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December 2015 Retro Gaming Article


December 20, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The record-breaking Star Wars attendance stats were not on par with the desolation at my local multiplex

When tickets for The Force Awakens were being bought up weeks before the film's release, I was a bit nervous.
No spoilers.

I vividly remember the theater in the mall at which I saw Star Wars back in 1977. This was a time when the film was actually referred to as "Star Wars". I also remember the Summer after Return of the Jedi released and how infatuated I was with a comic book version of the film's story. I wish I still had that comic!

One of my co-workers had bought tickets a few weeks ago for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I've never bought tickets online. I always show up 30 minutes early and hope for the best. Stories began circulating about theaters being "sold out for days" with the upcoming release of The Force Awakens.

My son was arriving the same day for the start of our Christmas vacation and we both wanted to see the new Star Wars film. I had been avoiding Star Wars trailers and hadn't read or seen anything about the story, process, or anything. The day after the film's release we went to the local multiplex hoping for the best.

Star Wars The Force Awakens We arrived to the theater around 11:30 Saturday morning. As we parked the car I looked around to see if there was a line winding around the building yet. it was fairly warm for late December, but I didn't want to get stuck in an epic line only to discover the tickets had sold out.

At the very least I expected to see a few geeks engaged in mock light saber battles. But there was none of that. No battles. No patrons. No indication that the theater was even open for business. I was certain they had a 9am showing before we even arrived. As Ted would have said, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K."

Star Wars The Force Awakens Inside the 12-theater facility (with arcade) there were no signs of life. I looked at the marquee above the ticket window and saw it was almost completely Star Wars. Between the regular and 3D versions, A Force Awakens was playing in nearly every theater from dawn to midnight. So, where were all the people?

We approached the ticket window and asked for tickets to the next available showing. I was certain the first few would be sold out. She didn't understand my question, so I asked if there were any tickets available for the Noon showing. She said sure and sold us 2 tickets for the 3D version. My son and I were going to see Star Wars together! We dashed into the theater to ensure we got good seats. The reality of this outing was slowly sinking in. We were the only ones there.

30 minutes before the noon show time, we were the only people in the theater. By the time the film started, there were perhaps a dozen attendees. I was stunned. All the articles forecasted sold-out scenarios for the first 2 weeks. Everyone spoke of Star Wars as the only event in town... despite being a week away from Christmas. Again I wondered where all the people were. This is Star Wars, dammit!

My son and I had a great time and thought it was a phenomenal movie!

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