History, Legacy & Showmanship

Love, 25th Century Style: Remembering “THX 1138” on its 50th Anniversary

March 15, 2021 - 11:00 am   |   by
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THX 1138

 

THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL ENGAGEMENTS

To provide the reader a sense of THX 1138’s rollout and the distribution model utilized, what follows are the film’s first-run openings in the largest North American markets.

Note the following is not a complete citation of every theater in which THX played during its original release. Instead, emphasis has been placed on the major media markets and metropolitan areas and the initial months of the release.

Among some exceptions to the major-market focus is Modesto, California – George Lucas’s hometown – which has been included in the booking chronology.

As far as expansion waves and second-run bookings are concerned, none have been cited in this work with the exception of the San Francisco Bay Area. Extra emphasis on San Francisco is due because (1) it was the only market to expand during the initial month of the movie’s release, (2) the filmmakers were based there, and (3) the movie was filmed in the region.

THX 1138 was presented in 35mm scope (blown up from Techniscope) with monaural audio.

 

Opening Date YYYY-MM-DD … City – Cinema (duration in weeks) [co-feature]

  • 1971-03-11 … Los Angeles – Hollywood Loews (4)
  • 1971-03-11 … New York – Cine (3)
  • 1971-03-11 … New York – State Twin (3)
  • 1971-03-18 … San Francisco – Warfield (2) [w/ W]
  • 1971-03-18 … San Francisco (South San Francisco) – Spruce Drive-In (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-19 … Portland – Foster Drive-In (2) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-03-19 … Portland – Off Broadway (3) [w/ SRWM]
  • 1971-03-24 … Fresno – Starlite Drive-In (1) [w/ LF]
  • 1971-03-24 … Fresno – Towne (1) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-03-24 … Las Vegas – El Portal (1) [w/ MZT]
  • 1971-03-24 … Monterey – State (1) [w/ TMTYLMJM]
  • 1971-03-24 … Reno – Crest (2) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … Sacramento – Alhambra (1) [w/ B]
  • 1971-03-24 … Sacramento – Skyview Drive-In (2) [w/ F]
  • 1971-03-24 … Sacramento (Carmichael) – Westerner Drive-In (1) [w/ B]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Berkeley) – UC (2) [w/ HLH]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Burlingame) – Burlingame Drive-In (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Concord) – Fox Concord (2) [w/ SRWM]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Concord) – Solano Drive-In (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Danville) – Village (1) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Hayward) – Hayward (1) [w/ AH]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Hayward) – Hayward Auto Movie (1) [w/ AH]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Livermore) – Vine (1) [w/ B]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Napa) – Uptown (1) [w/ F]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Richmond) – Hilltop Drive-In (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (San Bruno) – Fox Skyline (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (San Carlos) – Laurel (1) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (San Leandro) – Stadium Auto Movie (1) [w/ A]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Santa Rosa) – California (1) [w/ R]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Sausalito) – Marin (1)
  • 1971-03-24 … San Francisco (Vallejo) – Crescent Auto Movie (1) [w/ B]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Jose – Frontier Auto Movie (1) [w/ TT]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Jose (Campbell) – Plaza Twin (1) [w/ CC]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Jose (Mountain View) – Moffett Drive-In (1) [w/ GGBG]
  • 1971-03-24 … San Jose (Sunnyvale) – Hacienda (1) [w/ B]
  • 1971-03-24 … Santa Cruz – Del Mar (1) [w/ TMTYLMJM]
  • 1971-03-26 … Boston – Cheri Triplex (3)
  • 1971-03-26 … Cincinnati – Studio Twin (2)
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas – Astro Drive-In (1) [w/ LS & BB]
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas – Capri (1)
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas – Gemini Drive-In (1) [w/ LS & BB]
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas – Preston Royal (1)
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas (Garland) – Belt Line-67 Drive-In (1) [w/ LS & BB]
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas (Grand Prairie) – Century Drive-In (1) [w/ LS & BB]
  • 1971-03-31 … Dallas (Plano) – Plano Drive-In (1) [w/ LS & BB]
  • 1971-03-31 … Honolulu – Hawaii (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-03-31 … Honolulu (Aiea) – Kam Drive-In (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City – 63rd Street Drive-In (1) [w/ IM & NBG]
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City – Metro Plaza 4-plex (1)
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City – Towne 4-plex (1)
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City (Independence) – Twin Drive-In (1) [w/ IM & NBG]
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City (Kansas City, KS) – State Drive-In (1) [w/ IM & NBG]
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City (Lenexa, KS) – Fox 50 Drive-In (1) [w/ H & T]
  • 1971-03-31 … Kansas City (Riverside) – North Drive-In (1) [w/ IM & NBG]
  • 1971-03-31 … San Francisco – Metro (2) [w/ MC]
  • 1971-03-31 … San Francisco (Orinda) – Orinda (1) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-04-02 … Oklahoma City – Criterion (3)
  • 1971-04-07 … Denver – Crest (2) [w/ JFSS]
  • 1971-04-07 … Denver (Arvada) – Arvada Plaza (2) [w/ JFSS]
  • 1971-04-07 … Denver (Thornton) – North Star Drive-In (2) [w/ JFSS]
  • 1971-04-07 … Tucson – Fox (1) [w/ W]
  • 1971-04-07 … San Diego – Rancho Drive-In (1) [w/ ISZ]
  • 1971-04-07 … San Diego – Spreckels (2) [w/ CFP]
  • 1971-04-07 … San Francisco (San Rafael) – Montecito (2) [w/ F]
  • 1971-04-08 … Louisville – Oxmoor Twin (2)
  • 1971-04-09 … Toronto – Uptown 5-plex (3)
  • THX 1138 newspaper ad1971-04-14 … El Paso – Capri (1)
  • 1971-04-14 … El Paso – Cinema Park Drive-In (1) [w/ P]
  • 1971-04-14 … San Francisco – Richelieu (1) [w/ MC]
  • 1971-04-14 … Seattle – 7th Avenue (3) [w/ ST]
  • 1971-04-14 … Spokane – State (1) [w/ IM]
  • 1971-04-14 … Washington – Dupont (4)
  • 1971-04-16 … Atlanta – Twelve Oaks (2)
