Memorial Day, 1977
I don't remember a lot of specific days of my youth. I did not keep a daily journal back then as I do now. I don't remember a lot of specific days since keeping a daily journal but the advantage I have now is I can go back and read what happened.
I DO remember Monday, 30 May, 1977 because it was Memorial Day and it was the day I saw Star Wars for the first time.
Some friends, I think the Wood brothers and maybe Scott Schriver (but I'm not sure about that...) were bored and thinking of doing something fun. School was almost over for the year and we had the day off. We heard that one of our teachers at school had seen Star Wars. He said it was pretty good. The teacher said it was kind of like an old western movie. I remember we thought about not going, or seeing something else...I can't believe we actually considered passing on the film.
Eventually we decided to give the film a chance. This was before the internet and even before cable television. We didn't read movie reviews. We knew nothing of the film. Back then a film's quality was spread by word of mouth and the film was so new, all we had was a few words from a teacher at school.
We took the Route 70 bus to Salt Lake City to the Centre Theater on 3rd South and State. I remember standing in line behind not a lot of people--maybe 50, or so. As we waited for the next show to start we chatted and did the things pre-teenagers did while waiting in line. No one, and I mean NO ONE would have dared dressed up in a costume. There were pictures from the film up on the walls outside the theater and I keep looking at those pictures. I remember one picture specifically, of the Millennium Falcon, and I kept thinking that the ship looked like some sort of train or monorail by the way it curved around the ship as it did.
You may be asking why I remember all these details so clearly and my answer is this: because the film was SO FRICKIN GREAT!!! I remember sitting in that theater, a theater that no longer exists, and being completely blown away! It was the most amazing film I had ever seen and I don't think that theatrical experience for me has ever been eclipsed--maybe seeing Les Miserables in London--that comes close. We left the theater and our feet never touched the ground. We talked about the film as we waited for the Route 70 bus to take us home. We talked about the film while we rode the bus home, and I'm sure we bragged up the film to everyone and anyone who would listen once we got home.
Monday, 30 May 1977--35 years ago today. I remember the day very well, a day I hope I never forget...
*Picture used without permission from: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/827
#Picture used without permission from: http://rooksjeff.tumblr.com/post/5192075062/star-wars-theatrical-style-a-by-tom-jung-circa