Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' Gets Massive 70mm Release — Here's Where It's Playing

Nolan's DP shot 'Dunkirk' hand-held on IMAX cameras.

Ah, 70mm: the most grandiose iteration of the film format. Today, Warner Bros. announced that it will screen Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk on the cinephile-friendly format in over 125 theaters across the United States—the widest 70mm release in 25 years.

Nolan shot the WWII drama entirely on 65mm film, 75% of which was shot on IMAX film cameras. He used IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film stock with low-light sensitive Panavision and IMAX lenses.

Over the course of production, cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema accomplished an incredible feat: he shot hand-held with IMAX cameras for the first time on a feature film.

Recently, Nolan told Entertainment Weekly: "Hoyte hand-held the [IMAX] camera for a few sections of Interstellar very effectively, and then on this, I had to break the news to him that he was going to be doing it for a massive amount of the film. We could get on a small boat with a number of characters and just shoot IMAX as if we were shooting with a GoPro camera."

"We shot IMAX as if we were shooting with a GoPro camera." —Christopher Nolan

Once, legendary films like Lawrence of Arabia and Ben-Hur screened widely in 70mm. But the last decade saw a mass conversion to digital projection systems; today, few theaters retain the technology. The process of installing or refurbishing 70mm projectors is a costly one, which Quentin Tarantino demonstrated with The Hateful Eight, a release that cost exhibitors a projected (pun intended) $8 million.

Dunkirk will screen on both 70mm and IMAX 70mm. Anton Volkov has put together a very handy guide to the various formats below, and scroll down for a list of theaters screening Dunkirk in 70mm. For more information and to purchase tickets, head over to the official Dunkirk website

'Dunkirk' format guideCredit: Warner Bros

IMAX Dome Theater (Birmingham)
US Space Center IMAX (Huntsville)

AMC Westgate (Glendale)
Grand Canyon IMAX (Grand Canyon Village)
Harkins Tempe Marketplace (Tempe)
Loft (Tuscon)

Cineplex Colossus IMAX (Langley)
Cineplex Park (Vancouver)

AMC Burbank 16 (Burbank)
Century Daly City (Daly City)
Regal Hacienda 20 IMAX (Dublin)
ArcLight Hollywood (Hollywood)
Regal Irvine Spectrum IMAX (Irvine)
ArcLight 14 (La Jolla)
Grossmont Center 10 (La Messa)
Regal Long Beach Stadium (Long Beach)
Cinemark 18 (Los Angeles)
Landmark 12 (Los Angeles)
Regal Ontario Palace 22 IMAX (Ontario)
Sagewood Camelot (Palm Springs)
Esquire IMAX (Sacramento)
Tower Theatre (Sacramento)
AMC Mission Valley (San Diego)
AMC Metreon IMAX (San Francisco)
Cinemark San Francisco Center (San Francisco)
Century Oakridge (San Jose)
Hackworth IMAX (San Jose)
AMC Mercado (Santa Clara)
ArcLight Sherman Oaks (Sherman Oaks)
AMC Del Amo 18 (Torrance)
Cinemark Union City 25 (Union City)
AMC Citywalk IMAX (Universal City)

Regal Contiental (Westminster)
AMC Westminster 24 (Vancouver)

Regal Gallery Palace Stadium 24 (D.C.)

Cinemark Palace (Boca Raton)
Coral Gables Art Cinema 1 (Coral Gables)
AMC Disney Springs 24 (Lake Buena Vista)
AMC Aventura (Miami)
Regal Waterford Lakes (Orlando)
AMC Veterans (Tampa)
AMC Parisian (West Palm Beach)

Regal Atlantic Station (Atlanta)
Regal Mall of Georgia 20 (Buford)

Sci Dome IMAX (Des Moines)

River East 21 (Chicago)
Keresotes Showplace Icon (Chicago)
Music Box (Chicago)
Cinemark Evanston (Evanston)

White River IMAX (Indianapolis)

AMC Town Center (Leawood)

AMC Elmwood Palace (New Orleans)

AMC Boston Common (Boston)
Coolidge Corner 2 (Brookline)
Somerville 5 (Somerville)

AFI Silver Theatre (Silver Spring)
AMC White Marsh (Baltimore)
Cinemark Egyptian (Baltimore)
Maryland Science Center IMAX (Baltimore)

AMC Livonia (Livonia)
AMC Forum 30 (Sterling Heights)

OMNIMAX (St. Louis)
Marcus Ronnies (St. Louis)

Discovery Place IMAX (Charlotte)
Regal Stonecrest (Charlotte)
AMC Southpoint (Durham)

AMC Cherry Hill (Cherry Hill)
AMC Hamilton 24 (Hamilton)
AMC Garden State (Peramus)

Cinemark Rio 24 (Albuquerque)

AMC Town Sqaure (Las Vegas)

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn (Brooklyn)
Farmingdale 14 (Farmingdale)
Regal New Roc City (New Rochelle)
AMC Lincoln Square IMAX (New York)
City Cinemas East 86th St. (New York)
Cinema 1,2,3 (New York)
Village East 7 (New York)
Regal E-Walk Stadim (New York)

