History, Legacy & Showmanship

Still Watching the Skies: Remembering “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” on its 40th Anniversary

November 16, 2017 - 1:16 pm   |   by
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Close Encounters helps demonstrate perhaps better than any other why Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest American filmmakers.” — Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s legendary science-fiction film starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, an electrical lineman who obsesses over the sighting, physical evidence and, ultimately, contact with a UFO.

The film, which also starred Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography (and also receiving a special achievement award for sound effects editing). [Read on here...]

One of the most popular and acclaimed films of the 1970s, Close Encounters opened 40 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics, trivia and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; a reference/historical listing of the movie’s first-run theatrical engagements; and, finally, an interview segment with an esteemed group of Spielberg historians and associates.

Richard Dreyfuss and Steven Spielberg on the set of CE3K

 

CE3K NUMBER$

  • 0 = Number of sequels
  • 1 = Rank among Columbia’s all-time top-earning movies at close of original run
  • 1 = Rank among top-earning movies during first weekend of wide release (Week #5)
  • 1 = Rank on list of top-earning films of Columbia’s 1977 slate
  • 1 = Rank among top-earning movies of 1977-78 (winter)
  • 2 = Number of Academy Awards (one competitive + one special achievement)
  • 2 = Number of theaters showing movie during opening week
  • 2 = Rank among top-earning science-fiction films of 1977
  • 2 = Rank among top-earning movies of 1977 (legacy)
  • 5 = Box-office rank among films directed by Spielberg (adjusted for inflation)
  • 5 = Number of years Columbia’s top-earning film
  • 6 = All-time box-office peak chart position
  • 8 = Number of Academy Award nominations
  • 8 = Rank among top-earning movies of the 1970s
  • 31 = Number of weeks of longest-running engagement (in a single-screen theater)
  • 36 = Number of 70mm prints
  • 37 = Number of months between theatrical release and home-video release
  • 42 = Number of weeks of longest-running engagement (in a multiplex)
  • 75 = Rank on current list of all-time top-grossing films (adjusted for inflation)
  • 135 = Number of Dolby Stereo engagements during first run*
  • 285 = Number of theaters showing movie during first weekend of wide release (12/16-18)
  • $29.95 = Suggested retail price of initial home video release (videodiscs)
  • $79.95 = Suggested retail price of initial home video release (VHS & Beta)
  • $182,962 = Opening-weekend box-office gross** (two theaters)
  • $1.1 million = Box-office gross during NY & LA exclusives (11/16-12/13)
  • $1.5 million = Production cost of Special Edition revisions
  • $3.1 million = Box-office gross (2017 re-release)
  • $5.4 million = Box-office gross during first weekend of wide release (12/16-18)
  • $5.9 million = Box-office rental (Special Edition)
  • $15.7 million = Box-office gross (Special Edition re-release)
  • $19.5 million = Production cost
  • $77.6 million = Box-office rental*** (original release)
  • $79.4 million = Production cost (adjusted for inflation)
  • $83.5 million = Box-office rental*** (original + Special Edition)
  • $116.4 million = Box-office gross*** (original release)
  • $132.1 million = Box-office gross*** (1977 + 1980)
  • $135.2 million = Box-office gross (1977 + 1980 + 2017 + repertory)
  • $171.7 million = Box-office gross*** (international)
  • $306.9 million = Box-office gross*** (worldwide)
  • $333.6 million = Box-office rental (adjusted for inflation)
  • $523.8 million = Box-office gross (adjusted for inflation)
  • $649.6 million = Box-office gross (international, adjusted for inflation)
  • $1.2 billion = Box-office gross (worldwide, adjusted for inflation)

*Film industry record
**Cinerama Dome and Ziegfeld house record
***Columbia Pictures record

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

A SAMPLING OF MOVIE REVIEWER QUOTES

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a magical mystery tour for a generation of movie lovers who grew up on those 1950s creature features about visitors from outer space. Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood wunderkind who directed Jaws is an admitted member of that generation, and his extravagantly expensive new movie is his attempt to give credibility and respectability to a popular genre.” — George Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“It is an awesome, spectacular work, not without flaws, but certain to take its place with George Lucas’ Star Wars as the most discussed science-fiction film since 2001: A Space Odyssey. In particular, the last 35 or 40 minutes of Close Encounters is as awesome, chilling, spellbinding an experience as I’ve ever had in a movie theater.” — John L. Wasserman, San Francisco Chronicle

“The Spielberg of Jaws continues to be a director (and now a writer) of effects rather than characters or relationships. When the script lets Trumbull and his associate Merlins and a platoon of the world’s best cinematographers strut their stuff and the Superdome-sized saucers wheel and hover and turn, it is zowie time at the Bijou…. John Williams’ music is crucial, and once again he seems to work as effectively when big things are required as anyone now writing. There is a good deal of sustained and tremulous tone — the quivering hum we have come to accept as the sound wave of the future, here bridging into the majesty of Handel’s Messiah Revisited (not literally, of course). It is powerful and hugely contributory.” — Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times

Close Encounters lacks the warmth and humanity of George Lucas’s Star Wars.” — A.D. Murphy, Variety

“Just as one is beginning to wonder if the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in question might not be crucial pieces of the plot that have flown the theater, the close of Close Encounters of the Third Kind makes its mighty entrance. And at that point a film that has been traveling in ellipses for two hours soars into a wondrous orbit.” — Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer

“[I]t looks like another movie is about to make its impact upon the world. The Exorcist generated scattered ’devil possessions’; Jaws frightened people from swimming in salt water; and Close Encounters threatens to trigger UFO fever.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

“Steven Spielberg’s giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the best — the most elaborate — 1950’s science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“It deserves an historic place in movie entertainment.” — Jack Kroll, Newsweek

Close Encounters is a film that elevates cinema to its proper place in the artistic world — an art for everyman.” — Scott Sherry, The Columbus Dispatch

“Despite a wonderful performance by Richard Dreyfuss as the power plant lineman who is haunted by a vision from the beings from another world, he does not generate the kind of gee-whiz enthusiasm one got from seeing Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia beating out the dastardly Darth Vader. With no one to root for other than a woman driven to finding her little son who has been taken into the skies by the aliens, Close Encounters has the spectacle, but not the human warmth. And that is, I think, the ingredient that is the true key to spectacular box office success.” — Michael Janusonis, The Providence Journal

“The final 30 minutes — the ’payoff’ — is as exhilarating, as warm and imaginative, as anything put on film since the Munchkins surrounded Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Getting there, however, is not always half the fun.” — Richard Dodds, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune

“One of the year’s 10 best films!” — Frank Rich, Time

Close Encounters is a marvelous movie — an eye-widening, ear filling adventure that lifts your spirits and sends you home with a great feeling that lasts for hours.” — Clyde Gilmour, Toronto Star

Close Encounters is oddly slack, even sloppy in its storytelling structure. And though he is a cinematic virtuoso with an instinctive feel for his audience’s ganglia, Spielberg is hardly a polished artist of thorough consistency. If he has an astonishing command of the thrilling uses to which non-human forces may be put, that is about the extent of his mastery of his medium. It’s not just that Spielberg’s concerns are more those of entertainer than artist, a bias eminently forgivable. It’s that even his entertainer’s instincts are annoyingly uneven.” — Tom Dowling, The Washington Star

“[Close Encounters is] not so much a film as an event in the history of faith…the movement of science-fiction as vicarious religion and the movement of the Film generation meet, unify and blaze.” — Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic

Close Encounters of the Third Kind solidifies the grip of a comparatively new sensibility on Hollywood moviemaking: the sensibility of the visual, emotional, technologically-sophisticated filmmaker. Unfortunately, the success of such filmmakers may hasten the already-predicted demise of the small budget film, the literate script and the human character. If, as seems possible now, Close Encounters achieves the status of Jaws and Star Wars, the success it invites comparison with, Hollywood may inundate us with bizarre escapist fare which will make the disaster film look like cinema verite.” — Bruce McCabe, The Boston Globe

Close Encounters may not be that big a smash. It leaves a great deal for audiences to figure out for themselves and moviegoers in the mass are not exactly thinking types.” — Corbin Patrick, The Indianapolis Star

“Puts all former movie spectacle to shame — sci-fi or otherwise — not least because it retains a gentle affirmation of benevolent life and does not sacrifice humor to very real awesomeness.” — Don Morrison, The Minneapolis Star

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a terrific movie, with every possibility of equaling the box office popularity of Star Wars.” — Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter

“Spielberg may or may not be America’s most gifted young director, but he’s definitely our most knowledgeable showman. He knows an audience will forgive any amount of exposition when rewarded with a dazzling conclusion. Close Encounters of the Third Kind moves at a deceptively leisurely pace, with the middle segment wrapped in governmental red tape, but the final 30 minutes, spotlighting a mother spaceship which resembles a glorified reproduction of the old Palace Theater chandelier, are possibly the most wondrous ever put on film.” — Philip Wuntch, The Dallas Morning News

“Steven Spielberg’s much-hyped picture about UFOs has a chaotic narrative and a belated, if extended, payoff.” — Susan Stark, Detroit Free Press

“[Close Encounters] is such an awesome, exalting experience that it reduces most commentary to so much chatter. It’s tempting to say that it’s the film of the year, perhaps of the decade, and leave it at that.” — John Hartl, The Seattle Times

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL ENGAGEMENTS

What follows, for historical record and nostalgia, is an alphabetical listing of the North American first-run engagements of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It is not a complete listing. Instead, the primary objective was to focus on the first-run commencement period of November and December 1977 rather than all of the film’s release cycles.