  • 1971-04-16 … Buffalo (Blasdell) – Star Drive-In (1) [w/ A]
  • 1971-04-16 … Buffalo (Kenmore) – Colvin (1)
  • 1971-04-16 … Minneapolis – Mann (1)
  • 1971-04-16 … Nashville – Tennessee (1)
  • 1971-04-16 … New Orleans – Saenger (1)
  • 1971-04-21 … Lansing – Spartan Twin (1)
  • 1971-04-21 … Providence – Paris Twin (1)
  • 1971-04-21 … Providence (Smithfield) – Apple Valley Mall Triplex (1)
  • 1971-04-21 … Rochester – Riviera (1)
  • 1971-04-21 … Syracuse – Loew’s (1) [w/ H]
  • 1971-04-21 … Syracuse (Nedrow) – Salina Drive-In (1) [w/ CHL & LC]
  • 1971-04-22 … Charlotte – Village (1)
    1971-04-22 … San Antonio – Laurel (3)
  • 1971-04-23 … Calgary – Westbrook Twin (2)
  • 1971-04-23 … Edmonton – Capilano (1)
  • 1971-04-23 … Edmonton – Strand (1)
  • 1971-04-23 … Pittsburgh – Fulton (1)
  • 1971-04-23 … Winnipeg – Towne (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Baltimore – Charles (3)
  • 1971-04-28 … Columbus – Palace (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Detroit – Norwest (2) [w/ CFP]
  • 1971-04-28 … Detroit – Palms (1) [w/ WB]
  • 1971-04-28 … Detroit (Garden City) – La Parisien (2) [w/ B during week 2]
  • 1971-04-28 … Detroit (Grosse Pointe Woods) – Woods Twin (2) [w/ OGT]
  • 1971-04-28 … Hartford (East Hartford) – Cinema 1 (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Hartford (East Windsor) – East Windsor Drive-In (1) [w/ BCH]
  • 1971-04-28 … Hartford (Newington) – Pike Drive-In (1) [w/ H]
  • 1971-04-28 … Hartford (Plainville) – Plainville Drive-In (1) [w/ VG]
  • 1971-04-28 … Hartford (West Hartford) – Elm (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Indianapolis – Glendale 4-plex (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Norfolk – Norva (1)
  • 1971-04-28 … Philadelphia – Fox (2) [w/ Wat]
  • 1971-04-28 … Wichita – Mall (1)
  • 1971-04-30 … Austin – Paramount (2)
  • 1971-04-30 … Houston – Windsor (4)
  • 1971-04-30 … Raleigh – Cardinal (1)
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland – Cloverleaf Drive-In (weekend only) [w/ C]
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland – Commodore (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland – Embassy (1) [w/ CHL]
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland – Miles Drive-In (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland – Variety (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland (Berea) – Berea (1)
  • 1971-05-05 … Cleveland (Mentor) – Mentor Drive-In (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-05-05 … Corpus Christi – Centre (1)
  • 1971-05-05 … Madison – Capitol (1)
  • 1971-05-05 … Phoenix – Bethany (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-05-05 … Phoenix (Glendale) – Thunderbird Drive-In (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-05-07 … Charleston – Gloria (1)
  • 1971-05-07 … Fort Worth – Palace (1)
  • 1971-05-07 … Fort Worth (Arlington) – Arlington (1)
  • 1971-05-07 … Fort Worth (Hurst) – Belaire (1)
  • 1971-05-07 … Vancouver – Studio (1)
  • 1971-05-12 … Des Moines – Galaxy (2)
  • 1971-05-12 … Lubbock – Fox Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-12 … New Haven (Orange) – Showcase Triplex (2)
  • 1971-05-12 … Richmond – Broadway Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-12 … Richmond – Glen Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-12 … Richmond – Southside Plaza Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-12 … St. Louis (University City) – Fine Arts (1)
  • 1971-05-13 … Lincoln – Varsity (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago – Nortown (1) [w/ WUD]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Addison) – Skyhi Drive-In (1) [w/ WB]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Cicero) – Bel-Air Drive-In (1) [w/ WB]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Evanston) – Coronet (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Evergreen Park) – Evergreen Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Hammond, IN) – 41 Drive-In (1) [w/ VP & CHL]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (La Grange) – La Grange (1) [w/ CT]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Morton Grove) – Morton Grove (1) [w/ CHL]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Norridge) – Norridge Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Palatine) – 53 Drive-In (1) [w/ VP & AU]
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Skokie) – Old Orchard (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Chicago (Wheeling) – Twin Drive-In (1) [w/ WB]
  • 1971-05-14 … Jacksonville – Center (1)
  • 1971-05-14 … Omaha – Dundee (2)
  • 1971-05-14 … Ottawa – Towne (1)
  • 1971-05-19 … Akron – Chapel Hill Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-19 … Albany (East Greenbush) – Auto-Vision Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-19 … Albany (Guilderland) – Carman Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-19 … Albany (Latham) – Latham Drive-In (1) [w/ GB]
  • 1971-05-21 … Jackson – Lamar (1)
  • 1971-05-26 … Dayton – Northwest Plaza (1)
  • 1971-05-26 … Knoxville – Fox (1)
  • 1971-05-26 … Memphis – Fare 4-plex (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Miami (Coral Gables) – Gables (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Miami (Fort Lauderdale) – Coral Ridge (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Miami (Hollywood) – Florida Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Miami (Miami Springs) – Circle (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Miami (North Miami Beach) – Sunny Isles Twin (1)
  • 1971-05-28 … Mobile – Loop (1)
  • 1971-06-02 … Davenport – Orpheum (1)
  • 1971-06-02 … Davenport (Silvis, IL) – Semri Drive-In (1) [w/ BCH & W]
  • 1971-06-02 … Grand Rapids – Alpine Twin (1)
  • 1971-06-02 … Modesto – Covell (1)
  • 1971-06-04 … St. Petersburg – Loew’s (1)
  • 1971-06-04 … Salt Lake City – Capitol (1)
  • 1971-06-04 … Salt Lake City (Midvale) – Ute Drive-In (1) [w/ WDRE]
  • 1971-06-09 … Boise – Midway Drive-In (1) [w/ F]
  • 1971-06-09 … Milwaukee – Palace (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-06-09 … Milwaukee (Menomonee Falls) – Starlite Drive-In (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-06-09 … Milwaukee (Muskego) – Giant 24 Drive-In (1) [w/ C]
  • 1971-07-02 … Montreal – Capitol (1)
  • 1971-08-04 … Little Rock – John Miller Twin (1)
  • 1971-09-08 … Albuquerque – Fox Winrock (1)
  • 1971-10-24 … Colorado Springs – Aircadia Drive-In (1) [w/ F]
  • 1971-12-01 … Orlando (Casselberry) – Seminole (1)

