Reminder: Saturday Midnight Screening Of Star Trek III in 70MM w/ Ralph Winter in West L.A.

On Saturday night the Summer STAR TREK Simply 70 Spectacular-Spectacular Saturdays continues at the Royal Theater in West L.A. with a 70 MM showing of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, preceded by a Q&A session with associate producer Ralph Winter. And over subsequent Saturdays in June and July the remaining original cast Star Trek movies will shown with more guests, get all the details below.


Search For Spock in 70MM tonight with Ralph Winter

This summer Laemmle Theaters (in conjunction with Ledjer Film & Theater services and is running all six of the original crew Star Trek features in a series of midnight movies at the Royal Theatre in West L.A. The Simply 70(mm) STAR TREK Spectacular-Spectacular Saturdays will present each film in 70mm and 6-channel Stereo. Each film will also have a Q&A session with a Star Trek celebrity, moderated by yours truly. So far we have done the first two movies, with last week’s event with Nick Meyer drawing a big crowd and sparking a lively debate here at TrekMovie. [see article]

This weekend we move on to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which is the middle movie of the ‘Genesis Trilogy’. Our special guest is Ralph Winter, who was associate producer on Star Trek III, and was also a post-production supervisor on Star Trek II, executive producer on Star Trek IV and Star Trek V and producer of Star Trek VI, then moving on to produce a number of films including all four X-Men movies. The Q&A’s all start around midnight, followed by the screening.

See Star Trek III in 70MM with special guest Ralph Winter at Royal Theater in West LA tonight Saturday June 19th 

 Updated Schedule: More 70MM Trek

Over the rest of the summer the rest of the original Star Trek movie will also be shown in 70mm, each with a special guests. There has been a schedule change. Due to a conflict Catherine Hicks cannot make the Star Trek IV screening on July 10th, but Nichelle Nichols will be taking her place.

Date Film Guest
(assoc. Producer)
July 10 STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME Nichelle Nichols
(Pavel Chekov)
(Hikaru Sulu)

here is the promo trailer for the series


What: Simply 70 Star Trek movie series

When: Saturdays at midnight in June and July (see above schedule)

Where: Laemmle’s Royal Theatre is located at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310) 478-3836 

Tickets: $10 for general admission. You can buy tickets at the box office or online at

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One of the best Trek films. Love that poster. WIWT.

Marc Okrand should have been at this one. This film was the true birth of the Klingon language. And yes, I’m aware of the word and phrases in TMP that were done by Jimmy Doohan.

The Klingon language or the awareness that it exists has permeated contemporary culture.

Ralph Winter is AWESOME, by the way.

Too bad they did not have the budget to film the Genesis Planet on location. The sets look terrible…..don’t get me started on the falling ledge scene…WTF?

I kind of like the Genesis sets. Reminds me alot of the Original Series planet sets.

agreed, but for a major motion picture? I still love the film though.

Ralph Winter comes across as a very cool guy on all the movie documentaries/special features. He really seemed to love his time on Trek, care about the classic cast, and he is candid as well. I’d love for him to write a book about his time with the franchise.

Ralph Winter in winter…awesome

i hope he wears that lovely jumper he wore for the Star Trek V press conference

you know – the one where Shatner forgot Walter Konigs name

‘ gentleman that plays Chekov!’ LOL

maybe Anthony can ask him about the whole Kirstie Alley not playing Savvik thing – its such a shame they recast. nothing wrong with Robin Curtis’ performance but Alley back as Savvik wouldve been great, tieing it closer to Wrath of Khan and providing a real sense of tension and danger when she got threatened in the execution scene (with another actress there the stakes didnt seem so high for some reason)…it always disrupts the flow of the sequel somewhat when they recast (also see Dark Knight)

also – what happened to the original idea of Genesis falling into its sun (which i believe was shot – see the Cinefantastique Trek movie trilogy issue – which shows Kirk and Spock about to be beamed away in front of a giant sun)

oh yeah and maybe ask about the H Bennett alternate Trek VI Origins movie


“And yes, I’m aware of the word and phrases in TMP that were done by Jimmy Doohan.”

Hmm…I didn’t know that.