Another objective was to ensure every U.S. state and the major Canadian provinces were accounted for and so an exception has been made for those cases where a state or province’s most-populated city did not open the film during November or December of 1977.

Understand the engagements cited here represent only a fraction of the thousands of total bookings throughout the many cycles of distribution over the course of the film’s release. As well, this work does not include any international or re-release engagements. The duration of the engagements (measured in weeks) is provided for some of the entries to give the reader a sense of the movie’s popularity.

The stereo sound presentations have been identified where known. Close Encounters had the largest Dolby Stereo release to date.

Some liberties have been taken in regard to some of the generically named theaters (i.e. “Cinema,” “Cinema Twin”). Typically such theaters were located in shopping plazas and as such they have been identified in this work whenever possible by the name of the shopping plaza even if, technically, such wasn’t the actual name of the venue.

Regarding multiplex venues, effort has been made to identify the total number of screens in a complex even if in some situations a “complex” consisted of screens spread out among separate buildings. Additionally, simplified nomenclature for the sake of stylistic consistency has been utilized for venue screen counts (i.e. “twin,” “triplex,” “4-plex,” etc.) instead of retaining the (often inconsistent) individualistic usage of numbers or Roman numerals that may have been present in advertising or used on marquees.  In cases where it is known the film was screened simultaneously in more than one auditorium in a complex, both engagements have been cited but the numbers provided represent the prints and do not necessarily reflect the auditorium number in which the film was playing.

In a few cases, the name of a location has changed since 1977-78 (typically due to annexation or incorporation) and effort has been made to list these cases according to the city or recognized name at the time of engagement.

Prior to release there were sneak preview screenings on October 19th and 20th at the Medallion in Dallas. Press previews were held November 10th–14th. The film’s world premiere was held November 15th at the Ziegfeld in New York.

So…which theaters played Close Encounters on first release? Read on….

Dolby System

STATE/PROVINCE

  • City — Cinema (opening date MM-DD) (duration in weeks) special presentation format

ALABAMA

  • Anniston — Fairlane-Litchfield’s Plaza Triplex (12-21) (7)
  • Birmingham — ABC’s Roebuck Plaza Twin (12-14) (20) Dolby
  • Dothan — Davis’ Northside 4-plex (12-14)
  • Gadsden — Gadsden’s Agricola Center Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Huntsville — Trans-Lux’s West Shopping Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Mobile — ABC’s Capri (12-14) (21)
  • Montgomery — ABC’s Eastmont Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Muscle Shoals — Martin’s Cinema Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Tuscaloosa — ABC’s Fox Twin (12-21) (7)

ALASKA

  • Anchorage — Wometco Lathrop’s Polar Twin (2-15)

ALBERTA

  • Calgary — Odeon’s North Hill (12-23) (20) Dolby
  • Calgary — Odeon’s Uptown Twin (12-23) (12)
  • Edmonton — Odeon’s Meadowlark (12-23) (17) Dolby
  • Edmonton — Odeon’s Odeon Twin (12-23)

Close Encounters newspaper adARIZONA

  • Phoenix — General Cinema’s Metro Center Triplex (12-14) (22)
  • Phoenix — General Cinema’s Thomas Mall (12-14) (22)
  • Tucson — Mann’s Buena Vista Twin (12-16) (22)
  • Yuma — Great Western’s Plaza Triplex (12-21)

ARKANSAS

  • Fayetteville — Malco’s Razorback Twin (12-21) Dolby
  • Fort Smith — UA’s Minitek Twin (12-21)
  • Jonesboro — Malco’s Trio Triplex (12-21) Dolby
  • Little Rock — UA’s Cinema 150 (12-14) (14)

BRITISH COLUMBIA

  • New Westminster — Odeon’s New West (12-16)
  • Vancouver — Odeon’s Vogue (12-16) (19) Dolby
  • Victoria — Odeon’s Haida (12-23)

CALIFORNIA

  • Bakersfield — AMC’s Stockdale 6-plex (12-21) (#1: 13)
  • Bakersfield — AMC’s Stockdale 6-plex (12-21) (#2: 9)
  • Berkeley — UA’s United Artists 4-plex (12-14) (#1: 23)
  • Berkeley — UA’s United Artists 4-plex (12-14) (#2: 13)
  • Corte Madera — Blumenfeld/Cinerama’s Cinema (12-14) (13)
  • Costa Mesa — Mann’s South Coast Plaza Triplex (12-14) (42) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Davis — West Side Valley’s Cinema Twin (12-21) (10)
  • El Centro — Great Western’s Fox (12-21) (6)
  • Escondido — AIT’s Vineyard Twin (12-21) (10)
  • Eureka — Redwood’s State Triplex (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • Fairfield — Tegtmeier’s Fairfield Twin (12-21) (13) Dolby
  • Fresno — UA’s Movies 4-plex (12-14) (#1: 30)
  • Fresno — UA’s Movies 4-plex (12-14) (#2: 13)
  • Hayward — General Cinema’s Southland Triplex (12-14) (23)
  • La Mirada — Pacific’s La Mirada 4-plex (12-14) (#1: 22)
  • La Mirada — Pacific’s La Mirada 4-plex (12-14) (#2: 13)
  • Lakewood — Pacific’s Lakewood Center 4-plex (12-14) (23) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Livermore — West Side Valley’s Vine Twin (12-21) (12)
  • Los Angeles (Hollywood) — Pacific’s Cinerama Dome (11-18) (4) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Los Angeles (Hollywood) — SRO’s Paramount (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks) — Mann’s La Reina (12-14) (13)
  • Los Angeles (Westwood) — SRO’s Crest (12-14) (22) Dolby
  • Los Angeles (Woodland Hills) — General Cinema’s Woodland Hills Triplex (12-14) (#1: 21)
  • Los Angeles (Woodland Hills) — General Cinema’s Woodland Hills Triplex (12-14) (#2: 9)
  • Menlo Park — West Side Valley’s Guild (12-14) (24)
  • Merced — UA’s Regency (12-21) (12)
  • Millbrae — UA’s Millbrae (12-14) (19)
  • Modesto — Redwood’s Briggsmore (12-21) (14) Dolby
  • Montclair — General Cinema’s Montclair Plaza Triplex (12-14) (#1: 19)
  • Montclair — General Cinema’s Montclair Plaza Triplex (12-14) (#2: 8)
  • Monterey — Kindair’s Cinema 70 (12-21) (12) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Napa — Blumenfeld’s Uptown Twin (12-21) (8)
  • Oceanside — Sanborn’s Camino 4-plex (12-21) (21)
  • Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 6-plex (12-14) (33) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Oxnard — SRO’s Carriage Square Twin (12-21) (19)
  • Palm Springs — Metropolitan’s Camelot Twin (12-21) (12) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Paramount — Pacific’s Rosecrans Drive-In (12-14) (12) Cine-Fi
  • Pasadena — SRO’s Hastings (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Pleasant Hill — Syufy’s Century 5-plex (12-14) (27)
  • Porterville — Porter Triplex (12-21) (7)
  • Redding — Lippert’s Showcase (12-21) (10)
  • Redondo Beach — General Cinema’s South Bay 4-plex (12-14) (23)
  • Sacramento — General Cinema’s Sacramento Inn Triplex (12-14) (#1: 26)
  • Sacramento — General Cinema’s Sacramento Inn Triplex (12-14) (#2: 13)
  • Salinas — Kindair’s Northridge 4-plex (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • San Diego — Mann’s Cinema 21 (12-14) (13) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • San Francisco — UA’s Coronet (12-14) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • San Luis Obispo — Mann’s Fremont (12-21) (8)
  • Santa Barbara — Metropolitan’s Granada (12-21) (12) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Santa Clara — UA’s Cinema 150 (12-14) (31) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Santa Cruz — UA’s Rio (12-21) (21)
  • Santa Maria — Metropolitan’s Peppertree Plaza (12-21) (8)
  • Santa Rosa — Redwood’s Coddingtown Triplex (12-21) (20) Dolby
  • Sonora — West Side Valley’s Plaza Twin (12-21) (6)
  • South Lake Tahoe — T&R’s Stateline (12-21) Dolby
  • Stockton — Plitt’s Sherwood (12-14) (13)
  • Tulare — West Side Valley’s Tower Square Triplex (12-21) (8)
  • Visalia — West Side Valley’s Visalia (12-21) (10)
  • West Covina — Sanborn’s Eastland Triplex (12-14) (23) Dolby
  • Woodland — Redwood’s State Triplex (12-21) (6) Dolby

COLORADO

  • Boulder — Commonwealth’s Village 4-plex (12-21) Dolby
  • Colorado Springs — UA’s Cinema 150 (12-14) (23) 70mm 6-Track Stereo from Week 14
  • Denver — Cooper-Highland’s Cooper Twin (12-14) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Fort Collins — Commonwealth’s Campus West (12-21) (8)
  • Grand Junction — Westland’s Cooper (12-21)
  • Greeley — Cooper-Highland’s Cooper Twin (12-21)
  • Longmont — K’s Parkway (12-23)
  • Pueblo — Westland’s Cooper (12-21)

