with 70mm prints for selected engagements. Eighteen 70mm prints were reportedly struck for distribution in North America and represented less than one percent of the film’s total initial print run. The Lightstorm Entertainment production and 20th Century Fox release — directed by James Cameron (“Aliens,” “The Abyss,” “Terminator 2,” “Titanic”) and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis — opened July 15th.

Pre-release screenings included the world premiere held July 12th at the Village in Los Angeles. Some locales screened a “one day early” sneak preview during the evening of July 14th.

On July 15th, in connection with the release of “True Lies,” Arnold Schwarzenegger placed his hand and footprints in the Chinese Theater courtyard.

For the release of “True Lies,” 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 “True Lies” featured full-frame imagery blown up from Super-35 and a dual inventory of A- and SR-encoded Six-Track Dolby Stereo (Baby Boom format with a split surround playback option).

Historical footnote: The 35mm prints of “True Lies” included digital sound (DTS and 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.

Fox circulated 70mm Six-Track Dolby coming-attraction trailers for “Airheads” and “The Scout” during the release of “True Lies.” Other studios circulated 70mm trailers during this period, as well. Ultimately, any 70mm trailers screened during 70mm presentations of “True Lies” varied by venue and screening.

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

Citrus Heights — UA’s The Movies at Greenback Lane 6 (12) [THX]
Los Angeles — Cineplex Odeon’s Century Plaza 4 (8) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (7) [THX]
Los Angeles — Mann’s Village (6) [THX]
Orange — Syufy’s Century Cinedome 11 (13)
Sacramento — Syufy’s Century 12 (12)
San Francisco — UA’s Coronet (12)
San Jose — Syufy’s Century 22 Triplex (10)
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18 (#1: 13) [THX]
Universal City — Cineplex Odeon’s Universal City 18 (#2: 3) [THX]

Washington — Cineplex Odeon’s Uptown (6)

Chicago — Cineplex Odeon’s McClurg Court Triplex (12) [THX]

New York — Cineplex Odeon’s Ziegfeld (10)
New York — Crown/City Cinemas’ Gotham (7)
New York — Loews’ 34th Street Showplace Triplex (11) [70mm from Week 4]

Toronto — Cineplex Odeon’s York Twin (9) [THX]

Portland — Act III’s Lloyd 10 (1+) [THX]

Dallas — UA’s The United Artists 8 (14) [THX]

Seattle — Cineplex Odeon’s Cinerama (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 (or movement out of a branded auditorium) has been included in the duration figure.


1994-09-23 … Casper, WY — Movie Palaces’ America (5)
1994-09-23 … New York, NY — UA’s Criterion Center 7 (3)
1994-11-18 … Cleveland, OH — CWRU’s Strosacker [CWRU Film Society series]

1995-01-11 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (5 days) [70mm festival]
1995-05-03 … Toronto, ON — Cinesphere (3 days) [70mm festival]

1996-09-27 … Chicago, IL — Cineplex Odeon’s Navy Pier IMAX [Fri-Sat late night]

1998-01-09 … Los Angeles, CA — Mann’s Plaza [Fri-Sat-Sun midnight]

1999-02-05 … Los Angeles, CA — American Cinematheque’s Egyptian [James Cameron series; w/ “Aliens”]

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 Bobby Henderson, Bill Kallay, Bill Kretzel, Morgan Montague, Brad Miller and Sara Pezzoni.

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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“True Lies”: The North American 70mm Engagements
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Updated 30-06-22