Some of ILM’s excellent visual effects shots of the Enterprise in The Search for Spock were apparently used as temp inserts in “Encounter at Farpoint” because ILM duplicated the camera moves almost exactly when shooting the Enterprise-D. Star Trek III’s spacedock sequence was also recreated verbatim for TNG’s first season episode “11001001”, with the ship elements replaced. These shots became stock footage for the rest of TNG’s run.

TNG’s most recycled ILM effects element, a flyover of the Enterprise-D that was based upon the shot of Kirk’s Enterprise entering orbit of Genesis, even made it into Generations, completing the cycle of recycling.

Cheap, cheap budget. Some good camaraderie and character interaction. Kirk seemed a bit at times like TJ Hooker, bla. Leonard did his best with lightweight script and cheap budget.

Regardless of negative reaction to Star Trek III, this film gave birth to ships that would last into the 24th Century
Bird of Prey

& the death of the Enterprise, great visuals, but it was liken to watching a relative die.

Of the 70mm 6-track stereo presentations of the TOS films I have seen, II-V, this one is the most memorable given the high drama that this film has.

I remember when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 70mm opened just a week or so before and had Star Trek III trailers playing also in 70mm. I have never seen the trailers on YouTube or the special edition DVD. The cut is similar to the final one seen but the difference that I can distinctly call is there is the scene of Kirk telling Kruge…”if we don’t help each other, we’ll die here.”
Then it ends with the shot of the destruction of the Enterprise and the voice ever says..”and the last voyage of the starship Enterprise.”

1. The warp drive whooooooooooosh. Not necessarily the first warp jump after the Enterprise leaves Excelsior in the dust, but on its way to Genesis. Starting from the front and travels to the right and back. I think of it today as a glorious send up of the sound effect used from the Flintstones’ car whoosh.

2. The stereo sound fx of the Bird of brey de-cloaking. Very cool. I do not recall if it started from behind then engulfs you but I do remember it coming at you from all over until the ship finally materializes.

3. Spock’s “scream” first heard by David and Savvik after they beam onto Genesis. Its as if the sound starts at the front and goes over your head and behind as David and Saavik turn heads to ‘follow the sound.’

4. David’s death and the Enterprise destruction. When the Klingon stabs David its as if you not only hear the blade go in but the crushing of bones…”craaaack.” On a dramatic level, Kirk’s reaction..stumble back and his line..”you Klingon bastard…you killed my..son!” Very cathartic. Then, of course, the destruction sequence countdown and the eventual destruction of the Enterprise..when after the ship ‘melts’ and it comes to you and KABOOOOOOOM the saucer goes. Then the shot of the E streaking across the sky and the silhouette of the remaining crew watching and James Horner’s stirring piece.

5. The Genesis planet destruction. When everything is literally going to hell; you’ve got the whirring wind, fires, rocks exploding and ground crumbling. Before reading Starlog’s backstory on the fx, just experiencing it was like you are there. Now the shot of that rock ledge ‘falling,’ as Kruge hangs on for dear life, was done live and it looks very cheaply done as the falling piece is too close to the rest of the set. The payoff, of course, is Kirk kicking him to his fiery death.

Acting wise, I don’t think Shatner could do a better Kirk on film. I do not follow the odd# curse thing for the movies as started by some dumb critic. III is a very dramatic film that utilized the characters in a meaningful way. It is less tv-cheap than II was without the grandiose literature readings/references as we saw, too and in VI, also.

Our AFI in Washington DC is showing III in September and I’m hoping they can get their hands on this 70mm print. :)

…And the adventure continues…

Ooh. One last thing. I remember reading that there was an original effects shot of the Enterprise destruction that was rejected by producers as being too similar to the death star destruction in the previous year’s Return of the Jedi. Why isn’t this included in the ‘special edition’ DVD?

There should be more cuts of alternate scenes such as McCoy meeting with Kirk, in the turboshaft, in the beginning of the movie.

The one sequence that no one has scene is the one on Vulcan as Spock’s body makes its way up Mt Saleya. There is supposedly a scene of hundreds of extras in elaborate costumes making its way to the Vulcan Priestess. George Takei reportedly is dressed up as a Vulcan..did he have a close up?