CONNECTICUT

  • Danbury — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Cinema Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Groton — UA’s Groton Twin (12-21) (10)
  • Manchester — UA’s East Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Meriden — General Cinema’s Meriden Mall Twin (12-21) (11)
  • Orange — Redstone’s Showcase 5-plex (12-14)
  • Stamford — Trans-Lux’s Ridgeway (12-14) (13)
  • Torrington — A&B’s Warner (12-21)
  • Trumbull — UA’s Trumbull (12-14) (12)
  • Uncasville — Liberty (12-21) (13)
  • Waterbury — General Cinema’s Naugatuck Valley Mall 4-plex (12-14) (12)
  • West Hartford — Elm (12-14) (14)
  • Westport — Nutmeg’s Fine Arts Triplex (12-14) (13)

DELAWARE

  • Claymont — Sameric’s Eric Tri-State Mall Triplex (12-14) (19)
  • Dover — Schwartz’s Dover (12-21)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

  • Washington — K-B’s Cinema (12-14) (26) Dolby

FLORIDA

  • Clearwater — ABC’s Sunshine Mall Twin (12-14) (18)
  • Daytona Beach — General Cinema’s Bellair Plaza Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Fort Lauderdale — ABC’s Coral Ridge Twin (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Gainesville — ABC’s Center Twin (12-14)
  • Jacksonville — ABC’s Regency Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Kendall — Wometco’s Dadeland Twin (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Lakeland — General Cinema’s Imperial Mall Twin (12-21) (8)
  • Lauderhill — General Cinema’s 16th Street (12-14) (19)
  • Mary Esther — Ogden-Perry’s Santa Rosa Triplex (12-21)
  • Merritt Island — AMC’s Merritt Square 6-plex (12-14) (9)
  • Miami Beach — Wometco’s 163rd Street (12-14) (15) Dolby
  • Ocala — ABC’s Springs Twin (12-21) (6)
  • Panama City — AMC’s Panama City 4-plex (12-21)
  • Pensacola — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-14) (16)
  • St. Petersburg — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-14) (18)
  • Sarasota — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-21) (12)
  • Satellite Beach — Kent’s Satellite Twin (12-14) (10)
  • Tallahassee — Eastern Federal’s Varsity Twin (12-21) (11) Dolby
  • Tampa — ABC’s Hillsboro Twin (12-14) (23)
  • West Palm Beach — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-14) (22) Dolby
  • Winter Park — Wometco’s Park Twin (12-14) (19) Dolby

GEORGIA

  • Albany — Martin’s Albany Mall Twin (12-21) (6)
  • Athens — Weis’ Cinema Centre Triplex (12-21)
  • Atlanta — ABC’s Phipps Plaza Triplex (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Augusta — ABC’s National Hills (12-14) (12)
  • Columbus — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-14)
  • Gainesville — Fairlane-Litchfield’s Cinemas West Triplex (12-21)
  • Jonesboro — Weis’ Arrowhead Triplex (12-14) Dolby
  • Macon — Weis’ Cinema Centre Triplex (12-21)
  • Savannah — ABC’s Terrace Twin (12-21)
  • Smyrna — General Cinema’s Akers Mill Square 4-plex (12-14)
  • Stone Mountain — ABC’s Stonemont Twin (12-14) (23) Dolby

HAWAII

  • Honolulu — Consolidated’s Waikiki Triplex (12-14) (17) 70mm 6-Track Stereo from Week 14

IDAHO

  • Boise — Commonwealth’s Fairvu (12-21)
  • Idaho Falls — UA’s Country Club 4-plex (12-21)

ILLINOIS

  • Aurora — Plitt’s Fox Valley 4-plex (12-21) (18) Dolby
  • Belleville — BAC’s Cinema (12-14) (14) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Bloomington — Kerasotes’ Castle (12-21) Dolby
  • Calumet City — Plitt’s River Oaks Triplex (12-14) (13) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Carbondale — Kerasotes’ Varsity Twin (12-21) (8) Dolby
  • Carpentersville — General Cinema’s Meadowdale 5-plex (12-21) (11)
  • Champaign — Kerasotes’ Co-Ed Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Cherry Valley — Plitt’s Cherry Vale Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Chicago — Plitt’s Esquire (12-14) (13) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Crystal Lake — Rhyan’s Showplace 5-plex (12-21) (8) Dolby
  • Danville — Kerasotes’ Fischer (12-21) Dolby
  • Decatur — Kerasotes’ Lincoln (12-21) Dolby
  • DeKalb — Carrols’ Cinema Twin (12-21)
  • Evergreen — M&R’s Evergreen Twin (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
  • Joliet — Plitt’s Hillcrest (12-14) (13)
  • Kankakee — Plitt’s Paramount (12-21)
  • LaSalle — Kerasotes’ Majestic (12-21) Dolby
  • Lombard — General Cinema’s Yorktown 4-plex (12-14) (20)
  • Marion — Kerasotes’ Town & Country 4-plex (12-21) (6)
  • Norridge — M&R’s Norridge 4-plex (12-14) (13)
  • Orland Park — Plitt’s Orland Square 4-plex (12-14) (13)
  • Peoria — Plitt’s Madison (12-14) (13)
  • Quincy — Dickinson’s Town & Country-Quincy Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Schaumburg — Plitt’s Woodfield Twin (12-14) (16)
  • Skokie — M&R’s Old Orchard Triplex (12-14) (21) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
  • Springfield — General Cinema’s White Oaks Mall Triplex (12-14) (12)
  • Waukegan — General Cinema’s Lakehurst Triplex (12-21) (18)

INDIANA

  • Anderson — General Cinema’s Mounds Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Bloomington — Kerasotes’ Von Lee (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • Columbus — Hallmark’s Columbus Center Twin (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • Elkhart — Kerasotes’ Concord Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Evansville — Stieler’s Northpark Twin (12-14) (18) Dolby
  • Fort Wayne — MSM’s Holiday Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Indianapolis — Priority’s Carlyle (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Indianapolis — Priority’s Georgetown (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Kokomo — UA’s The Movies at Markland Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Merrillville — General Cinema’s Crossroads Twin (12-14) (20)
  • Michigan City — Plitt’s Marquette Twin (12-21) (8)
  • Mishawaka — Plitt’s Town & Country Twin (12-14)
  • Muncie — General Cinema’s Northwest Plaza Twin (12-21) (12)
  • Richmond — Kerasotes’ Sidewalk (12-21) (7) Dolby
  • Terre Haute — General Cinema’s Honey Creek Triplex (12-21)
  • West Lafayette — UA’s Cinema West (12-21) (10)

IOWA

  • Cedar Rapids — Tri-States’ World (12-21) (10)
  • Davenport — General Cinema’s Northpark Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Des Moines — Dubinsky’s River Hills (12-14) (19) Dolby
  • Dubuque — General Cinema’s Kennedy Mall Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Sioux City — Dubinsky’s Riviera Twin (12-21) (9)
  • Waterloo — CEC’s Crossroads Twin (12-21)

KANSAS

  • Lawrence — Commonwealth’s Varsity (12-21)
  • Manhattan — Commonwealth’s Campus (12-21)
  • Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Salina — Dickinson’s Vogue (12-21) (6)
  • Topeka — General Cinema’s Topeka Boulevard Twin (12-21)
  • Wichita — Commonwealth’s Twin Lakes Twin (12-14) Dolby

KENTUCKY

  • Ashland — Mid States’ Midtown Twin (12-21)
  • Florence — Mid States’ Florence 6-plex (12-14) (23) Dolby
  • Lexington — General Cinema’s Turfland Mall Twin (12-14) (19)
  • Louisville — Redstone’s Showcase 8-plex (12-14) (23) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Owensboro — Malco’s Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Paducah — Columbia Amusements’ Columbia Twin (12-21)

LOUISIANA

  • Alexandria — Ogden-Perry’s MacArthur Village Twin (12-21) (8)
  • Baton Rouge — ABC’s Bon Marche Twin (12-14) (14) Dolby
  • Hammond — Gulf States’ University Twin (12-21)
  • Houma — Gulf States’ Southland Twin (12-21)
  • Lafayette — Ogden-Perry’s Center Twin (12-21) (12)
  • Lake Charles — Ogden-Perry’s Charles Triplex (12-21)
  • Metairie — General Cinema’s Lakeside 4-plex (12-14) (22)
  • Monroe — ABC’s Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Opelousas — Gulf States’ Vista Village Twin (12-21) (5)
  • Shreveport — General Cinema’s Quail Creek Twin (12-14) (14)

MAINE

  • Augusta — Hallmark’s Turnpike Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Brewer — Graphic’s Cinema Center Triplex (12-21) (13)
  • Brunswick — Esquire’s Brunswick Twin (12-21)
  • South Portland — General Cinema’s Maine Mall Triplex (12-21) (12)
  • Waterville — SBC’s Cinema Center 5-plex (12-21)

MANITOBA

  • Winnipeg — Odeon’s Odeon (12-23) (13)

