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Theater Performance Preservations


Kudos to the Pack.Rat.Pack.People who helped made this thread informative and those that will stumble upon and inform some more.

Am in the process of learning about the original presentation of these films by examining ‘Theater Performance’ recordings.  Would like to identify aspects of this presentation method which no longer exists in the subsequent versions.  For instance Reel Change Markers exist no where else.

Outputted the Cue (Motor & Changeover) markers (Reel Change) for reference:

Personally also curious to see if there are versions in which crowd interaction takes place. Would be great to hear the cheers and jeers of the audience. (especially as the home entertainment versions of the movies take over public precedence) But since most bootlegs were made to get a pristine version of the movie, those will probably be the bulk of the conversation of this thread. So post titles, links anything you find relevant.

–< Extra Credit For Crowd Noise >–

1977 - Star Wars
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars 70mm In-Theater Audio Recording - morgands1
http://members.aol.com/morgands1/closeup/text/SWaudio.htm (use Wayback Machine :http://www.archive.org/web/web.php)www.archive.org/web/web.php)”)
197x.xx.xx : Star Wars 35mm In-Theater Audio Recording - blitter - Stuart Theatre in Lincoln NE
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars 70mm In-Theater Audio Recording Loews Astor Plaza, NYC & Loews Orpheum - Belbucus
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars Pre-Episode IV Bootleg - MeBeJedi - 77_ANH_BOOTLEG (pan & scan)
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars Pre-Episode IV Bootleg - The Starkiller - SWIVBOOT (pan & scan)
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars Pre-Episode IV Bootleg - TREADWELL TWC326 - SWIVBOOT (pan & scan)
1977.xx.xx : Pre.A.New.Hope.Bootleg.Telecine.WS.Mot3r.version.XVID - mthr (widescreen)
1977.xx.xx : German Bootleg - Pre-Episode IV
1978.04.24 : Star Wars 70mm In-Theater Audio Recording - L.Mayer (Mrs. BrianM) - D.C. Crowd Interaction
CIhttp://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Theater-Performance-Preservations/post/470206/#TopicPost470206 [Crowd Interaction Notes]
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars 70mm In-Theater Audio Recording - BrianM - San Diego
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars In-Theater Audio Recording - BFrazer - Colorado (lost)
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars In-Theater Audio Recording - Scofield version - Cine Capri. Phoenix, Arizona
1978.xx.xx : Star Wars Bootleg VHS - PS78
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars In-Theater Audio Recording - William Forsche

Honorable Mentions:
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars 16mm Telecine Transfer - Puggo GRANDE [16mm]
1977.xx.xx : Pre.A.New.Hope.Bootleg.Telecine - catnap source (widescreen) [16mm]
1977.xx.xx : Stjärnornas Krig 16mm Telecine Transfer - Puggo [16mm Swedish transfer]
1977.xx.xx : Star Wars / Empire Strikes Back Super-8 Transfer - The Puggo Edition
1979.xx.xx : Star Wars - Airlines copy

1980 - Empire Strikes Back
1980.xx.xx : ESB 70mm In-Theater Audio Recording - morgands1
1980.xx.xx : ESB_TP Betamax - Video_Collector (Qatar)
http://home.online.no/~frinilse/starwarsonvideo/ (Betamax - bottom)
1980.xx.xx : ESB VHS NYC
1981.xx.xx : ESB 1981 Betamax Bootleg
1980.xx.xx : ESB Drive-In
1980.xx.xx : ESB Drive-In Audio
1980.xx.xx : ESB In-Theater Audio Recording - Scofield version - Cine Capri. Phoenix, Arizona

Honorable Mentions:
1980.xx.xx : ESB 16mm Telecine Transfer - Puggo Strikes Back [16mm widescreen (‘scope’) print]

1983 - Return of the Jedi
1983.xx.xx : ROTJ_TP Betamax Cropped/Pan/Scan - Video_Collector (Qatar)
1983.xx.xx : ROTJ VHS Cropped/Pan/Scan - TREADWELL TWC328
1983.06.18 : Hastings UK £5,000 REWARD Bounty

1997 - Special Editions

Star Wars Engrish - Special Edition???

1997.xx.xx : RotJ:SE Chinese bootleg awesomely bad subtitles!