 

Co-Feature Legend:

  • A = The Arrangement
  • AH = Ace High
  • AU = Attack of the Unknown
  • B = Barbarella
  • BB = The Big Bounce
  • BCH = The Ballad of Cable Hogue
  • C = Chisum
  • CC = Cannon for Cordoba
  • CFP = Colossus: The Forbin Project
  • CHL = Cool Hand Luke
  • CT = Cold Turkey
  • F = Flap
  • GB = The Green Berets
  • GGBG = The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
  • H = Harper
  • HLH = The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  • IM = The Illustrated Man
  • ISZ = Ice Station Zebra
  • JFSS = Journey to the far Side of the Sun
  • LC = The Lost Continent
  • LF = Lost Flight
  • LS = Love Story
  • MC = The Magic Christian
  • MZT = Moon Zero Two
  • NBG = No Blade of Grass
  • OGT = The Only Game in Town
  • P = Petulia
  • R = The Revolutionary
  • ST = Sudden Terror
  • SRWM = Start the Revolution Without Me
  • T = Trog
  • TMTYLMJM = Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon
  • TT = The Time Travelers
  • VG = The Valley of Gwangi
  • VP = Vanishing Point
  • W = WUSA
  • Wat = Waterloo (opening-day only)
  • WB = The Wild Bunch
  • WDRE = When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
  • WUD = Wait Until Dark

 

George Lucas and Robert Duvall

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