MARYLAND

  • Annapolis — Durkee’s Circle (12-21) (8)
  • Bel Air — JF’s Campus Hills Twin (12-14) (12)
  • Frederick — R/C’s Holiday (12-21)
  • Hagerstown — Interstate’s Long Meadow Twin (12-21)
  • Harundale — General Cinema’s Harundale Mall Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Marlow Heights — Neighborhood’s Marlow Twin (12-14) (18)
  • New Carrollton — Neighborhood’s New Carrollton (12-14) (26)
  • Towson — General Cinema’s York Road Twin (12-14) (18)
  • Woodlawn — General Cinema’s Security Mall Twin (12-14) (18)

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Boston — Sack’s Cinema 57 Twin (12-14) (14) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Braintree — General Cinema’s Braintree 4-plex (12-14) (17)
  • Brockton — General Cinema’s Westgate Mall 5-plex (12-14) (13)
  • Brookline — General Cinema’s Chestnut Hill Twin (12-14) (14) Dolby
  • Danvers — Sack’s Cinema City 4-plex (12-14) (17) Dolby
  • Framingham — General Cinema’s Shoppers World 5-plex (12-14) (17)
  • Hyannis — Interstate’s Cape Cod Mall Triplex (12-21) Dolby
  • Leominster — Sack’s Leominster 5-plex (12-14)
  • North Dartmouth — General Cinema’s North Dartmouth Mall 4-plex (12-21)
  • Pittsfield — Western Massachusetts’ Capitol (12-21)
  • Raynham — Melrose’s Route 24 Cinema City Twin (12-21)
  • Swansea — AMC’s Swansea 4-plex (12-14)
  • West Springfield — Sack’s Palace Twin (12-14) (17) Dolby
  • Woburn — Redstone’s Showcase 5-plex (12-14) (16) Dolby
  • Worcester — Redstone’s Showcase 4-plex (12-14)

MICHIGAN

  • Ann Arbor — Mann’s Village Twin (12-14)
  • Battle Creek — Butterfield’s West Columbia Triplex (12-21) (9)
  • Burton — Plitt’s Eastland Mall (12-14)
  • Grand Rapids — Goodrich’s Northtown Twin (12-21) Dolby
  • Grosse Pointe Woods — Plitt’s Woods Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Jackson — Cinema National’s Westwood Twin (12-21)
  • Kalamazoo — UA’s West Main (12-21)
  • Kochville — Goodrich’s Tri-City 4-plex (12-21)
  • Lansing — Plitt’s Mall (12-14) (14)
  • Livonia — NGT’s Mai Kai (12-14) (24) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Pontiac — General Cinema’s Pontiac Mall Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Roseville — General Cinema’s Macomb Mall Triplex (12-14) (23)
  • Southfield — NGT’s Americana 4-plex (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Southgate — NGT’s Southgate Triplex (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Dolby

Close Encounters at the Cinerama Dome

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 [Back to Page 2]

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

MINNESOTA

  • Bloomington — General Cinema’s Southtown (12-14) (13)
  • Brooklyn Center — General Cinema’s Brookdale East Triplex (12-14) (19)
  • Minneapolis — General Cinema’s Orpheum (12-14) (10)
  • Rochester — Plitt’s Oakview (12-21)
  • Roseville — General Cinema’s Har-Mar Triplex (12-14) (19)
  • St. Cloud — CEC’s Cinema 70 Twin (12-21) (7)

MISSISSIPPI

  • Biloxi — Ogden-Perry’s Edgewater Plaza 4-plex (12-21)
  • Columbus — Malco’s Twin (12-21)
  • Greenville — ABC’s Plaza (12-21)
  • Hattiesburg — Gulf States’ Cinema (12-21) (7)
  • Jackson — Ogden-Perry’s Ellis Isle Twin (12-21) (12)
  • McComb — Gulf States’ Camellia Twin (12-21) (4)
  • Meridian — Gulf States’ College Park Twin (12-21)
  • Natchez — Gulf States’ Tracetown Twin (12-21)
  • Pascagoula — Gulf States’ K-Mart Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Tupelo — Malco’s Tupelo Twin (12-21)
  • Vicksburg — Gulf States’ Battlefield Twin (12-21)

MISSOURI

  • Cape Girardeau — Kerasotes’ Rialto (12-21) (6)
  • Columbia — Commonwealth’s Cinema (12-21)
  • Joplin — Dickinson’s Eastgate Triplex (12-21)
  • Richmond Heights — Mid-America’s Esquire 4-plex (12-14) (22) Dolby
  • St. Ann — General Cinema’s Northwest Plaza Twin (12-14) (23)
  • St. Joseph — Dickinson’s Trail (12-21) (8)
  • Sikeston — Malco’s Midtowner Center Twin (12-21)
  • Springfield — Mann’s Century 21 (12-21) (12)
  • Sunset Hills — Mann’s Mark Twain (12-14) (14) Dolby

Close Encounters 35 mm film MONTANA

  • Billings — Mann’s Fox (12-21)
  • Great Falls — Carisch’s Fox (12-21) (9)

NEBRASKA

  • Grand Island — AMC’s Conestoga 4-plex (12-21)
  • Lincoln — Cooper-Highland’s Cooper/Lincoln (12-21) (13)
  • Omaha — Cooper-Highland’s Indian Hills Twin (12-14) (21) Dolby

NEVADA

  • Las Vegas — Plitt’s Parkway Triplex (12-14)
  • Reno — Mann’s Keystone (12-14) (23)

NEW BRUNSWICK

  • Fredericton — Fenety’s Gaiety (2-10) (4)
  • Moncton — Odeon’s Capitol (2-3) (5)
  • Saint John — Odeon’s Odeon (2-3)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Bedford — General Cinema’s Bedford Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • Concord — Melrose’s Cinema 93 (12-21)
  • Keene — Esquire’s Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Nashua — General Cinema’s Nashua Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Portsmouth — Northeast’s Jerry Lewis Twin (12-21) (15)
  • Salem — Cinema Four’s Salem Triplex (12-16) Dolby

NEW JERSEY

  • Bloomfield — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Royal (12-14) (13)
  • Brick — Music Makers’ Mall Triplex (12-14) (12)
  • Clifton — Nathan’s Clifton (12-14) (13)
  • East Brunswick — Loews’ Route 18 Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Edison — General Cinema’s Menlo Park Twin (12-14) (12)
  • Egg Harbor — Frank’s Towne 4-plex (12-14)
  • Fort Lee — UA’s Linwood (12-14) (13)
  • Hackettstown — Nathan’s Mall (12-14) (13)
  • Hanover — General Cinema’s Morris County Mall Twin (12-14) (18)
  • Jersey City — Loews’ Jersey City Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Lawrenceville — Sameric’s Eric Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Moorestown — Sameric’s Eric Plaza (12-14) (22)
  • Oakland — Roberts’ Oakland Twin (12-14) (#1: 13)
  • Oakland — Roberts’ Oakland Twin (12-14) (#2: 7)
  • Ocean — General Cinema’s Seaview Square (12-14) (13)
  • Paramus — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Route Four 4-plex (12-14) (23) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Raritan — General Cinema’s Somerville Circle Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Red Bank — Grant’s Movies Twin (12-14) (#1: 13)
  • Red Bank — Grant’s Movies Twin (12-14) (#2: 6)
  • Ridgewood — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Warner (12-14) (13)
  • Secaucus — Loews’ Harmon Cove 4-plex (12-14) (13)
  • Toms River — General Cinema’s Ocean County Mall Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Totowa — General Cinema’s Totowa Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Union — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Union (12-14) (13)
  • Vineland — General Cinema’s Cumberland Mall Twin (12-21) (12)
  • West Orange — General Cinema’s Essex Green Twin (12-14) (13)

NEW MEXICO

  • Albuquerque — General Cinema’s Wyoming Mall (12-14) (20)
  • Santa Fe — Commonwealth’s Lensic (12-21) (8)