Honorable Mentions:
1995.xx.xx : Return of the Jedi SE Workprint (temp tracks) Avid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqRmWI6VAtc (ending)

1999 - The Phantom Menace
1998.11.13 : TPM Trailer attached to ‘Meet Joe Black’
1999.05.xx : ‘Z’ (TPM1&2.mpg 650mb)
1999.05.xx : TPMVHSNYC - New York City VHS Bootleg
1999.05.xx : The Phantom Menace Cam - TREADWELL TWC240
1999.05.xx : Dis-man
1999.05.xx : ‘AB’

2002 - Attack of the Clones
2002.05.08 : AotC Yoda (Spider-Man) Trailer
2002.05.10 : TS.CD1&2.FTF- telesync
2002.05.22 : Star.Wars.Episode.II.Attack.of.the.Clones.SVCD-Centropy AKA CTP (3 bin/cue)
2002.05.xx : starwars.ep2cd1&2.mpg
2002.05.xx : Cinema (ep2a/b.mpg)
–Might be same as “starwars.ep2cd1&2.mpg”
2002 - Attack of the Clones IMAX

2005 - Revenge of the Sith
2005.05.22 : Star Wars Episode III - TUN-sith (CDx3)
2005.05.29 : Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith - Cyrillic Crawl (camcd1&2) [might be same as 3bin/cue version]
2005.05.xx : Star.Wars.Episode.III.Revenge.of.the.Sith.TC.XviD-MoF
2005.05.xx : aAF ep3 digital projection rip

Honorable Mentions:
2005.05.17 : Star.Wars.Episode.3.Revenge.of.the.Sith.WP.DVDR-ViSA [Workprint]
2005.05.19 : Star.Wars.Episode.3.Revenge.of.the.Sith.WP.DVDR-ViSA [Workprint] OAR (Original Aspect Ratio)

2008 - The Clone Wars
2008.08.19 : Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars SceneAccess
2008.08.20 : Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars.TS.mVCD-DCvCD - The Dark Carnival (nfo 08.29??)
2008.08.21 : Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars.READ.NFO.TS.XviD-COALiTiON (.nfo 08.29??)
2008.08.25 : Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars 2BROTHERs (German Audio)
2008.08.xx : Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars.2008.TELESYNC.XviD-TRADINGSTANDARDS
2008.08.xx :Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars.TS.MD.German.XViD-CPG
2008.08.xx :Star.Wars.The.Clone.Wars.FRENCH.TS.MD.XviD-WaTeRMaRK

2015 - Star Wars - The Force Awakens

2016 - Star Wars - Rogue One

2017 - Star Wars - The Last Jedi

2018 - Solo : A Star Wars Story

2019 - Star Wars - The Rise of Skywalker


Am looking for leads, comments alluding to other recordings.  If you’ve got the name/location of some old SW forum which might have a searchable archive, please post or pm, will do some searching to find someone who might have spilled the beans about some old recordings.  Also searching through books/magazines/newspapers/tv reports for information which describes the larger context.  For instance each movie had someone prosecuted so those kind of stories, also Copyright Law Journals talk about the instances and give odd details like how many copies of each film were lost/stolen when in theaters.

For those rejects interested: ((pl1x@earthlink.net))


What is the Mot3r 1977 xvid? Is it just the widescreen DVD/VHS converted to the xvid file format?

Also, is the 1977 bootleg available in any non-newsgroup source? I deleted mine a few years back and I've been kicking myself ever since.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010


zombie84 said:

Also, is the 1977 bootleg available in any non-newsgroup source? I deleted mine a few years back and I've been kicking myself ever since.

My list shows that I have it, if I find it and you don't have it by then I could get it to you, do you do torrents? if so I could set up a private torrent for you to get this, it will only be you and I connected.


Well I found the SWIVBOOT DVD and the pan & scan DVD(the top 2 files) but I still am having a hard time finding the 2 CD Moth3r version, does anyone have a link to these just in case I can't find them?



I do have the Moth3r widescreen telecine bootleg, it's divided into two xvid files, I thought I had already offered you a copy, zombie? just give me a PM, I also think it's still available on usenet.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com


Shouldn't Puggo's 16mm transfer be include with the rest of the Pre-ANH bootlegs? 


msycamore said:

I also think it's still available on usenet.

I tried looking there and could not find it, do you have a link?


List Update:

Added: RotS TUN, AotC Centropy & RotS MoF, aAF (digital)

Kudos : Kan Vijfentwintig, adywan and satanika

link343 wrote:

Shouldn't Puggo's 16mm transfer be include with the rest of the Pre-ANH bootlegs?

Although a great preservation, this threads about the Theater Going Experience, the Puggo editions are from retail items.  Revisiting for informational purposes how the movies appeared when people went to a theater to see it.  Being Pre-ANH is just one criteria some of the SW one's will share, but they're might be a SE boot which will be of merit to save as well.  So with that in mind i've...

Moved RotS workprint to 'Honorary Mention" category.

Personally i'm more interested in the crappier side of this phenomenon, crowd noise and the occasional head in screen are what i'm after.  Would like to hear real people getting into the spirit of the movie.  But to find those, you have to dig up all the 'preferred' preservations which are more about saving the film quality not the atmosphere.


Here's the .nfo for Moth3r's Widescreen SW:


a.b.sw "SWANH_Widescreen_Bootleg"

Kan Vijentwintig also posted SWIVBOOT at around the same time.