Gateway Film Center 7 (Columbus)
Cinemark Valley View (Valley View)

Cineplex Coliseum IMAX (Mississauga)
Cineplex Varsity 12 (Toronto)
Cineplex Colossus IMAX (Woodbridge)

Hollywood 3 (Portland)
Regal Bridgeport (Tigard)

AMC Neshaminy 24 (Bensalem)
Regal King of Prussia 15 IMAX (King of Prussia)
Tuttleman IMAX (Philadelphia)
AMC Waterfront (West Homestead)

Cineplex Banque Scotia 12 (Montreal)

Providence Place IMAX (Providence)

Regina IMAX (Las Vegas)

AMC Thoroughbred (Franklin)
Regal Pinnacle Stadium (Knoxville)
Regal Opry Mills 20 IMAX (Nashville)

Studio Movie Grill 9 (Arlington)
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (Austin)
AMC Northpark 15 (Dallas)
Look 11 (Dallas)
Studio Movie Grill Royal Lane 9
Cinemark 17 IMAX (Dallas)
OmniaMAX Fort Worth (Fort Worth)
AMC Gulf Pointe (Houston)
Regal Edwards Freenway Grand Palace (Houston)
Cinemark Tinseltown (Pflugerville)
Cinemark West Plano (Plano)
Santikos Palladium 19 (San Antonio)

AMC Hoffman Center (Alexandria)
AMC Tyson’s Corner (McLean)

AMC Pacific Place 11 (Seattle)
Cinerama (Seattle)

Marcus Majestic Cinema of Brookfield (Waukesha)     

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Your Comment


Emagine Willow Creek in Minneapolis, Minnesota was left off the list. I should know. I'm running it on 70mm at Willow Creek in a couple weeks. Willow was one of eight theaters in the country running "Interstellar" when it opened, and they're currently one of a handful of theatres running "Wonder Woman" on 70.

July 5, 2017 at 4:45PM

Justin Ayd
Director / Producer

Also at the MN Zoo IMAX in 15/70. Whoever put out this list (also on /Film) left MN off the map.

July 5, 2017 at 6:09PM, Edited July 5, 6:09PM


Yo! Friendly correction as a DC resident that the theater is Regal Gallery Place 14 - though I wish it was a palace, it's just the theatre at the Gallery Place metro

July 5, 2017 at 7:01PM, Edited July 5, 7:01PM


Perhaps Nolan should focus less on the tech to make his films and on the films themselves. His last two were piles of crap.

July 5, 2017 at 7:22PM

Henry Barnill
Director of Photography

Okay, I'll bite.


July 5, 2017 at 9:09PM

Jeremiah Kuehne

What are the advantages of IMAX running horizontally and with more perforations than 70mm?

July 5, 2017 at 9:18PM


Basically more surface area. The surface area and perforations go hand in hand for a film format. The noise in film is based off a unit area. So the grain is a physical fixed size. So the larger the negative the less noise is in any specific part.

So 5 perf 70 has about twice as much area as a 35mm negative and 15 perf 70 is 3x that.

All that means this will be a very noiseless movie.

July 6, 2017 at 12:06PM


The person who created this infographic is at least uninformed about the reality and what happens in the projection booth... The 35mm is a lot lower resolution than 2K, with the 70mm around 4K, and the IMAX 70 around 5K or something like this. And this is only about the resolution, but what about all other things? If You have seen a movie in Dolby Cinema You know that is absolutely the best of the best with contrast ratio nearly around 1.000.000:1, and do not forget the audio experience that is severly limited in the anolog world. In Italy at the legendary Sala Energia, Arcadia Cinema, one of the best venue on the heart, everyone, including projectionist, preferred the 4K version of Interstellar compared with the 70mm.

July 6, 2017 at 2:08AM


Nope. 35mm tops out at a scanned 4k. (top Vision can push it to 6k) Add in the lamp curve and, sure, it may be a projected 2k, but quantifying precise projected film resolution is murky (because silver halide is awesome at doing its job). Also, 70mm can be scanned at 11k by Photokem. And IMAX 70 is equivalent to a projected 120MP image. Dolby Vision is great (and they have a very clever on/off prelude), but it's intraframe is less than IMAX laser - granted, more than IMAX 70. But it's all in the gradations, baby!

July 6, 2017 at 8:52AM, Edited July 6, 8:55AM


It's FotoKem :) We typically scan 65 as that is the negative format. 70MM is the print format with the sound track added.

The resolution of film is measured differently than digital. In the analog world you have line pairs/mm. Lots of the aspects of film that people strive to replicate in digital reduce the resolution. like grain and gate wave.

Film resolution, the ability to resolve detail, depends on the mechanical condition of the camera, the type of lenses uses, the quality of focus pulling, depth of field in a shot, motion of the subject, the type of exposure and lab processing.

If you notice many of these issues are not unique to film.