NEW YORK

  • Amherst — General Cinema’s Boulevard Mall Triplex (12-14)
  • Auburn — Auburn (12-21)
  • Bay Shore — Loews’ South Shore Mall (12-14) (13)
  • Big Flats — General Cinema’s Arnot Mall Twin (12-21) (12)
  • Binghamton — Cinema National’s Crest (12-14) (13)
  • Brockport — Cinema National’s Strand (12-21)
  • Cedarhurst — Moss’ Central (12-14) (13) Dolby
  • Cheektowaga — Holiday’s Holiday 6-plex (12-14) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Commack — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Twin (12-14) (13) Dolby
  • DeWitt — Cinema National’s Cinema East (12-14) (22)
  • Hartsdale — General Cinema’s Hartsdale Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Hudson — Brandt’s Hudson Studio (12-21)
  • Hyde Park — Roosevelt (12-14) (12)
  • Ithaca — State Twin (12-21) (11)
  • Kingston — Reade’s Mayfair (12-14) (6)
  • Latham — UA’s Towne (12-14) (18)
  • Levittown — Loews’ Nassau 4-plex (12-14) (#1: 23)
  • Levittown — Loews’ Nassau 4-plex (12-14) (#2: 7)
  • Merrick — Brandt’s Merrick (12-14) (13)
  • Middletown — Cate’s Plaza Twin (12-14) (10)
  • Mohegan Lake — General Cinema’s Westchester Mall Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Mt. Kisco — Lesser’s Mt. Kisco Twin (12-14) (#1: 13)
  • Mt. Kisco — Lesser’s Mt. Kisco Twin (12-14) (#2: 13)
  • New City — UA’s Cinema 304 (12-14) (13)
  • New Hartford — Cinema National’s Cinema (12-14)
  • New Rochelle — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Proctors 4-plex (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Bronx) — Loews’ Paradise Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Bronx) — Loews’ Riverdale (12-14) (10)
  • New York (Brooklyn) — Loews’ Georgetowne Twin (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Brooklyn) — Loews’ Oriental Twin (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Brooklyn) — RKO Stanley-Warner’s Kenmore (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Manhattan) — Reade’s Ziegfeld (11-16) (23) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • New York (Queens) — Interboro’s Elmwood (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Queens) — Loews’ Bay Terrace (12-14) (13)
  • New York (Staten Island) — Ackerman’s Hylan (12-14) (10)
  • Newburgh — Cate’s Mid Valley (12-14) (8)
  • Olean — Manos’ Olean Center Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • Orangeburg — Lesser’s Orangeburg (12-14) (13)
  • Patchogue — UA’s Patchogue (12-14) (13)
  • Pittsford — Loews’ Pittsford Triplex (12-14) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Queensbury — Route 9 Triplex (12-21)
  • Roslyn — K-B’s Roslyn (12-14) (13) Dolby
  • Stony Brook — Loews’ Stoneybrook Twin (12-14) (13)
  • Wheatfield — General Cinema’s Summit Park Twin (12-21)
  • Yonkers — Moss’ Movieland 4-plex (12-14) (13) Dolby

NEWFOUNDLAND

  • St. John’s — Famous Players’ Avalon Mall 4-plex (5-12)

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Asheville — Irvin-Fuller’s Merrimon Twin (12-21) (13) Dolby
  • Burlington — ABC’s Terrace Twin (12-21)
  • Chapel Hill — ABC’s Carolina Twin (12-21)
  • Charlotte — ABC’s Park Terrace Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Concord — Fairlane-Litchfield’s Carolina Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • Durham — ABC’s Center Twin (12-14)
  • Fayetteville — ABC’s Cardinal Twin (12-21)
  • Gastonia — Martin’s Village (12-21)
  • Goldsboro — Stewart & Everett’s Berkeley Twin (12-21)
  • Greensboro — ABC’s Terrace Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Greenville — Stewart & Everett’s Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Hickory — ABC’s Terrace Twin (12-21)
  • High Point — Martin’s Towne Twin (12-21)
  • Jacksonville — Stewart & Everett’s Brynn Marr Twin (12-21)
  • Monroe — Consolidated’s Village Twin (12-21)
  • New Bern — Stewart & Everett’s Neuse Village (12-21)
  • Raleigh — ABC’s Cardinal Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Rocky Mount — ABC’s Cardinal Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Shelby — Benfield’s Rogers (12-21)
  • Wilmington — Stewart & Everett’s Oleander Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Winston-Salem — General Cinema’s Hanes Mall 4-plex (12-21)

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Bismarck — R&D’s Kirkwood Plaza Twin (12-21) (6)
  • Fargo — CEC’s Cinema 70 (12-21)
  • Grand Forks — R&D’s Plaza Twin (12-21)

NOVA SCOTIA

  • Halifax — Odeon’s Oxford (12-23)

OHIO

  • Akron — General Cinema’s Chapel Hill Triplex (12-14) (13)
  • Akron — General Cinema’s Rolling Acres Mall Triplex (12-14) (14)
  • Canton — Matos’ Imperial (12-14) (13) Dolby
  • Cincinnati — Mid States’ Carousel Twin (12-14) (23) Dolby
  • Cleveland — Loews’ Yorktown Twin (12-14) (22)
  • Dayton — Chakeres’ Dayton Mall 4-plex (12-14) Dolby
  • Elyria — National’s Midway Mall Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Lima — American Mall Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Mentor — National’s Great Lakes Mall Twin (12-14) (8)
  • Niles — National’s Eastwood Twin (12-21) (9)
  • Ontario — General Cinema’s Richland Mall Triplex (12-21) (13)
  • Richmond Heights — Loews’ East Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Rocky River — Loews’ West Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Sandusky — Cinema World’s Sandusky Mall Triplex (12-21) (13)
  • South Euclid — Loews’ Cedar Center Twin (12-14) (22)
  • Springfield — General Cinema’s Upper Valley Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • Steubenville — Cinemette’s Hollywood Plaza (12-21)
  • Toledo — Redstone’s Showcase 4-plex (12-14) (20) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Westerville — Loews’ Westerville (12-14) (22)
  • Whitehall — General Cinema’s Town & Country Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Youngstown — National’s Newport (12-21) (9)

OKLAHOMA

  • Lawton — Video Independent’s Video Twin (12-21)
  • Norman — Commonwealth’s Hollywood (12-21)
  • Oklahoma City — Family’s Shepherd Twin (12-14)
  • Tulsa — General Cinema’s Southroads Mall (12-14)

ONTARIO

  • Hamilton — Odeon’s Odeon (12-23)
  • Kingston — Odeon’s Hyland (12-23)
  • Kitchener — Odeon’s Lyric (12-23)
  • London — Odeon’s Odeon Twin (12-23)
  • North York — Odeon’s Don Mills (12-16)
  • Oshawa — Odeon’s Hyland (12-23)
  • Ottawa — Odeon’s St. Laurent Twin (12-16) (#1: 19) Dolby
  • Ottawa — Odeon’s St. Laurent Twin (12-16) (#2: 1)
  • St. Catharines — Odeon’s Pendale Twin (12-23)
  • Sarnia — Odeon’s Odeon Twin (12-23)
  • Sudbury — Odeon’s Odeon Twin (12-23)
  • Thunder Bay — Odeon’s Victoria (12-23)
  • Toronto — Odeon’s Humber Twin (12-16)
  • Toronto — Odeon’s York Twin (12-16) (18) Dolby

OREGON

  • Beaverton — Moyer’s Town Center Triplex (12-16) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Bend — LT’s Bend Triplex (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • Corvallis — LT’s Cinema World 4-plex (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • Eugene — Moyer’s West 11th Triplex (12-14) (24)
  • Klamath Falls — Redwood’s Tower Twin (12-21)
  • Medford — Lippert’s Cinema Center (12-21)
  • Portland — LT’s Eastgate Triplex (12-14) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Salem — LT’s Elsinore (12-21) (12) Dolby

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Altoona — Cinemette’s Park Hills 4-plex (12-21)
  • Bethlehem — Valley’s Boyd (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • Camp Hill — UA’s Capital City Mall 6-plex (12-14) (#1)
  • Camp Hill — UA’s Capital City Mall 6-plex (12-14) (#2)
  • Center — General Cinema’s Beaver Valley Mall Triplex (12-21) (12)
  • Easton — Sameric’s Eric Twin (12-21) (9)
  • Erie — General Cinema’s Millcreek Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • Feasterville — Sameric’s Eric (12-14) (19)            
  • Glenolden — Sameric’s Eric MacDade Mall Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Greensburg — General Cinema’s Greengate Mall Triplex (12-21) (20)
  • Johnstown — CAC’s Westwood Plaza (12-21)
  • King of Prussia — Sameric’s Eric Plaza (12-14) (22)
  • Lancaster — Sameric’s Eric Twin (12-14)
  • Langhorne — Lincoln Plaza Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Montgomeryville — Sameric’s Eric Triplex (12-14) (19)
  • Philadelphia — Sameric’s Eric Ivy Ridge Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Philadelphia — Sameric’s SamEric (12-14) (22) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Pittsburgh — Cinemette’s Warner (12-14) (13) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Scranton — General Cinema’s Viewmont Mall Triplex (12-21)
  • State College — Associated’s Movies (12-21) (10)
  • Whitehall — General Cinema’s Lehigh Valley Mall Triplex (12-14) (14)
  • Wilkes-Barre — General Cinema’s Wyoming Valley Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Wyomissing — UA’s Berkshire Mall (12-14) (13)
  • York — Budco’s York Twin (12-14)

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

  • Charlottetown — Maritime’s Prince Edward Twin (2-17) (3)

QUEBEC

  • Cote St-Luc — Odeon’s Decarie Square Twin (12-16) (19)
  • Westmount — Odeon’s Atwater Twin (12-16) (16) Dolby

Close Encounters 70 mm frame

RHODE ISLAND

  • Lincoln — General Cinema’s Lincoln Mall 4-plex (12-14)
  • Middletown — SSC’s Starcase Triplex (12-21)
  • Warwick — General Cinema’s Warwick Mall Twin (12-14)
  • Westerly — Westerly Twin (12-21)

SASKATCHEWAN

  • Regina — Odeon-Morton’s Centre (3-3) (6)
  • Saskatoon — Odeon-Morton’s Odeon (2-3)