There were also some Clone Wars telesyncs in 2008, for example -

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations


none said:


Personally i'm more interested in the crappier side of this phenomenon, crowd noise and the occasional head in screen are what i'm after.  Would like to hear real people getting into the spirit of the movie.  But to find those, you have to dig up all the 'preferred' preservations which are more about saving the film quality not the atmosphere.

This is what i was hoping for when I first looked into this thread an something I'm very interested in as well. I'd love to have a copy of ESB with audible and even visual crowd reaction.

Ray’s Lounge
Biggs in ANH edit idea
ROTJ opening edit idea


@DJ, thanks very much for the offer! I arrived here today to find my PM box already had a couple of links for me, so no need to worry but thanks anyway.

I also did not realize there is a ROTS workprint. Is it actually just a pre-release telecine of the final film or is it actually a workprint from a rough cut of the film? I can't seem to find a clear answer, though I seem to be getting the impression its the former.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010


@zombie, I actually helped msycamore seed that for a while, I was not sure if that was you or not, but glad you got it, I also have the 2 DVD's of this to.

I think I have that ROTS workprint, I think there was a counter running through it also, I will have to dig it up and check.


The RotS ViSA workprint is the leak from one of the labs working on the color adjustments for the movie.  In the ViSA workprint are 5 Titles, four of which contain 99 chapters, the first title has 94 chapters, and these chapter sync up with every camera change in the movie.  I've been attempting to deconstruct the file to see what other details might emerge:


Here are some of the knowns:

Basic rundown of info:

Star.Wars.Episode.3.Revenge.of.the.Sith.WP.DVDR-ViSA ISO

UnRAR Folder : sw3.scr-visa

File : sith.iso

File Size : 1.54 GB

Date : May 18, 2005 10:29 PM

VIDEO_TS Date : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM

- VIDEO_TS.BUP : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM : 33kb

- VIDEO_TS.IFO : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM : 33kb

- VTS_01_0.BUP : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM : 164kb

- VTS_01_0.IFO : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM : 164kb

- VTS_01_1.VOB : May 17, 2005 11:50 PM : 1.02gb

- VTS_01_2.VOB : May 17, 2005 11:51 PM : 512.6mb

Format : MPEG2 Muxed - 352 x 240 - 29.97

Audio : 48000 hz - 224 kb/s

Title 01 - 94 Chapters : Title 02, 03, 04, 05 - 99 Chapters

Subtitles : No

Sample : sample.vob (50mb) - May 18, 2005 10:14 PM

NFO comment: "WEEEEEEE, ripper named the rars funny, isn't he a hoot.  nuke this if you want.  it's real.  check a rar or two could be a SCREENER, looks more like a finished Workprint, since there's 2 fuck off big timers :) "

Since these groups have members who accomplish tasks, might be proof, that there was an uploader, could be the same as the RAR person, then this .nfo creator, then the distributors.


Timecode Start : RT (underscored by an arrow) 00:59:49:03 LTCR:00:59:49:02

Timecode End : RT 03:20:44:18 LTCR:03:20:44:14

RT = RealTime???? & LTCR = Linear TimeCode Recording???? (guess)

Timecode 00:00:00:00 : at beginning of count down.

Here's a pic of the unique frames from the pre-movie opening:  (most of the other frames are black with timecode running)

SMPTE -> HEAD (reversed) -> COMMON NO SYNC (reversed) -> (arrow) -> COLOR BY JEDI MASTERING LAB -> HEAD -> (dot) -> PICTURE -> (black ring on red field) -> (black rectangle on red field) -> (yellow background) 1 - R " 2 NOTSSNUD "" -> SOUND START (vertical flip) -> REEL 1 (vertical flip) -> DUNSTON 2 (vertical flip) -> PICTURE START (white background) -> (diamond) -> (count down) 11, 10, 9 NINE, 8, 7, 6 SIX, 5, (diamond) POP or BOB???? -> 4 -> (arrow) -> CONTROL STRIP (7FRAMES) -> (arrow), 3

So although this file has value in that t's a look into the film making process, there are other ramifications of this file.  This file lead to the FBI/ICE takedown of Elite Torrents, the jailing of several people, the suicide of another and a bunch of other things.  If your into this kinda thing, i'm attempting to piece together the puzzle through online searching/requesting and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests.  Progress on that front can be read here:


If you see an angle of questioning to find out more about, let me know and i'll add it to my further attempts.


Updated main post:

Added section for the 'Special Editions' and 'The Clone Wars'.

Added titles from Kan Vijentwintig and satanika.  Kudos.

"Extra Credit for Crowd Noise!"


