Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

Little Rock Look Back: STAR WARS comes to Little Rock

2 Comments

First ad in Arkansas Gazette (June 23, 1977)

First ad in Arkansas Gazette (June 23, 1977)

Today, May the 4th, is Star Wars Day.

The classic film first opened in May 1977 (though after May 4).  It did not reach Little Rock until June 24, 1977.

Given its status as a sleeper hit, it is no surprise that it came into Little Rock largely unnoticed.  In that day, major films opening on a Friday would be heralded the previous Sunday with a substantial advertisement.  The first Star Wars ad ran on Thursday, June 23, 1977, the day before it opened.  By contrast, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, which would play at the same theatre, had a large ad on Sunday, June 19.

While Star Wars would seem like the perfect movie for the great UA Cinema 150, it did not play there.  The film playing at the 150 was A Bridge Too Far, which was, at least an action movie.  Star Wars did not even open at a UA theatre.  It opened at the ABC Cinema 1 & 2 (located at Markham and John Barrow) and at the McCain Mall Cinema.  (The ABC Cinema location is now home to discount cellphone and discount clothing businesses; a cinema has returned to McCain Mall, but now in the location of the former MM Cohn’s store.)

The day it opened, there was a fairly large ad which incorporated the familiar beefcake Luke, Leia in flowing gowns, and Darth Vader mask.  On the Sunday after it opened, there was a slightly smaller ad with the same artwork.  McCain Mall also ran a small add for both Star Wars and Herbie. It noted that Star Wars was a film that management “does not recommend for children.”

IMG_5919

Advertisements

Author: Scott

A cultural thinker with a life long interest in the arts and humanities: theatre, music, architecture, photography, history, urban planning, etc.

2 thoughts on “Little Rock Look Back: STAR WARS comes to Little Rock

  1. pretty good !! thanks for sharing

  2. Great article, thanks! The new theater at McCain Mall is not in the same location as the old two screen theater, however. The new one is in the location of the old MM Cohn’s store. The location of the old theater was a Luby’s for a long time. Bar Louie recently opened in that spot.