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Anderson — Fairlane-Litchfield’s Market Place Triplex (12-21)
  • Columbia — Irvin-Fuller’s Jefferson Square (12-14) (13) Dolby
  • Easley — Piedmont’s Easley Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Florence — Fairlane-Litchfield’s Crown (12-21)
  • Greenville — ABC’s Camelot Twin (12-14) (14)
  • Myrtle Beach — ABC’s Rivoli (12-21)
  • North Charleston — ABC’s Terrace (12-14) (13)
  • Spartanburg — Irvin-Fuller’s Hillcrest Twin (12-21) (11)

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Rapid City — Commonwealth’s Rapid (12-21)
  • Sioux Falls — Midco’s Plaza Twin (12-21) (9)
  • Spearfish — Commonwealth’s Campus (12-21) (6)

TENNESSEE

  • Chattanooga — ABC’s Eastgate Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Columbia — Vinson’s Cinema Twin (12-21)
  • Goodletsville — Consolidated’s Cinema North 4-plex (12-14) (13)
  • Jackson — Malco’s Paramount (12-21) (9)
  • Johnson City — ABC’s Mall (12-21)
  • Kingsport — AMC’s Fort Henry 5-plex (12-22) (7) Super Sound
  • Knoxville — ABC’s Cedar Bluff Twin (12-14)
  • Memphis — Southern Theatre Service’s Park (12-14)
  • Nashville — Consolidated’s Cinema South 4-plex (12-14) (14)

TEXAS

  • Abilene — General Cinema’s Westgate Twin (12-14)
  • Amarillo — ABC Interstate’s Western Square Twin (12-21) Dolby
  • Arlington — General Cinema’s Six Flags Mall Twin (12-14) (#1: 20)
  • Arlington — General Cinema’s Six Flags Mall Twin (12-14) (#2: 18)
  • Austin — General Cinema’s Capitol Plaza (12-14) (20)
  • Baytown — Tercar’s Bay Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Beaumont — General Cinema’s Gateway Twin (12-21)
  • Brownsville — ABC Interstate’s North Park Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Brownwood — ABC Interstate’s Commerce Square Twin (12-21)
  • College Station — ABC Interstate’s University Square Triplex (12-21) (8)
  • Corpus Christi — Mann’s National Twin (12-14)
  • Dallas — ABC Interstate’s Medallion (12-14) (27) Dolby
  • Denton — ABC Interstate’s Denton Center (12-21)
  • El Paso — ABC Interstate’s Northgate (12-14) Dolby
  • Fort Worth — ABC Interstate’s Ridglea (12-14) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Galveston — General Cinema’s Galvez Plaza Triplex (12-21) (8)
  • Harlingen — ABC Interstate’s Morgan Plaza Triplex (12-21) (6)
  • Houston — ABC Interstate’s Alabama (12-14) (26) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Houston — AMC’s Almeda 9-plex (12-14)
  • Houston — Loews’ Saks Center Twin (12-14) Dolby
  • Houston — Loews’ Town & Country Village Triplex (12-14) 70mm 6-Track Dolby
  • Killeen — UA’s Northside Village Twin (12-21)
  • Lake Jackson — Dow Chemical’s Lake Twin (12-21)
  • Laredo — UA’s Cinema del Norte 4-plex (12-21)
  • Longview — Martin’s Cargill Triplex (12-21) (10)
  • Lubbock — UA’s South Plains Twin (12-14)
  • McAllen — ABC Interstate’s Cinema Twin (12-21)
  • Midland — UA’s Cine 4-plex (12-21)
  • Odessa — UA’s Winwood Twin (12-21) (10)
  • Port Arthur — Gulf States’ Park Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • Richardson — ABC Interstate’s Promenade Twin (12-14) (27)
  • San Angelo — Noret’s Village Twin (12-21)
  • San Antonio — Santikos’ Century South 6-plex (12-14) Dolby
  • San Antonio — Santikos’ Northwest 6-plex (12-14) (#1) Dolby
  • San Antonio — Santikos’ Northwest 6-plex (12-14) (#2) Dolby
  • Sherman — UA’s Sher-Den Mall Twin (12-21)
  • Sugar Land — Tercar’s Palms (12-21)
  • Texarkana — Joy’s Cinema City Triplex (12-21)
  • Tyler — ABC Interstate’s Bergfeld Center Twin (12-21)
  • Waco — ABC Interstate’s Cinema Twin (12-21) Dolby
  • Wichita Falls — ABC Interstate’s Parker Square Twin (12-21)

UTAH

  • Ogden — Plitt’s Wilshire Triplex (12-14)
  • Orem — Plitt’s University Twin (12-21)
  • Salt Lake City — Plitt’s Regency (12-14) (27) 70mm 6-Track Dolby

VERMONT

  • Rutland — Brigham-Lloyd’s Plaza Twin (12-21)
  • South Burlington — Merrill’s Century Plaza Twin (12-21) (16)

VIRGINIA

  • Baileys Crossroads — K-B’s Cinema 7 (12-14) (23)
  • Blacksburg — ABC’s Studio 1 (12-21)
  • Bristol — AMC’s Bristol Mall 4-plex (12-21)
  • Charlottesville — ABC’s Terrace Twin (12-21)
  • Danville — ABC’s Riverside Twin (12-21)
  • Harrisonburg — Roth’s Virginia (12-21)
  • Lynchburg — ?
  • Newport News — ABC’s Newmarket Triplex (12-14) (14)
  • Richmond — Neighborhood’s Ridge 4-plex (12-14) (15)
  • Roanoke — ABC’s Towers Twin (12-14)
  • Springfield — Neighborhood’s Springfield Twin (12-14) (23)
  • Virginia Beach — ABC’s Pembroke Twin (12-14) Dolby

WASHINGTON

  • Everett — General Cinema’s Everett Mall Triplex (12-21) (21)
  • Hazel Dell — LT’s Hazel Dell Triplex (12-21) Dolby
  • Lakewood — General Cinema’s Villa Plaza Twin (12-14)
  • Seattle — General Cinema’s King (12-14) (28) Dolby
  • Spokane — UA’s Cinema Twin (12-28) (25)
  • Wenatchee — SRO’s Liberty (12-21)

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Charleston — Cinemette’s Virginian (12-21)
  • Huntington — Greater Huntington’s Cinema (12-21) Dolby
  • Morgantown — Cinemette’s Warner Triplex (12-21)
  • Parkersburg — JUR’s Burwell (12-21)
  • Wheeling — Cinemette’s Court (12-21)

WISCONSIN

  • Appleton — Marcus’ Marc Twin (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • Beloit — Standard’s Majestic (12-21) Dolby
  • Eau Claire — Plitt’s State (12-21)
  • Fond du Lac — Wisconsin Amusement’s Retlaw (12-21) (6)
  • Green Bay — Standard’s Bay (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • Kenosha — Standard’s Lake Twin (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • La Crosse — Marcus’ Cinema Twin (12-21)
  • Madison — Madison 20th Century’s Orpheum (12-21) (12) Dolby
  • Manitowoc — Strand (12-21) (6) Dolby
  • Milwaukee — UA’s Northridge Triplex (12-14) (#1)
  • Milwaukee — UA’s Northridge Triplex (12-14) (#2)
  • Oshkosh — Marcus’ Cinema Twin (12-21) (6)
  • Racine — Marcus’ Rapids Plaza Twin (12-21) (10) Dolby
  • Sheboygan — Marcus’ Marc Twin (12-21) (7)
  • Stevens Point — Marcus’ Campus Twin (12-21) (6) Dolby
  • Superior — Plitt’s Palace (12-21)
  • Wausau — Marcus’ Crossroads Twin (12-21) (7)
  • West Allis — Marcus’ Southtown Triplex (12-14) (12+) 70mm 6-Track Dolby

WYOMING

  • Casper — Commonwealth’s Rialto (12-21)
  • Cheyenne — Commonwealth’s Paramount (12-21)
  • Laramie — Commonwealth’s Wyo (12-21)

Small market bookings, subsequent release waves, moveovers and second-run bookings began throughout the early months of 1978 and continued through the summer months. The movie was re-released in a revised cut in 1980 as the Special Edition. The movie’s first home-video release (the Special Edition) was in 1980. (The original 1977 cut of the film was not officially released to the home video market until 1990.) Its network television (an alternate cut) and cable TV (Special Edition) debuts were in 1981. Its first letterboxed home video release (1977 and 1980 cuts) was in 1990. A further revised cut was premiered in 1998 during a special festival celebrating Columbia Pictures’ 75th anniversary. A 40th anniversary re-release took place in 2017. (International dates varied by territory.)

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind 

 

 [On to Page 4]


 [Back to Page 3]

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

THE Q&A

Laurent Bouzereau wrote, produced and directed the documentary The Making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which originally appeared on LaserDisc and has been ported over to some of the film’s subsequent home video releases.

Laurent Bouzereau with Steven Spielberg and John Williams

Michael Klastorin is the author of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History (Harper Design, 2017).

Michael Klastorin

Mike Matessino produced, mixed, mastered and wrote the liner notes for the Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 40th Anniversary Remastered Edition CD release, due this fall from La-La Land Records.

ce3k matessino

Joseph McBride is the author of Steven Spielberg: A Biography (Simon & Schuster, 1997).

Joseph McBride

The interviews were conducted separately and have been edited into a “roundtable” conversation format.

