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“Someone above mentioned ‘The Towering Inferno’ played here but I think they’re mistaken.” — CConnolly
I agree, and this is why I had asked RobertR, who made the claim in the theater summary, about it a few posts before yours. I didn’t grow up in the area, though my familiarity with this movie’s release is due to researching the original newspaper ads, of which I’ve kept copies. And if you, or anyone else, is curious, “The Towering Inferno” played in the following Long Island theaters upon its “wide break” in February 1975:
Century Glen Oaks
Century Fantasy, Rockville Centre
UA Playhouse, Great Neck
Century Roosevelt, Garden City
UA Syosset, Syosset
UA Cinema, Bay Shore
UA Patchogue, Patchogue
Century Shore, Huntington
UA Smithtown, Nesconset
UA Southampton, Southampton
Except for the Mann National in Manhattan, no presentation format notations are present in the ads, suggesting 35mm-mono presentations.
The theater in question, Green Acres, isn’t even listed as playing the film! So if “The Towering Inferno” ever screened at Green Acres, then it would have been at a later date as a move-over, sub-run, re-issue, etc. (This isn’t the first time that RobertR has made a questionable claim. See his “Star Wars” comment on the Pequa page, for example.)
Re early Dolby Stereo presentations in the Atlanta area, another round of research and attempt to summarize yields the following:
Nov 24, 1977: “Star Wars” opens a sub-run at Canton Corners Twin in Marrieta. “Dolby System” logo + “Stereophonic Sound” text is present in the ad, with “Starts Today! Full Surround Stereo” in another part of the ad.
Dec 14, 1977: “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” opens in four area theaters, three of which were promoting Dolby Stereo presentations. (1) Phipps Penthouse, Atlanta (Dolby). (2) Stonemont, Stone Mountain (Dolby). (3) Arrowhead, Jonesboro (Dolby). (4) Akers Mill Square, Smyrna (mono).
Dec 16, 1977: “Saturday Night Fever” opens. The engagement at Mableton Twin in Mableton is advertised as a Dolby Stereo presentation. (“The Only Atlanta Engagement of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Where You Can Hear The Bee-Gee’s In Our New 4 Channel Stereo Sound”)
Dec. 23, 1977: “Star Wars” begins sub-run at Buford Higway Twin in Doraville. Promoted as “Exclusive Engagement! For The 1st Time In Atlanta — Dolby Sound! You May Have Seen ‘Star Wars’, But For The 1st Time, Hear It!”
July 21, 1978: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” opens. Stonemont’s engagement advertised in Dolby Stereo.
Re early Dolby Stereo presentations in the Atlanta area, another round of research and atempt to summarize yields the following:
[i’ll re-post this on the Stonemont page.]
Complex opened Dec. 7, 1979.
The initial bookings were:
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (opened Dec. 7 on two screens)
1941 (Dec. 14)
The Jerk (Dec. 14)
Kramer vs. Kramer (Dec. 19)
Going In Style (Dec. 25)
Theater opened Dec. 18, 1987.
The switch of ownership from ABC to Plitt Southern took place during November 1978.
Here’s an update regarding the last few postings. I recently had an opportunity to sort this out via microfilm copies of Newsday, one of the Long Island newspapers.
This theater indeed re-opened as the Mid-Plaza 6 in December 1984.
The theater was closed for several weeks during the fall of ‘84 for the renovation. The debut attractions for the re-opening were “Starman” and “Dune,” on Dec. 14, both presented in 70mm. The remaining four screens were filled over the course of the following two weeks.
“The orginal theatre opened in 1960 with a reserved seat engagement of SPARTACUS.” (TomR, Oct 25, 2004)
“Spartacus” was indeed the debut attraction. However, the theater actually opened in October of 1961 according to the grand opening advertisements that appeared in The Newark Star-Ledger.
“This theater, which opened in 1969”
“The twin-cinema (Seattle’s first) was built in 1962 to exploit two of the postwar film business' big-screen fads, 70 mm and Dimension 150.”
“In fact, the theater opened in November of 1969.”
Okay…I looked this up recently in The Seattle Times. The real deal is: the theater opened on October 3, 1969. The debut attractions were “Easy Rider” (on the “150” screen) and “3 Into 2 Won’t Go” on the “70” screen).
Elaborating on my previous post…I suspect you were thinking of the Cinerama format, rather than Todd-AO, when you mentioned Philadelphia having the world’s fifth install. Philly was indeed the fifth city to get Cinerama (at the Boyd in Oct. 1953, although it was actually the sixth theatre to have Cinerama installed as by that time New York City had two).
“Pablo mentioned that ‘[the Midtown] was once a Todd-AO house.’ This was, in fact, the 5th Todd-AO installation on the planet.” (veyoung, Nov 25, 2004)
The fifth Todd-AO installation? Are you sure? My research would suggest the Midtown was around the 20th or 21st. Check out the following list and note that Philadelphia is quite a ways down the list.
Are you thinking of the Cinema Westlane?
“STAR WARS was only available [initially] to theatres who had 70 and or Dolby Stereo.” (Twistr54, Jun 20)
It is a myth that the initial release of the original “Star Wars” was made available only to Dolby-equipped theaters. The history of this movie’s release has really been screwed up by the faulty memories of people and the false claims made by authors of books and magazine articles on the subject.
“We’ll probably never see a 70MM classic on the big screen again (unless we go to England)”…or L.A. Thank you American Cinematheque!
I believe the NYC roadshow run of “Young Winston” played at the Columbia.
U.S. premiere, by the way, was held at Grauman’s Chinese during FILMEX, Nov. 9, 1972. L.A. roadshow run began the following day at Loew’s Beverly.
World premiere, I believe, was in London.
Surf the site; we do have some IMAX content posted. What kind of list were you thinking of?
I believe this theater was located in West Allis, rather than Milwaukee proper.
The original, first-run, roadshow engagement of “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968 was held at Cinema 1.
I believe any first-run Sensurround prints of “Earthquake” distributed in the U.S. were 35mm.
Other classics that ran at Southtown in 70mm were “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return Of The Jedi.”
Theater was run by Marcus (at least during the early ‘80s; not sure about any other period of time).
Dimension-150 did not exist in 1962.
“I attended a showing of Batman Returns at one of the multiplex screens not the original theatre” (Valencia, Aug 27, 2005)
“If memory serves, and it does so less than it used to, ‘Batman Returns’ would have played when the twin was still next door and not the current 6 plex in the new center.” (Manwithnoname, Aug 27, 2005)
I saw “Batman Returns,” the 1992 entry in the movie series, on opening night in the Chinese’s original, main auditorium. So either Valencia is confusing one “Batman” movie with another or saw the movie after it had been playing a while and the print had been moved to one of the smaller screens next door.
“The Ziegfeld is the only theatre in the country equipped with 6-track stereophonic sound.”
Don’t you just love the outrageous hype present in that “2001” ad?!
There aren’t enough movies being released in DLP Digital Projection format to justify only a digital projection system in screen #1’s booth. They have a projector for 35mm film presentation and another one for the DLP stuff.
For whatever reasons, I don’t believe the Camelot is showing in DLP any of the three currently available titles: “The Island,” “Sky High,” and “Valiant.”
Neither link worked for me.
Wasn’t the largest screen in the Upper Mid-West the one at the France Ave. Drive-In?