The fortieth anniversary of the original release of Star Wars is coming next month, and for us older folks, the question sometimes comes up: "How many times did you see Star Wars when it first came out?"
The movie made a lot of money because it was what's called "a repeater". Young people especially went back to the movie theatres over and over to see what was then a new thing; a high-quality comic book on the big screen.
Perhaps due to my age at the time, sixteen, I saw Star Wars, enjoyed it and did not rush back to see it again. Once was enough, there were other movies to see and I was interested in many other things.
In September of 1977 I became friends with a guy at my high school who was a huge fan of the film. He was a couple of years younger. It was through a school club that we first met. Two or three weeks later Star Wars reappeared in Barrie, Ontario, this time at one of the exciting Bayfield Mall's two screens, and my fan friend and I, with colourful umbrellas in hand, trotted off one rainy night to see again the silver screen's smash hit of '77.
I saw Star Wars two times that year: First, in July at the "Imperial 2" in beautiful downtown Barrie; then it was a tinny movie house in stunning uptown Barrie.
My favourite film in 1977 was Annie Hall. I saw it once.
I saw it twice in '77. Once with mom, once with dad. I remember it being inescapable in the media. These days...pretty much the same.
I think I saw Star Wars on those big disc players first that you could rent, probably in 78 or 79. I had books and toys before seeing it.
The first time I saw it on the big screen was part of a double feature with Empire, but not until 1981 at least because it was after we moved out to rural Ontario and it was in the small old movie theatre there.
Thanks for the notes, folks!
Gary: You might mean the RCA "SelectaVision" CED format. That system hit the market in 1981. I remember it well; there was heavy promotion. Due to technical issues and the introduction of Laser Discs, CED never caught on.
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