Iconic Cinema

There was a time in movie history when an extreme shift occurred, thanks namely to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. In 1977 Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were released. This, combined with Star Trek playing in syndication at the same time, triggered the coming of age of Geekdom. A lot of now-middle-aged individuals found a kind of new religion because of these movies, each of them deeply spiritual in their own right. Sadly, many of us did not get to see these movies in the theater for a variety of reasons; theaters were still sparse in many areas, we were too young to be allowed to go see them, or we learned about the movies too late to see them at the theater. The advent of the VHS allowed us to finally see the films years later, after we had long-since been immersed in their canons. I was lucky enough to see Star Wars in 1978, when it returned to the cinema that Summer. It was my first PG movie. It wasn't until 1983, when I spent part of my Summer with the Father Unit and Mary, that I got to see Close Encounters. They had a friend who owned a Betamax, and he screened that movie and Cat Ballou for us one evening.

I've noticed with increasing interest how movies that were released years ago, are being re-released in theaters, mainly because of the 3-D option. This made me think about how some of the classic films, from the 30s and 40s, enjoy homes in art house cinemas dedicated to Hollywood's golden age. And let's not forget the sacred nights of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, now a tried and true tradition that spread out from New York City until it touched lives world wide.

All of it has gotten me to thinking: my generation, it fairly demands a platform to celebrate out Geek origins. It would please me no more than to open a cinema house, called Iconic Cinema, that caters to Generation X. For too long, we have been equated with cynicism and apathy; but we are the generation that gave rise to almost every great fan convention in modern times. It wasn't the first generation of Star Trek viewers who gave the Trek world life; it was their children (US) who began clamouring for more after seeing the shows in syndication. It was we who lamented for a proper Lord of the Rings movie, after many of us cut our reading teeth on the tales of Bilbo and, later, Frodo. It was we who grew up dreaming of virtual realities, thanks to the wholly alien inner world of Tron. And I could go on and on. Suffice to say, Simon Pegg's movie Paul would never have been made, had it not been for GenX and the movies that moved us so long ago.

If I had the money to invest, it would most assuredly be to create a meeting place for all these wondrous movies, and even TV shows. Not only would it allow those of us who never got to see the Big Two in the theaters, to finally realise that dream, it would also afford our children and grandchildren the opportunity to see these and many other movies in a format worthy of their greatness.

Maybe someday I'll get to do this.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
  • Current Music: Ancient Aliens
It's funny you say that. We have a theater here that carters to "Classics," things such as the golden age of theater to grade B horror flicks. I don't think they play much after the 60's for obvious copyright reasons. I really need to visit there more often. It's called the Redford Theater.

As for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, i still say we all gotta kiss George Lucas' ring. If not for him, they'd still be interviewing just the original cast of Star Trek, including guy who played the third Klingon from the left. Spielberg definitely deserves accolades as well, though.

Interestingly enough, I have run into a few "original" sci-fi/fantasy folks who disliked Star Wars; if it wasn't in a book, i.e. H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, etc., (or the TOS of Trek),it wasn't worthwhile. Of course, the one person I know like that went on to LOVE the LOTR movies! HA!
Being a Baby Boomer, I was able to see the first two Star Wars episodes, and Close encounter at the cinema. Also, I believe, my sis, Tallis, took me to see Rocky Horror to the cinema before it was a cult classic. This definitely set the tone of what I want to see at the cinema and what I don't. The cinema is necessary for many movies, IMHO. I even took Jennifer, as a young child, with me to see the first Star Wars.

I actually like fantasy more than SciFi, and need to be nudged to watch some SciFi. I do enjoy them once I watch them.

I guess being weaned on Twightlight Zone, Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock, the baby boomers love the fantasy and supernatural movies, along with SciFi. And crazy twists. And David McCallum, Michael J. Pollard, and Tim Curry.

A cinema would be a lovely idea. Ted Turner had the movie theatre in Atlanta that played only GWTW. I wish we had the money to open a theatre, Angelina.
Not me with Rocky Horror, I'm afraid, Jan. In those days we were avoiding anything *too* popular, so I didn't see RH till the mid 80s, and didn't read LOTR till I was in my 40s!

Everyone wanted to film LOTR in those days, but the technology just wasn't up to it. So we got animation, but Bakshi didn't have the writers.

But I totally agree about Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and the Alfred Hitchcock show -- it definitely warped our generation, lol! And thus produced Spielberg and Lucas to create for the next generation. (It could be argued that Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry and Tolkien between them are pretty much responsible for geekdom.)

What might be financially viable, in a big city, would be a one-screen cinema dedicated purely to movies that need a big screen, of whatever era: SW, CETK, LOTR, Last of the Mohicans, Avatar. Some superhero movies, but *not* concentrating on explosions and crashes. (If we don't show some macho movies, it won't be financially viable.)
Rocky Horror
Good idea! I even saw The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the 70s, and it seemed different, it was great.

Now, I remember seeing Rocky Horror at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro once. I thought we went together, possibly with Rick? I don't know. I really remember the billboards outside, maybe we just walked by it and something stuck in my memory.
YES! I have had such an idea in my head for many years now. It was first prompted by visiting "Raleighwood" while staying with my dad one weekend. They show second-run movies and serve grill-type food at the same time.

It would be so perfect here! You could run Star Trek in order, and/or Star Wars as well. I wanted to have a Pirate Weekend, and show Hair in its entirety. At Raleighwood they played concert footage before the movie, which was more exciting than the movie itself. Almost like being there! Just so MANY opportunities!