One you get to film printing you have the film processing, the quality of splices, the source element (cut o-neg or dup negative), the speed of the printing machine, the type of printing (wet or dry) and the mechanical condition of the printing machine.

Right now the amount of film getting made is small enough that it can all be short run quality. For the number of prints considered a distribution run today slower machines that allow for tighter tolerances can be used. Compared to what you may have experienced 30 years ago when thousands of prints needed to be made and shipped out on the same day the quality of any print is likely to be higher.

July 6, 2017 at 11:36AM, Edited July 6, 11:46AM


Joseph, I've had some films over the last few years last much longer than I've seen in the last decade. No pink dust or shedding even after 1300 runs. I don't think we've changed much in how we run. Do you know if something improved in the printing process even in the last few years? Thanks!

July 7, 2017 at 1:13PM, Edited July 7, 2:01PM

Alex Mosse

As long as you are talking about prints on 2383, no. The base chemicals and formulation are supposed to be the same.The printing process can't really do much on that side.

Someone from Kodak should chime in on if they had a process improvement.

As well, did someone service your projector? A bad projector eats prints and a good one will do what you are experiencing.

How do the prints look after 1300 runs?

July 9, 2017 at 9:11PM


Yes, we get 2383. (I had to check.)
They look good. There's probably a bit of color fade, but we seriously couldn't ask them to look any better. We're needing to clear the screen only a handful of times a show. The audience has no clue they're watching an aged print, which is what it's all about.

We've been doing all our own servicing for...ever. The lack of changes we've made is what's made me so curious. I mean, we'll take the credit! That's always fun. But also, just trying to understand industry standards before the prints get to us. Thanks!

July 11, 2017 at 11:39AM

Alex Mosse

Thanks for sharing. I know that projectors have a really big effect on how long prints last. I have some loops I have only been able to run 50 -100 times before they become to scratched to be usable.

The standards haven't changed in decades.

The only thing that I could think may have some effect that are better quality splices, but that would typically be on the projection end of the chain.

Do you know any other film projectionists? Are they seeing the same thing? It's nice to know that all the work put into making those prints is looking good after many showings.

July 11, 2017 at 3:34PM, Edited July 11, 3:34PM


Christopher Nolan goes through a significant amount of effort and time to hone his films. I find it hard to believe that someone who spends such effort specifically to make a film print and advocate for film distribution would do so for a format that he feels is inferior.

July 6, 2017 at 11:44AM


He doesn’t see celluloid film as inferior, if anything he believes that digital projection and production is inferior. I’d say it’s perfectly reasonable to want people to see the film the way you intended. Did James Cameron not push cinemas to upgrade to 3D digital for Avatar? Of course he did, because he wanted people to see his film the way he is this any different?

July 19, 2017 at 11:32AM


Any one have ideas of where in the UK it'll be screening? I presume the Leicester Sq Odeon?

July 6, 2017 at 2:45AM


this is such a mess

July 6, 2017 at 4:21AM


Sweet, one of the showings is like 15 min from my house. Yessssss.

July 6, 2017 at 10:30AM


Emily - thank you for this post. Can't wait! I now know a theater near me, thanks to your info!

July 8, 2017 at 1:49PM


I contracted for Kodak on the cineon project back in the day. 2k and 4K were chosen as they were considered to match or slightly better 35/70mm based on what could be archived on a theatrical cinema screen.. (at that time with common film stock used)
Yes. 35/70 "can" look better then those resolutions, however, that is NOT the norm based on typical duplication requirements etc for film to reach a theatrical screen.

This also does not take into account possible digital work (DI) that is so commonly done on every frame in modern productions. Requireing digital transfers. Again best if kept in digital domain and presentation.

Then there is the issue of film degrades when used...

I can tell you. As a person who has worked on cinema film to digital all my life. If I had a choice it would be to see the film on a 4K 6P primary laser. Typically the Barco.. would look better then the 70mm.. (in my opinion) argue all you want. Based on my experience it would be the best result..

Apart from the proprietary Dolby Vision. Ok yes that is currently the best..

But then we could get into what possible with the Samsung new emissive cinema screen. 700 nits. Again even better picture but crap sound .. and not possible as yet as I am not sure if they have come up with a new mastering technique to target the screen capabilities.

It's always moving guys.

Finally. I don't begrudge this 70mm release. If anything it's an effective marketing technique.
Good on them keeping our heratige of film going..

July 10, 2017 at 5:04PM

James Gardiner

It’s not about heritage, it’s about showing the film in the way the film maker intended, would James Cameron not do the same for 3D crap...In my opinion digital is too glossy and I feel like I’m watching a rich friends home cinema not a theatrical film performance. And film degradation can be protected when projected by someone with experience. I personally believe that film is a viable medium just as much if not more than the format of digital and should not be about ‘which ones better’ that’s down to your preference and what you like, I think digital and film should be able to co-exist to allow film makers the ability to show their vision of what they want it to look like.

July 19, 2017 at 11:56AM, Edited July 19, 11:56AM