Monday, May 1, 2017

30 For The 40th: Theatre Journey's






In 25 Days it will be the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, Episode IV. It's amazing how much time has passed and more amazing how long I have been a fan of the film. 

I saw Star Wars in a neighborhood theatre. The theater was around the corner from my house and was a special place to me for many reasons, mostly because I could walk there with my friends without ever crossing the street, which was still something I wasn't allowed to do alone.

I don't remember the name of the theatre. It's long closed, but if I close my eyes I can still remember the one screen theater, it's crisp air conditioning and sticky floors.

I went with two of my friends and when the Death Star exploded, my first thoughts were I can't wait to see this again.

I was the only one in my neighborhood it effected so deeply. Every Saturday I would sit in awe, reliving my favorite scenes. 

Later when my family moved I found a new theatre in a local shopping mall. Here was my home for the Empire Strikes Back. Once again I watched the film numerous times and noticed I was not alone. Week after week I found similar fans, sharing our favorite characters adventures.



My first screening of Return Of The Jedi will always stay in my memories. My Father and I had a standing Sunday date : Breakfast, Church, and then the movies. On the Sunday we went to see Jedi, I felt anxious. Time seemed to lag and when we got to the Showcase Theatre we found that the 1:30 PM screening was sold out. I stood beside my Father in mute shock. He asked me if I wanted to see something else and all I could do was shake my head no. 

The observant clerk noticed my distress and mentioned that there was a 3:30 showing. My Father turned to me and asked me if I wanted to wait, and I nodded a vigorous yes. 

So my Father and I sat on a bench outside the lobby for over two hours waiting for the next show in our Sunday best.

For years my Father would retell that story when ever Star Wars was mentioned. For him it was a funny story about sitting so long just to see a movie. For me the story just reinforced the support my family always gave me for my love of that "space thing". 

My Father's ability to surrender to any movie I wanted to see, coupled with my Mother seamlessly switching to buying me action figures instead of Barbie's allowed me to totally express my love for the films.

When I discovered these photos of the Showcase Cinema's below, I teared up a little to learn the theater was closed.



So much of a Vintage Star Wars fan's love  is tied to where we are and who we were with when we first saw the films. 

I haven't watched Return of The Jedi in a while. It's been over two years Exactly around the time my Father passed away. I will someday. When his loss is not so strong, when I can watch it with only joy. That day will be sooner than later, of that I'm sure. 

                   May The Force Be With You!!

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