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Midnight showing of ‘Return of the Jedi,’ 1983

Posted on December 17, 2015 | in Uncategorized | by
Six hundred and fifty-eight moviegoers attended a midnight showing of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" May 25, 1983 at the Southpark Cinemas in Lexington. Twentieth Century-Fox gave permission for the 950 theaters around the country that had booked the film to begin showings of the film as soon as it was May 25 (the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film). In Lexington, the calls to Southpark Cinemas began coming early, and by mid- afternoon people had shown up at the box office asking to purchase tickets. Theaters charged higher prices -- $4.50 in Lexington -- for the long-awaited sequel. By 11 p.m. the lobby was half-full of people wanting to get a good seat. The movie started at 12:01 a.m. to thunderous cheers and applause -- and at its ending there was a standing ovation. Star Wars fans continued to be out in force later in the day, with sell-out or near sell-out crowds for showings at both Southpark and Turfland Mall Cinemas. Southpark Cinemas was in the back of the South Park Shopping Center off Nicholasville Road. It later became a discount theater before closing in 2007. David Perry | staff

Six hundred fifty-eight moviegoers attended a midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi on May 25, 1983, at Southpark Cinemas in Lexington. 20th Century Fox gave permission for the 950 theaters around the country that had booked the film to begin showings of the film as soon as it was May 25 (the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film). In Lexington, the calls to Southpark Cinemas began coming early, and by mid-afternoon, people had shown up at the box office asking to buy tickets. Theaters charged higher prices — $4.50 in Lexington — for the long-awaited sequel. By 11 p.m., the lobby was half-full of people wanting to get a good seat. The movie started at 12:01 a.m. to thunderous cheers and applause — and at its ending there was a standing ovation. Star Wars fans continued to be out in force later in the day, with sellout or near-sellout crowds for showings at both Southpark and Turfland Mall cinemas. Southpark Cinemas was in the back of the South Park Shopping Center off Nicholasville Road. It later became a discount theater before closing in 2007. The latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, opens Dec. 17. Photo by David Perry | Staff

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