Michael Coate (The Digital Bits): How do you think Close Encounters of the Third Kind should be remembered on its 40th anniversary?

Laurent Bouzereau: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is an extraordinary film. It’s so much more than science-fiction. After the success of Jaws, it solidified Steven Spielberg as a visionary director.

Michael Klastorin: Close Encounters should be remembered in several ways, first and foremost as a classic work of motion picture history, in terms of its story, performance and of course, in its direction.

Mike Matessino: Close Encounters is undeniably one of the most important science fiction movies ever produced, and in general one of the greatest movies ever made, period. It’s pretty amazing that it gives us a window into the world of the 1970s yet it still feels very timeless and relevant. Celebrating its 40th anniversary is a celebration of the enduring power of cinema.

Joseph McBride: A visionary film, perhaps Steven Spielberg’s greatest. It and Schindler’s List are both tremendous achievements. But some other directors (such as Roman Polanski or Martin Scorsese, whom Spielberg offered Schindler’s List when he was having anxiety about tackling it) would have made a fine film from the Thomas Keneally novel — even though maybe not as good as Spielberg’s — but no other director could have made Close Encounters at all. It is the purest expression of his personal vision and sensibility. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Catch Me If You Can may be his most directly autobiographical films, but Close Encounters is his dream of a better world and his portrait of a constricted, mundane world from which his central character has to escape. Spielberg is often mistakenly viewed as celebrating suburbia, which is absurd; anyone who looks at Close Encounters with an open mind will see how horrifying and stultifying that milieu is for him. And the music-and-light show of Close Encounters is genuinely enchanting and poetic, a lyrical achievement only Spielberg could have conceived and artistically executed.

In a March 1978 letter to François Truffaut, who plays Lacombe and whose spirit suffuses the film, Jean Renoir wrote, “We have finally seen Close Encounters. It is a very good film, and I regret it was not made in France. This type of popular science would be most appropriate for the compatriots of Jules Verne and Méliès…. You are excellent in it, because you’re not quite real. There is more than a grain of eccentricity in this adventure. The author is a poet. In the South of France one would say he is a bit fada. He brings to mind the exact meaning of this word in Provence: the village fada is the one possessed by the fairies.”

Close Encounters is also Spielberg’s most spiritual movie. Carl Jung wrote in his 1959 book on flying saucers, “We have indeed strayed far from the metaphysical certainties of the Middle Ages, but not so far that our historical and psychological background is empty of all metaphysical hope…. It is characteristic of our time that, in contrast to its previous expressions, the archetype should now take the form of an object, a technological construction, in order to avoid the odiousness of a mythological personification. Anything that looks technological goes down without difficulty with modern man. The possibility of space travel makes the unpopular idea of a metaphysical intervention much more acceptable.” Jung also suggested that a belief in UFOs has “its cause in a situation of collective distress or danger, or in a vital psychic need.” The situation of collective distress that helped prompt Spielberg to make Close Encounters was Watergate, and the vital psychic need was his career-long exploration of broken families and the need to reconstitute another kind of family. Another psychiatrist who has studied the UFO phenomenon, Kenneth Ring, noted that when a child from a dysfunctional family learns “to dissociate in response to the trauma,” he is “much more likely to become sensitive to alternate realities.” That helps explains why Close Encounters unites the themes of a dysfunctional family and an alternate reality. And a friend of Steven’s parents in Cincinnati, Millie Tieger, told me, “When I saw Close Encounters, I thought, there’s Leah with the music and Arnold with computers. That’s Steve, the little boy. Steve wrote a movie about Mommy and Daddy.”

Coate: What did you think of Close Encounters, and can you recall your reaction to the first time you saw it?

Bouzereau: I saw it when it came out in Paris, on the Champs Elysées. This was before you knew everything about films before you saw them. I knew it dealt with UFOs, that it was the director from Jaws, and that France’s top director, François Truffaut, was in it. Other than that, it was a complete discovery. I remember going from being scared to completely mesmerized. It was a genuine journey that still holds up today.

Klastorin: As the film critic for my college newspaper in Brooklyn, I was invited to the very first media screening at the magnificent (and sadly, defunct) Ziegfeld Theater in New York. I sat totally engrossed from the first frame of the film, and struggled to hide the tears streaming down my face as Lacombe and the alien shared their personal moment before the Mothership departed.

Matessino: I saw Close Encounters in late December 1977 when it opened in Yonkers, New York. It was one of the films that opened the new Movieland theater, which was the first multiplex (four screens) in the area. In fact, we also had the Westchester County Dolby Stereo exclusive. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was with my father. I was extremely impressed with it and loved it from the start, but when I first saw it I was not able to fully appreciate all of its depth. Star Wars was still very much on my mind. I grew to appreciate it more after subsequent viewings including The Special Edition in 1980 and many cable airings. But E.T. in 1982, followed by the network broadcast of Close Encounters, really put the film into perspective and since then I have considered it one of my top favorites.

McBride: I have liked it enormously from the first time I saw it at a Hollywood preview when I was on Daily Variety. I saw it again in his 40th anniversary run at the Grand Lake in Oakland, California, this September and had a mild heart attack walking up a steep hill in extreme heat after the screening. But I still like it!

Coate: In what way is Close Encounters significant (among the sci-fi genre)?

Bouzereau: In the same year that Star Wars came out, it’s very interesting to have another spectacular science-fiction film with Close Encounters. Both re-invented the genre. I don’t think that kind of significant cinematic revolution has ever happened again, or at least, not for me.

Klastorin: Close Encounters was essentially the first film to seriously consider the momentous meeting between human and extraterrestrial. It was approached in a serious and thought-provoking manner, and the aliens were not portrayed as invaders, marauders, conquerors or destroyers, as they had previously been depicted since their first appearance on screen in 1898 in Georges Méliés’ A Trip to the Moon. With a visual effects team led by Douglas Trumbull in a pre-CGI era, those effects have lost none of their brilliance, and still enchant some 40 years after they were created. Consider that they were realized with a crew of 40, as opposed to the several hundred names that are crammed into the credits of today’s sci-fi features. It remains a staggering achievement.

Matessino: Close Encounters is a successor to 2001: A Space Odyssey, except it’s set in a very real present day world. It explores ideas like psychic implants and government cover-ups that are staples of the genre, but it did it in a way that was very relatable and believable. Like the best science fiction it’s a story set on an epic canvas but it’s a very personal and intimate tale about an individual and his family. I also think that it’s noteworthy in that it has no love story and no bad guy. The enemy in the movie is fear, specifically the fear or believing in something when no one around understands.

McBride: I thought it helped change the genre for the better by portraying the aliens as benevolent. A few movies had done that before, notably The Day the Earth Stood Still. Close Encounters is clearly inspired partly by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. The view of aliens as a positive force coming to Earth is characteristic of Spielberg’s liberal openness to outside influences as a grandchild of Jewish immigrants.

Coate: Which cut of Close Encounters do you like best?

Bouzereau: Nothing can replace that initial first time. So, I’d have to go with the very first version. But having been personally involved with documenting the film since 1998 through the different anniversary editions, I have enjoyed seeing how it has had several lives, and how they each speak for Steven’s vision and sensibility as an artist.

Klastorin: One always has an affinity for their first experience with a film like Close Encounters, but Mr. Spielberg himself always felt that due to budgetary and time restraints, he released the film he had to, but still wished he had been given a little more time and money to fine tune the effort. He got a rare chance to make some of those changes with the Special Edition, but he also acknowledges he never should have followed Roy Neary into that spaceship (albeit that was a demand from Columbia Pictures in exchange for the opportunity). The inside of the Mothership, he’s stated, is the exclusive property of the imagination of the audience. His third version, the director’s cut for the 20th anniversary, is his definitive version of Close Encounters. I can’t argue with that.

Matessino: Of the three that are in official release I would have to pick the original 1977 version, and one of the reasons is that I really like the scene construction starting with Roy getting fired. I think that the moment where he sees the pillow shaped liked the mountain is essential… not just because he mentions it later but because you can hear his wife Ronnie saying, “I’m not getting a job, you know.” If you think about the fact that this is the first thing a wife says when her husband gets fired, you realize that this marriage is already headed for failure and that the UFOs only helped accelerate something that was already inevitable. After that we have Roy’s return to Crescendo Summit, followed by the India, arena and Goldstone scenes. That works so much better, in my opinion, than moving the Crescendo Summit scene later. I also think you need to see Roy at the power planet early in the movie because it illustrates the randomness of what happens to him. He is in the right place at the right time and said just the right thing, which results in him — as opposed to someone else — becoming the person who has the encounter. That being said, I do like the scenes that appeared in the Special Edition, specifically the original introduction to the Neary family, the newly filmed Gobi Desert sequence and the reinstated scene with Roy in the shower. I agree with most that the interior of the mothership was not necessary; however I do like the Special Edition end credits music using John Williams’ arrangement of When You Wish Upon a Star. I would still like there to be an extended master cut that includes everything except the 1977 version of Neary’s intro (which was an insert shot later) and the interior of the mothership.

