History, Legacy & Showmanship

Four-Star General, Four-Star Movie: Remembering “Patton” on its 50th Anniversary

February 3, 2020 - 9:00 am   |   by
  • Print
  • Email

Patton is the best epic bio pic ever produced.” — Steven Jay Rubin, author of Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Patton, the Best Picture-winning biopic of General George S. Patton starring George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove, The Exorcist III) in the title role.

Patton — directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet of the Apes, Papillon) and which also starred Karl Malden (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Streets of San Francisco TV series) as General Omar N. Bradley — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Steven Jay Rubin, who reflects on the film five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Patton

In case you missed them or desire a refresher read, this column’s other Best Picture-winning retrospectives include Gone with the Wind 75th anniversary, Around the World in 80 Days 60th anniversary, My Fair Lady 50th anniversary, The Sound of Music 50th anniversary, and Rocky 40th anniversary.

 

THE ROADSHOW ENGAGEMENTS

What follows, for historical record and nostalgia, is a chronological reference listing of the North American first-run “hard ticket” roadshow engagements of Patton. These were special long-running, showcase presentations in major cities prior to the film being exhibited as a general release, and they featured advanced admission pricing, reserved seating, intermission, and an average of only ten scheduled screenings per week. Souvenir program booklet were sold, as well.

Out of the hundreds of films released during 1970, Patton was among only seven given roadshow treatment.

Some of the roadshow presentations of Patton were presented in 70-millimeter and offered a superior projection and sound experience. All of the film’s roadshow presentations are believed to have been presented with stereophonic sound (4-track for 35mm and 6-track for 70mm).

The film’s anniversary offers an opportunity to namedrop some famous cinemas, to provide some nostalgia for those who saw the film during this phase of its original release, and to reflect on how the film industry has evolved the manner in which event and prestige films are exhibited.

Patton roadshow ticket

Premiere date YYYY-MM-DD … City — Cinema (duration in weeks)

  • 1970-02-04 … New York — Criterion (20)
  • 1970-02-18 … Los Angeles — Pantages (17)
  • 1970-03-03 … Washington — Apex (20)
  • 1970-03-04 … Atlanta — Georgia (30)
  • 1970-03-04 … Baltimore (Catonsville) — Westview I (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Boston (Brookline) — Circle (18)
  • 1970-03-04 … Chicago — Bismarck (17)
  • 1970-03-04 … Cincinnati — 20th Century (15)
  • 1970-03-04 … Cleveland (Woodmere) — Village (15)
  • 1970-03-04 … Columbus — Cinestage (36)
  • 1970-03-04 … Dallas — Tower (25)
  • 1970-03-04 … Denver — Aladdin (21)
  • 1970-03-04 … Detroit — Mercury (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Honolulu — Kuhio (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Indianapolis — Indiana (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Kansas City — Empire 1 (17)
  • 1970-03-04 … Memphis — Crosstown (35)
  • 1970-03-04 … Miami (Miami Beach) — Lincoln (25)
  • 1970-03-04 … Milwaukee — Towne (13)
  • 1970-03-04 … Minneapolis (St. Louis Park) — Park (37)
  • 1970-03-04 … New Orleans — Cinerama (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Pittsburgh — Nixon (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Portland — Broadway (16)
  • 1970-03-04 … Sacramento — Crest (15)
  • 1970-03-04 … St. Louis — Cinerama (31)
  • 1970-03-04 … Salt Lake City — Centre (19)
  • 1970-03-04 … San Francisco — Golden Gate 1 (13)
  • 1970-03-04 … Seattle — Paramount (15)
  • 1970-03-11 … Montreal — Alouette (8)
  • 1970-03-11 … Philadelphia — Goldman (14)
  • 1970-03-11 … San Diego — Center (16)
  • 1970-03-11 … Toronto — University (11)
  • 1970-03-11 … Vancouver — Capitol (6)
  • 1970-03-12 … Houston — Gaylynn (31)
  • 1970-05-19 … San Jose — Century 22 (60)
  • 1970-05-29 … Toronto — Nortown (m/o from University, 4 [15])
  • 1970-06-17 … Los Angeles (Beverly Hills) — Beverly Hills (m/o from Pantages, 5 [22])
  • 1970-06-17 … Reno — Century 21 (7)

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 such, this work does not include any of the film’s general, international, second-run or re-release engagements.

Patton

[On to Page 2]

Contact Michael Coate

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Please send us a message.
Invalid Input

Bits Latest Tweets

RT @BillHuntBits: Fingers crossed for DUNE (1984) in 4K... twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVide…
The Digital Bits
Today on The Bits – @Lionsgate bows @SchittsCreek: The Complete Collection on #DVD, plus @WBHomeEnt pushes back its Bugs Bunny and Flintstones #Bluray street dates thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two…
The Digital Bits
Bits #BD Review – Dennis checks out another Bob Hope #horror #comedy classic THE CAT AND THE CANARY from 1939—new to #Bluray from @KLStudioClassic @BillHuntBits #horrorcomedy mystery #comedy #BobHope thedigitalbits.com/item/cat-and-t…