Still waiting on the Vulcan phrasebook. Or the Romulan book from the ’09 film. Inquiring minds, etc.


Great analysis!

“Star Trek III: The Search For Spock” was in my opinion the most influential of the Trek films. While its true that “The Motion Picture” marked a rebirth of Star Trek, and that “The Wrath Of Khan” is generally considered the best of the eleven films, it is “The Search For Spock” that perhaps ranks as the most important in terms of canon. Klingons are given more characteristics in this movie, with the Klingon language taking flight, something we would see more of in future series and movies. The Klingon Bird-Of-Prey, the Excelsior and Grissom class starships as well as spacedock would also make numerous appearances over the next several movies and series. The bar in Spacedock featuring various games and aliens could be viewed as an inspiration for Quark’s on “Deep Space Nine”. And Spock’s resurrection ceremony on Vulcan adds more depth to not only him, but Vulcans as a race. And the value of Spock as friend to Kirk has never been more clear.

Overall, the movie is a lot better than most people think, yet “The Search For Spock” is the “middle child” of the Genesis Trilogy. TWOK is regarded as the best, while “The Voyage Home” is considered as the movie that not only is a favorite with mainstream audiences, but as the film that opened the door for “The Next Generation” and the other spin-offs. Yet, the middle chapter has often been regarded unfairly as a cheesy throwback to “The Original Series”.

“The Search For Spock” is a great movie. Maybe not quite as good as TWOK or even “First Contact”, but it is an underrated gem.

Addendum to Riverside’s STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION:

They’ve added starting today at 3pm a sequential (one each for each Saturday and Sunday of the next few weekends) showing of all the Trek films except for the orphaned NEMESIS. This takes place at the recently renovated Fox Theater (where some historic films were pre-screened in their day. GwtW for one.)

The theater’s restoration left them with the ability to present films in various formats as well as digital. Unknown which format these movies will be presented.

ive always considered Trek III to be the overall 2nd best Trek movie – behind TWOK obviously, but in front of FC, TUC, TVH – even ST09. it slightly annoys me when i see it lumped togther with the other ‘odd’ movies as part of that totally incorrect ‘even = good/odd = bad rule’

its pretty much the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the genesis trilogy when you think about it:

-its the 2nd part in a trilogy (Genesis Trilogy of II, III, IV) thats very dark in tone, following a classic original (Wrath of Khan/Star Wars) and followed by a much lighter in tone conclusion (Voyage Home/Return of Jedi)

– bad things happen (Kirks son is killed, NCC 1701 destroyed, crew become renegades….Solo captured, Lukes hand, Vader is revealed to be his father)

– crews split into 2 before converging at the conclusion (Kirk and Co on Earth/Enterprise – David, Savik and Spock on Grissom/Genesis….Luke on X wing/Dagobah – Solo, Leia etc on Falcon/Cloud city)

– Members are caputured by the villian and held to ransom (David, Savvik, Spock…….Solo, Leia) before the main guy (Kirk/Luke)comes to the rescue

– Climatic fight between the main character (Kirk/Luke)and villian (Kruge/Vader)

– Mysticism thats only believed in by main character (Kirk – Vulcans with the body transference…Luke – Yoda with the force)

– Down beat film with a hopeful (though unresolved) ending leading directly into the next film.

-the gag of the USS Excelsior’s that has to jump in Hyperspace/warp and sput-sput-sputted = ‘Millenium Falcon’

Plus the end fight on Genesis feels like something out of Temple of Doom with all the lava etc…i know it was more of a homage to Kirks TOS fistfights but it had that Indy feel to it too (and the end of Lord of the Rings 3 – itheres a Search for Spock vibe when Frondo and Gollum fight on the cliff)

In fact theres definatly a Star Wars/Empire/Raiders/Doom feel to Star Trek III – it was obviously influenced by those big movies coming out in the early 80s

I don’t really believe in the even/odd ‘rule’ either. This is one of my favourite Trek movies. It paved the way for transwarp drive, the Excelsior, the Klingon Bird of Prey, the Oberth-class, and Klingon cleavage! xD Plus the overall tone and vibe made it like no other Trek movie. It made the Enterprise seem so personal with just that skeleton ‘renegade’ crew. And the scenes where they steal it and destroy it are great!

