My movie memories of summer 1978
Looking back 30 years ago, back to the summer of 1978, my mind is thick with memories of the pop culture phenomenons of the time. On television, shows like “Happy Days”, “Three’s Company” and “Charlie’s Angels” ruled the tube. Disco was still king, and bands like the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac and Kiss ruled the radio. And of course, there were movies…
The summer of 1978 was very special for me because it was one of the few times in my where I can remember every movie that I was in love with at the time being out in the theaters at the same time. By May of 1978, “Saturday Night Fever”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Star Wars”, all 1977 releases, were still going strong on the big screen.
Then, on Friday June 16, 1978, the big screen really exploded (for me, anyway); “Jaws 2” and “Grease” were released on the same day at both movie theaters in “Grease” was playing at the Hampton Arts Theater (a single screen back then) and “Jaws 2” was playing at the Westhampton Beach Theater (a first-run movie theater back then). This was, to say the least, a very big deal for an 11 year-old boy like me. Three years prior, my parents had refused to let me see the original “Jaws”. I must have been the only kid in the entire third grade who wasn’t allowed to see that movie! So now the sequel comes out and my dad had read that it wasn’t as gory, so he let me see it. Now while it can generally be agreed that “Jaws 2” is nowhere near as good as the original, it was quite a thrill nonetheless to see this film on the big screen, especially is a seaside town like Westhampton Beach. For that reason alone, I still have a special place in my heart and memories for “Jaws 2”.
Now, onto “Grease”…put simply, my family went to see that movie on the screen six (6) (yes, I said SIX) times! Two of those times, we stayed in our seats to watch it twice. You could do that without a problem back then. I think we wore out the phonograph needle playing the movie soundtrack over and over again. I actually wanted to be John Travolta! I mean, let’s face it – between “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, this guy always got the chicks!
During that summer, I also recall seeing two other movies; “Hooper” (mildly entertaining) and
“The Bad News Bears go to Japan” (horrible even to an 11 year-old kid!).
Finally, my only movie regret for that summer was “Animal House”. Those of you who saw it on the screen have great memories, I’m sure. Well, I begged my parents to let me see it. Their ongoing response was something equivalent to, “No chance in Hell!”
Please share your movie memories of the summer of 1978.
(Thanks to iSOLED for providing the photo.)