Added info about a possible ESB VHS (date unknown)


Bootleg VHS of Empire Strikes Back
by Manos
Dec 30th, 2008
09:17:55 AM
One of my prized posessions is a bootleg VHS copy of The Empire Strikes Back. It's about 4th generation, which means its nearly unwatchable, but I still love it. Some guy in New York used to set up a camera in a theater he ran and tape the movies. I got mine through a hustler I worked with at JC Penny. I lost contact wtih him and found out that the FCC had raided his home about a year later. They confiscated his tapes (blank VHS tapes were worth about $25 a pop then), his VHS machine, and fined him thousands of dollars. That was my first and last foray into the dark realm of bootleg movies.
Anybody remember the first VHS machines...
by Manos
Dec 30th, 2008
09:23:18 AM

designed for mass marketing? They cost $999.95, were top loaders and the remote control consisted of switch attached to a long cord that allowed the viewer to pause the recording. The good thing about them was the record heads. They lasted forever and were easily replaced.

Anyone got any ideas how to get word to this user?  He's still active on the boards, last post about two weeks ago.


A second lead on an ESB theatrical preservation: (posted in 1999...)


I remember when some friends had a copy of The Empire Strikes Back (on Beta, no less) that appeared to be from a camcorder from a drive-in movie theater. That may have been before the word camcorder had even been coined!

It wasn't terrible. I mean, what do you expect from video tape, anyway? It's not even as good as broadcast TV! The only really bad part was when they apparently switched tapes (or had to hide the camera for a minute).


Camcorders didn't come along until the mid '80's. If someone managed this with a bulky camera and portable VTR in 1980, without being seen, I'm impressed.

They would have likely had to swap batteries halfway through.

It would really be something if a 70mm recording of ESB surfaced!

Forum Moderator

Where were you in '77?


Lead on an audio ESB drive-in recording:


Comment #13 (Posted by Loud and Clear, kid.)
An original bootlegger, I saw it at the drive in my first time, took my cassette recorder and some extra batteries. I listened to that audio tape every night that year when I went to sleep. I can still do a pretty good Taun Taun imitation.

The first film widely bootlegged on VHS/Beta was ET in 1982. So I imagine that bootlegs of ESB would be extremely rare, but there might be better chance of finding a cam of ROTJ. (The '77 SW bootlegs came from telecine sources, I think.)

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Moth3r wrote:

The first film widely bootlegged on VHS/Beta was ET in 1982. So I imagine that bootlegs of ESB would be extremely rare, but there might be better chance of finding a cam of ROTJ. (The '77 SW bootlegs came from telecine sources, I think.)

Some of the SW biography/history books mention how even then Fox/LFL were worried about reproductions of the film.  Alluding to film reproductions.  So it's a possibility but yeah unlikely. 


pg. 73

Sixteen millimeter movies continued to be a mainstay of the U.S. Armed Forces-films in that format were shown in bases around the world.  After about 1950 they apparently posed no problem, until 1979.  At that time it was reported that more than 700 U.S. Army and Air Force cinemas around the world would not be able to screen Star Wars because of the distributor's fear of piracy.  Fox refused to release the movie in 16m format to the Army and Air Force Motion Picture Service due to the possibility of piracy.


This episode marked the first time the AAFES had been unable to acquire film right for hits houses-16m sites screen the movies for free.  Fox's increased fear of piracy was grounded in the arrival of a new technology: the videocassette recorder.  It worried about how easy it might be to run off cassette copies of it blockbuster hit Star Wars.

Last quote might be from Variety March 21, 1979

Also from this book is mention of another Variety article which could be the source of the SW boots:

pg. 202

"David Barnes admits pic piracy; Star Wars, others to so. Africa."

Variety April 5, 1978, p. 18


Here's a blurb which gives an idea of quantity from back then:


(from American Film: Journal of the Film and Television Arts, July-August 1978, vol. III no. 9, pp. 57–67.)

According to Variety, the Los Angeles piracy unit of the FBI has recovered more than $2 million in bootleg audio tapes and videotapes and films, including forty thousand reels and cassettes of films, together with almost $150 million worth of equipment and raw materials, since the crackdown began several years ago.

In the not-too-distant future, videotape is going to have to be considered almost equal with theatrical exhibition. Big hits like Saturday Night Fever will be seen in a theater first, because that's still a special experience, but viewers will probably be able to pick up a cassette copy on the way home for repeat viewings. It is probably no accident that recent blockbusters have been heavily influenced by music. They're less dramatic, more like a record one plays over and over again. Repeat admissions were certainly a large factor in Star Wars' success.

Never heard that music theory before, but it holds up.


none is this still available anywhere? "Star.Wars.Episode.3.Revenge.of.the.Sith.WP.DVDR-ViSA ISO"


Not that i'm aware of.  Contemplating having an archive copy as part of 'Thee Backslacpkping With Media' project, and am currently testing the waters with threads like this one, and others elsewhere.  Gauging things before doing something possibly really stupid.