“Search for Spock” focused on drama, the characers, and the relationships / friendships they’ve formed through the years. I have always considered it one of the very best “Star Trek” installments. It had tons of heart and it had a very “unique” formula for a Trek production.

Thumbs up all around!

Over all I liked the movie. But the one part that I thought was bad was the way the Enterprise self destructs. Why would just half the saucer blow up? If there hadn’t conveniently been a planet to suck down the rest of the ship and burn it up it would have remained largely intact. So what if the bridge and crew quarters blew up? All the valuable tech that an enemy would desire such as the warp engines and weapons would be ripe for the taking. This self destruct method was inconsistent with all the others we’ve seen.

The puppet-dog covered in KY. Ugh.

The horrible costumes. Chekov looks like a Quaker. Kirk’s blue jump suit!

The set design of the Excelsior – blech. Take a look at the blu ray – they even did a terrible job of upholstering the seats.

The Bird of Prey – it’s a small ship, but magically gets bigger when it encounters much larger ships.

Here the degredation of the Klingon race is firmly cemented. They went from vicious communists to “Space Bikers”. After this film, they would be forever depicted as hopelessly macho glam-rock-space-pirates. In the series they were intimidating and intellectual. In STIII they became comic book caricatures.

The Enterprise never looked better than it did in STII, but people must have decided that space needs to be brighter so that we could see the ship in STIII.

Vulcans worrying about “souls” ? This seems improbable. Why didn’t Spock ever prepare for death in this manner before? He was certainly close enough on several occasions? Vulcans are rational materialists. They are science-types who embody the Enlightenment cult of reason.

No, STII is still the best trek film ever made. ST IV is the most fun. TMP is the most cerebral.

The highest praise one can give the third installment is that it is better than the fifth.

If someone happens to be THERE for the screening, please post your impressions of the 70mm presentation. If they do it right and the print is good, the experience should be far better than you would have seen at home on tv.

^21. Non-canon, but it was explained in the book “Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise”, I think, that there were two optional destruct modes, one an antimatter explosion and the other a combination of overloads and conventional explosives that gut the ship. Supposedly Kirk was thinking ahead and didn’t want to engulf the Bird of Prey in the Enterprise’s annihilation, since the Klingon ship was about to become the only way off the planet.

^22. The look of the Enterprise in TWOK is mostly the look of the Enterprise in TMP, because all the shots of the ship before it gets to Regula are recycled from TMP. For the new shots in TWOK, ILM couldn’t stray too far from the look of the stock footage. TSFS has its own look as the first Star Trek movie with ILM doing all the shots. The quality of TSFS’s effects would owe to rolling off the same “assembly line” ILM had by then perfected for the just-completed and vastly more complicated space battles of Return of the Jedi.

#11 (25) – There were no “temp” shots for Encounter At Farpoint. Rodenberry and the ILM staff went over shots of the Enterprise from TOS & the films, picked the ones they liked best, and had it duplicated for the Enterprise-D. It was deliberate.

They also had to do quite a bit of cleanup and stabilization for the use of the shot in “Generations”. The bumps and other imperfections of the motion control camera, hidden while on TV, were magnified hundreds of times in projection on the big screen. There are numerous other stock shots in “Generations” used to save money:
-The supernova out of Picard’s window is the first stage of the Praxis explosion from ST:VI
-The Enterprise-B warp-by is the same as the Excelsior from ST:VI.
-The Bird of Prey cloaking after the kidnapping of Geordi is from ST:VI
-The Bird of Prey exploding is the same shot as ST:VI (much too obvious and obnoxious…the original storyboards had the ship breaking up and debis slamming into the Enterprise-D, causing the warp core breach.

-Another stock “element” is that the destruction of the Enterprise-D’s secondary hull is the same stock explosion element used for the destruction of USS Grissom in ST:III with a shockwave added.

#14 – “Ooh. One last thing. I remember reading that there was an original effects shot of the Enterprise destruction that was rejected by producers as being too similar to the death star destruction in the previous year’s Return of the Jedi. Why isn’t this included in the ’special edition’ DVD? ”

It doesn’t exist.