McBride: The final director’s cut. Spielberg unfortunately botched the Special Edition by inserting its anticlimactic, unimaginative ending and by cutting some of the most intense scenes of family dysfunction and some other memorable moments. At the industry screening I attended, I could tell those family scenes with Richard Dreyfuss going “mad” made people acutely uncomfortable. Seeing a father figure in an American movie going bonkers is deeply troubling to our national mythos, as was It’s a Wonderful Life on its first run. The omission of those scenes of dysfunction in the second version severely damaged the film, since they are central to Roy’s alienation and need to escape. Spielberg wisely put them back. One key scene not in the original version has the older son angrily call Roy a “crybaby,” which Spielberg recently admitted having done when his own father, during a time of family distress, broke down and cried. It’s good that the phony ending inside the space ship is now gone. It’s so much better to let the viewer use his/her imagination about what will happen to Roy.

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Coate: Where does Close Encounters rank among Steven Spielberg’s body of work?

Bouzereau: It’s my second favorite after Jaws.

Klastorin: Close Encounters remains a benchmark as the first film that Spielberg both wrote and directed, and he refers to it as his most personal film. It continued the promise he had shown in his earlier television work, The Sugarland Express, and, of course, Jaws. Trying to rank his work is a gargantuan task, as he’s directed films of every genre, mixing small, personal drama with grand spectacle. Each new production holds new promise, and he seldom if ever, disappoints. I can’t wait to see what he does with Ready Player One.

Matessino: Close Encounters is the first truly personal Spielberg film and it still remains one of his greatest. It comes straight from his heart and reflects all of his passion for the medium of cinema. Without it we wouldn’t have gotten all of the wonderful films that followed. Specifically it laid the groundwork for E.T., which led to Empire of the Sun, which led to Schindler’s List. So it’s a linchpin of his career.

Coate: Where does Richard Dreyfuss’s performance of Roy Neary rank among his body of work?

Bouzereau: It’s his second best after Jaws.

Klastorin: Well before he badgered Spielberg into casting him as Roy, Dreyfuss recognized his strength in portraying the “everyman” character, and embraced it, as did audiences. His characterization of Roy Neary continued to propel him to the upper stratosphere of the acting profession and down the aisle to accept his Academy Award.

Matessino: Interesting question considering that Dreyfuss won an Academy Award for The Goodbye Girl, which came out the same year. I think he’s wonderful in Close Encounters because he truly seems like a regular guy who might live next door to you. There isn’t a false note in his performance, no moment when you feel like he is “acting.” I think it’s a performance he should look back on with absolute pride because he created a character that was relatable and real.

Coate: The role of music is of particular importance in this film since, among other reasons, the main theme appears in the film. But Spielberg has said he wasn’t sure if John Williams could deliver a good score for Close Encounters because of how great the Star Wars score turned out and that he was concerned Williams might not have had anything “left in the tank.” So how do you think the Close Encounters score turned out?

Bouzereau: I have a lot to say about this… But I’ll summarize it by mentioning that I was filming John conducting a suite from Close Encounters at a private session last year, and we were all in tears. I can only imagine what it must have been like to hear it performed for the first time. The music has not aged at all, and has contributed to the timeless nature of the film.

Matessino: Well, Close Encounters is my favorite John Williams score, and it’s interesting because I was trying to figure out how to write about it while I was in New York for the premiere of Star Wars in Concert. I spent a morning in my room working on ideas for the soundtrack notes and then stopped to go to rehearsal at Lincoln Center and it was quite jarring mentally. Star Wars is a great score, but Close Encounters is something else entirely. It serves a higher purpose and artistically reaches a lot deeper, so as with the films I don’t think the scores can really be compared one to the other. With Star Wars John Williams reached back into the history of film scoring and to a grand 19th century symphonic tradition, but Close Encounters is very contemporary and at times very experimental. It was a very bold thing to do and I think to achieve it Williams really had to push himself as a composer. Certainly what he demonstrated that year was that no one had to ever again worry that he wouldn’t be able to deliver.

Steven Spielberg on the set of Close EncountersCoate: Would you like to see Spielberg (or another filmmaker) make a Close Encounters sequel?

Bouzereau: Steven told me recently that Arrival is almost a sequel to Close Encounters. So I think we’re set.

Klastorin: The short answer is, of course not. Spielberg himself flirted with the notion back in the ’80’s, but abandoned the thought soon after. How can you improve upon a classic? A sequel? There is no Close Encounter of the 4th Kind. Reboot? Why? Just for the sake of it? The original film still stands on its own, and when the newly restored 4K version played in theaters for a week a couple of months ago, it attracted enough of an audience to be held over in many of those theaters.

Matessino: In my mind (and Spielberg has said this), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is sort of the sequel. But as for a further story, yes, I would welcome a sequel if it were done by Steven Spielberg and handled correctly.

McBride: No! Never! The Special Edition was sort of a bungled sequel. It showed why it’s better to leave it alone (other than adding back some scenes that had been cut before the original release, as Spielberg has done). Spielberg has wisely avoided doing a sequel to E.T., unless you count the E.T. ride at Universal in which the public is whisked away to E.T.’s home planet.

Coate: What is the legacy of Close Encounters?

Bouzereau: We’re still talking about it!

Klastorin: The legacy of Close Encounters encompasses many of the facets we’ve already discussed. It’s one of the rare films that discovers new generations of audiences, as one hands it down to the next and the next. It is, with a few small exceptions, just as fresh as it was when it first illuminated the screen in 1977, and its message is still just as important.

Matessino: Close Encounters indelibly depicts first contact between humans and extra-terrestrials. It might not happen this way, but the movie shows you the way you hope it will happen. It’s also essential viewing in looking at Steven Spielberg’s body of work, which will certainly be explored long after we’re all gone. It’s also one of those rare blockbusters that isn’t about blazing guns. It’s fantasy cinema but done seriously and timelessly.

McBride: A film that helps demonstrate perhaps better than any other why Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest American filmmakers and one with a powerful and enthralling, uniquely personal vision.

Coate: Thank you — Laurent, Michael, Mike and Joseph — for participating and for sharing your thoughts about Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

--END--

 

IMAGES

Selected images copyright/courtesy Columbia Pictures, Columbia TriStar Home Video, EMI Films, RCA/Columbia Home Video, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Voyager/The Criterion Collection.

A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

SOURCES/REFERENCES

The primary references for this project were regional newspaper coverage and trade reports published in BoxofficeThe Hollywood Reporter and Variety.  All figures and data included in this article pertain to the United States and Canada except where stated otherwise.

Cinerama Dome 40th Anniversary screening lobby display

 

SPECIAL THANKS

Don Beelik, Laurent Bouzereau, Thomas Hauerslev, John Hazelton, Bobby Henderson, Michael Klastorin, Bill Kretzel, Ronald A. Lee, Mark Lensenmayer, Stan Malone, Monty Marin, Adam Martin, Mike Matessino, Joseph McBride, Scott Neff, Cliff Stephenson, and an extra special thank-you to all of the librarians who helped with this project.

 

IN MEMORIAM

  • Amy Douglass (“Implantee”), 1902-1980
  • Eumenio Blanco (“Sunburned Old Man”), 1891-1984
  • Daniel Nunez (“Federale”), 1920-1985
  • Clark L. Paylow (Associate Producer/Unit Production Manager), 1918-1985
  • Phil Abramson (Set Decorator), 1933-1987
  • Alexander Lockwood (“Implantee”), 1902-1990
  • Robert Glass (Re-recording Mixer), 1939-1993
  • Norman Bartold (“Ohio Tolls”), 1928-1994
  • Bill Thurman (“Air Traffic”), 1920-1995
  • Merrill Connally (“Team Leader”), 1921-2001
  • John Alonzo (Additional Director of Photography), 1934-2001
  • Julia Phillips (Producer), 1944-2002
  • Luis Contreras (“Federale”), 1950-2004
  • Warren Kemmerling (“Wild Bill”), 1924-2005
  • Robert “Buzz” Knudson (Re-recording Mixer), 1925-2006
  • Laszlo Kovacs (Additional Director of Photography), 1933-2007
  • Philip Dodds (“Jean Claude”), 1951-2007
  • Shari Rhodes (Casting), 1938-2009
  • Bob Westmoreland (Makeup Supervisor/“Load Dispatcher”), 1935-2009
  • William A. Fraker (Director of Photography: Additional American Scenes), 1923-2010
  • George DiCenzo (“Major Benchley”), 1940-2010
  • Robert Broyles (“Dirty Tricks #3”), 1933-2011
  • Roberts Blossom (“Farmer”), 1924-2011
  • Frank Warner (Supervising Sound Effects Editor), 1926-2011
  • Gene Cantamesa (Production Sound Mixer), 1931-2011
  • Galen Thompson (“Special Forces”), 1940-2011
  • Ralph McQuarrie (Conceptual Artwork), 1929-2012
  • Carlo Rambaldi (realization of “extraterrestrial”), 1925-2012
  • Matthew Yuricich (Matte Artist), 1923-2012
  • Gene Rader (“Hawker”), 1926-2014
  • Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography), 1930-2016
  • Douglas Slocombe (Director of Photography: India Sequence), 1913-2016

 

-Michael Coate

Michael Coate can be reached via e-mail through this link. (You can also follow Michael on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Blu-ray Disc)   Close Encounters of the Third Kind (4K Ultra HD)

 

 

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