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“my question is: i have heard that there was another engagement sometime later – either with 3 projectors, or in single projector 70mm – that used a massive screen, presumably the widest possible inside the proscenium. is this true?”
I’m aware of Radio City engagements of “Napoleon” during Jan. 23-25, 1981, and then a return run during Oct. 15-18 & 22-25, 1981. I’m trying to determine if there were any additional runs at Radio City or any other NYC venues.
When the 70mm version was about to open in L.A. in July 1982, VARIETY ran an article mentioning plans for a wider release of the film “at major houses in N.Y. and 10 other cities in October (1982).”
Re your question about the return run on a larger screen at Radio City: “Premiering a print reportedly tinted and toned to director Abel Gance’s original plans, ‘Napoleon’ will be projected on a new 90 foot screen at Radio City Music hall during its return engagement Oct. 15-18 and Oct. 22-25.” (VARIETY, “Napoleon In Tints At Radio City Encore,” Sep. 30, 1981)
I have collected a number of articles concerning the restoration of “Napoleon,” and they include a lot of contradictory details regarding the presentations and whether they were 35mm shown using multiple projectors, whether a 70mm print was used for the Triptych sequence, or whether a 70mm print with recorded sound was used for the whole presentation. I’ve communicated with Radio City projectionist Bob Endres and Bob Harris, who worked on the restoration, both of whom have supplied various bits of information but unfortunately there still is some confusion. Maybe Mr. Endres will chime in to this discussion.
Some folks have asked Bill Kallay and myself why “Napoleon” was not included in our “70mm In New York” article and historical list. Well, the basic answer is, we’d like to include it but are uncomfortable doing so until we can conclusively determine when and where it may have played in the NYC area in 70mm. Mr. Endres has informed us that his recollection of the Radio City run(s) were 35mm. Any aditional details on the matter are greatly appreciated.
Engagement added to the “70mm In L.A.” historical article.
***“Regarding the previous posts about "Airport” at RCMH, does anyone know what other theaters in the U.S. showed 70mm prints of this film. I’ve always heard there were very few. If you answer, please give your source."
Slightly off-topic, but you asked…
Initial March 1970 release: New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and, I believe, Chicago. Later that year as the release expanded: San Diego and San Francisco. I haven’t researched this beyond those cities, but I imagine most major cities ran a 70mm print.
OK, now it’s my turn to ask a question. Who saw “Napoleon” at Radio City? How many return engagements to New York City did it have?
QUOTE: “The Orange County Register reported that [James Edwards] guaranteed $75,000 to MGM in 1965 to screen "Dr. Zhivago” at the same time as Los Angeles."
I’m not sure how the above statement can be true since the Orange County first-run roadshow engagement of “Doctor Zhivago” (1) did not begin until February 1967 (14 months following the Los Angeles premiere), and (2) was booked into a theatre operated by Statewide, an Edwards competitor.
And here is a review…
QUOTE: “70mm Dolby-encoded prints were around untill the late 80s.”
70mm Dolby-encoded prints are still being made. I think you meant to write: “70mm NON-Dolby-encoded prints were around until the late 80s.”
I forgot about “Oklahoma!” at the Midtown…
“Longest run at the Astor Plaza: "Star Wars” – 65 weeks in 1977-78.“
Minor correction: the “Star Wars” engagement was sixty-ONE weeks.
“Logan’s Run” played the Astor Plaza in 70mm during summer 1976. Some of the film’s batch of 70mm prints were Dolby-encoded (as a test?). The Los Angeles run (and I think also Boston and Toronto) advertised the engagement as 70mm and Dolby Stereo. The ads I’ve seen for the NY run, however, did not include any references to Dolby, suggesting the NY area 70mm prints were of the non-Dolby variety common for that era.
I guess my point is that it’s possible the Astor Plaza ran “Logan’s Run” in 70mm-Dolby Stereo and if so, this predated the Ziegfeld’s 70mm-Dolby run of “A Star Is Born.”
These articles/engagement lists should bring back lots of memories for those who saw these movies in their first-run.
“The Sound Of Music” (Midtown):
“How The West Was Won” (Boyd):
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (Randolph):
The first post in this thread includes a claim that the Astor Plaza was Manhattan’s first Dolby Stereo-equipped theatre. I believe both Radio City Music Hall and the Ziegfeld installed Dolby prior to the Astor Plaza, though the Astor Plaza was certainly among the first couple of dozen theatres anywhere to have it installed.
To help answer some of the questions posed in this thread, here’s a link to an article on “Star Wars” that includes details on the early years of Dolby Stereo and a reference to the Astor Plaza.
It would appear that the “Oklahoma!” Todd AO print I saw in 1982 played Cinema I rather than the Baronet or Coronet.
While you’re correct about this re-issue of “Oklahoma!” playing the Cinema I rather than the Coronet or Baronet, it actually played during 1983 not ‘82.