The only thing they changed (while in storyboard phase) was using stock explosions for the Grissom’s destruction: they downplayed it so it would not diminish the effects in the destruction of the Enterprise.

Who gives a care about stock footage in the movies.

Star Trek II is a better film than Star Trek XI yet only caused $11 million. This proves you can do great movies on small budgets.

Star Trek XI, a good film as I keep saying , is great on isuals but really flat on story.

24. Magic_Al – June 26, 2010

” ^21. Non-canon, but it was explained in the book “Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise”, I think, that there were two optional destruct modes, one an antimatter explosion and the other a combination of overloads and conventional explosives that gut the ship. ”

Thanks for that info, Magic_Al. If that was the case I’ll just assume that the overload effect we saw through the top of the saucer just prior to the explosion was taking place throughout the whole ship. If they had more money for effects they could have shown it happening in the secondary hull as well. Perhaps if the ship hadn’t fallen into the Genesis plant’s gravity we would have seen the process continue until more of the ship exploded.

Saw the screening last night. Some quick thoughts:

1. Ralph Winter was a very entertaining and informative guest. He recounted his Trek experiences with fondness. I liked the story about his taking great pains to serial number scripts (using the stardates!) for security purposes only to have Michael Eisner accidentally leave his script on an airplane! The quesions put to Mr. Winter were well chosen. If I could have asked a question I would have asked what he thought about the spoiler-laden trailer!

2. The 70mm print was in above average condition, starting off pretty dirty but staying pretty consistently clean throughout with few noticable splices / breaks in the film. I felt the projection could have been sharper though; not sure the cause of that. The Sony DVD (used to play the opening Duck Dodgers cartoon — a fun touch) OSD screen saver popped on for a few seconds early on; no biggie but was the digital projector running over the film the whole time up to then?

3. I had always become used to the soundtrack on the VHS and Laserdisc releases (the same as the 35mm prints I suspect), so I immedately noticed that the DVD / Blu-ray releases were quite different (mainly noticable when Enterprise warps away from spacedock). The DVD / Blu-ray mix seems to have been derived from the 70mm 6-track. I don’t remember the discrete mixes for the other films being as different as this one. Rear channel effects at the screening were very subdued from my position (6th row from the front); not sure if they even existed at all.

4. Much of the crowd seemed much too young to have seen this at the theater on its original run. I found myself trying to gauge their interest during the slower moments and the reaction to the “quaint” effects. Overall the audience seemed attentive and responsive during the right parts (e.g. thankfully quiet during Shatner’s performance after David’s death, laughs after “I…have had… enough of… YOU!”, etc.).

I’m strangely looking forward to TFF now; I’m looking forward to seeing Koenig in person — especially after his recent tragedy — and on a different note this could truly be a Rocky Horror picture show type event. I can’t wait for the audience reaction to some of the more memorable lines (you know what I mean). Thoughts?

Thanks for your report #30.

I do not know if the Laehmle Royal is THX certified. Given the fact that it is an older theater, perhaps it is not. Speaker placement and the sound baffle wall, from what I understand help ensure proper sound reproduction are THX standards, along with AC ductwork placement. Perhaps the way the Royal is structured diminished some of the soundtrack.

Also, if they projectionist did not play the film at the proper sound level. My experience with proper 70mm presentations are that they are LOUD. I forgot to mention in my earlier post about the OPENING of the film after the Paramount logo and the loud ShhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHH to the dissolve to white and dissolve to Spock’s death scene. As you know with people who gab during movies, if the sound level and movie scene is loud/dramatic enough, it will shut them up. The opening scene if played loud as it SHOULD be silences all because its a cool opening.

If I were there and noticed there wasn’t a dramatic enough opening (loudness), I would’ve left my seat and ran up to the projectionist to request an increase in volume.

I wonder if anyone sniffled after David’s death. At the time, there was always at least ONE person who could be heard sniffling, or ruffling a tissue, during Shatner’s mourning scene.

McCoy’s performance always seemed to bring audience chuckles from the lines.. “that green blooded sonofabitch….,” “it seems Admiral, that I have all his marbles,” “I am..McCOY, Leonard H., son of David..”