30 Day Film Challenge – Day 24

Posted: July 3, 2021 in Uncategorized

Come on. It’s Saturday. Nobody is reading this, right?

At first, I didn’t know what to say for this one, a movie I wished I saw in a theater  So I of course turned to Google for some inspiration. A lot of the lists that are out there cover recent epic movies that definitely make for good theater experiences. I know that because I saw most of them. I did not see Inception in a theater, so I could say that but I feel like that would be taking the easy road.

The thing about those internet lists, on sites like Buzzfeed or wherever, is that they were made by people a lot younger than me, who were probably too young to see Jurassic Park in a theater during its initial run in 1993 (or maybe weren;t born yet, since I just did the math.) Not only did I see that in theaters many times, but I worked in a movie theater in 1993 and 1994. It was a small, two-screen theater that was trying to get people in, mostly so they could make money on concessions (Theaters rarely make money on the actual tickets, and this one never did.) So, a full year after Jurassic Park was released in theaters, my theater was showing it for a mere three dollars. The tactic worked, as it was almost always a sell-out, and if I was lucky enough to be on usher duty that night, I would go into the theater at the famous T-Rex scene and watch it with the people. I did the same thing when my theater showed Pulp Fiction for the adrenaline shot scene. The tension in the place was palpable.

It is with that firmly in mind that I decided not to pick a recent technical marvel, but a movie that I wish I could have experienced in the theater with other people the way I experienced Jurassic Park and Pulp Fiction all those nights almost 30 years ago. But what movie should I go with as a great experience when it was released in theaters? Something like The Exorcist, or 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Gone with the Wind? All great experiences, I’m sure, that no one had ever seen anything like before. But no, this is my pick and, as a fanboy, there’s only one movie I can go with.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

But let’s not stand on ceremony here, to quote Bane, one of my favorite movie villains, it was and in my mind always will be named just Star Wars. Truly, no one had seen anything like this movie in 1977; the space battles, the light-sabers, a villain as cool as Darth Vader, and this was way before George Lucas went back and dicked around with it. That’s the best thing about this movie: it was cool before all that. The argument could definitely be made that all that actually made it worse.

But the thing that I really wish I could have been around for (I was just over 1 year old when it hit theaters in May of 1977) was that people were walking out of the theater after seeing this movie, walking right back to the box office and buying a ticket for the next screening. Can you imagine doing that today? Well, I bet it was pretty rare back in 1977, too. That’s how cool this movie was back then, and still is. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, Star Wars is the second highest grossing movie of all-time, behind only Gone With the Wind, which came out in 1939, and let’s face it, there weren’t a lot of other movies to see back then. They also didn’t even have TV, so what the Hell were people supposed to do? Talk? So, basically, I’m going to call Star Wars #1 on a technicality. I mean, the movie changed the game. Let’s give it #1 just for that.

But aside from the money, what I really want is to go back to 1977 and cheer my ass off along with everyone else in that theater when the Death Star blows up, and then turn back around and do it again.

So, another one down. Come back for the holiday edition tomorrow! And linktee me!

  1. […] 30 Day Film Challenge – Day 24 […]

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