Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Star Wars returns - May the Force Be With You

Last Saturday, I was fighting the Times Square and Santa-Con crowds to get to 8th Ave for the subway - - I passed by the Playstation 4 theater on West 44th Street where I had my fondest childhood memory in a long, long time ago (but a galaxy not far away) of another movie theater.  Back in the summer of 1977, my father took me to see Star Wars for the first time at the Loews Astor Plaza theater - - the same location where the PS 4 theater is now (and that used to the the Nokia or Best Buy theater - - how much we lose sight of naming rights).  Watching Star Wars at the largest regular first run single screen theater in New York City was an experience in itself which can never be duplicated in an IMAX or regular theater - - the 1,500 seat theater situated in the basement of 1 Astor Plaza, largest of it's kind with 50+ rows of seats (and plenty of room for standees), the long escalators, the wall murals of actors/actresses like Bogie, Cagney, Sinatra, Crosby, Monroe and other stars from the 1930s through 50s,, the large concession stand (and a smaller one in the back of the theater) and the awesome Dolby sound system on a huge (and I mean MAMMOTH 70MM screen. ).  But most of all, watching Star Wars with the crowd experience was the best time I had at the movies, hands down. When the Death Star exploded at the end of the film, the crowd cheered so loudly, you can feel the earth shake.   I also remember watching huge movie hits at the Astor Plaza, such as Superman I and II, the next two Star Wars films, (Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and Logans Run (prior to Star Wars).    Today, the largest auditorium of a multiplex theater typically hovers around 300-450 seats although there are IMAX theaters with more seats.  This Friday, December 18th, Star Wars, The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters and will be projected to be one of the biggest, if not biggest, all time box office blockbusters in recorded history, filling multiplex theaters with die hard Star Wars fans dressed out in a stormtropper, Yoda, Jabba The Hut, or Darth Vader.   Of course many theaters will be showing evening shows tomorrow evening (12/17).

To me, Star Wars is every one's childhood memory and like a candle burning forever, that memory will carry on for past, present and future generations.   It feels like yesterday about that memorable trip my father and I took to a Long, Long, Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away.  May the Force Be With You. 

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