star wars original trilogy re-release

It’s a shame that there’s an entire generation of movie fans who haven’t had the chance to see the original Star Wars trilogy on the big screen. Even in their modified “special edition” versions, they’re a magical theatrical experience. You haven’t really seen Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi until you’ve seen them projected while surrounded by fellow fans.

Now, the Alamo Drafthouse is bringing the the Star Wars trilogy back into theaters as part of a special and very limited engagement. The beloved movie theater chain is sponsoring a “roadshow” that will return these classics into theaters in twenty venues across the United States this August. And since this is the Drafthouse, these won’t be ordinary screenings.

The Alamo Drafthouse’s VP of Special Events, Henri Mazza, had this to say about this event, which has been dubbed “The Return of the Trilogy”:

“It’s always been a dream to show the original Star Wars trilogy again – somehow, someway. Seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun. When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big.”

Tickets will be go on sale on May 4, 2016, so bookmark ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com if you’re hoping to snag some. Note that some of the screenings are bonafide triple features that will allow the audience to enjoy the entire trilogy in one long binge while others will be spread out across three days. The only downside is that audiences will be watching the 1997 special editions rather than the original version, but that’s understandable. Watching the original, untouched versions projected is akin to finding a unicorn in the wild.

That link also offers a few teases about what audiences can expect when they show up for one of these screenings:

Travel with us back to a galaxy far, far away… For the first time in over a decade Alamo Drafthouse is bringing the original STAR WARS trilogy roaring back to big screens at movie palaces and performing arts centers across the country this August.  That’s EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE, EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI all back on the big screen.

Not only that, but each “Return of the Trilogy” screening will be its own one-of-a-kind event! Some will be galactic-sized triple feature marathons, while others will even take place beneath the actual stars! All shows will feature specially curated videos & clips between films, contests (Jedi mind tricks, anyone?), props to bring the power of the Force to life, and loads of other STAR WARS insanity.

Naturally, costumes are being encouraged.

Having been to my fair share of Drafthouse events and screenings, I can tell you from personal experience that these guys put on an amazing show. Special Drafthouse screenings, especially their “roadshow” events, tend to be one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experiences, like watching Jaws while floating in a lake or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre at the house where the movie was filmed. I’d put good money on each of these screenings having something very, very special happen.

Here is the current list of screenings, although additional dates and locations will be announced soon.

August 6 – San Francisco, CA / The Warfield
August 6 – Kansas City, MO / The Midland Theatre
August 6 – Washington, D.C. / Warner Theatre
August 6 – Los Angeles, CA / The Theatre at the Ace Hotel
August 6 – New York, NY / The Town Hall
August 6 – Miami, FL / Olympia Theatre
August 6 – San Antonio, TX  Majestic Theatre
August 7 – New York, NY / Kings Theatre
August 7 – Dallas, TX / Majestic Theatre
August 11 – Austin, TX / The Long Center for the Performing Arts (Ep. 4-A New Hope)
August 12 – Austin, TX / The Long Center for the Performing Arts (Ep. 5-The Empire Strikes Back)
August 13 – Austin, TX / The Long Center for the Performing Arts (Ep. 6-Return of the Jedi)
August 13 – Philadelphia, PA / The Keswick Theatre
August 13 – Louisville, KY / Brown Theatre
August 20 – Oakland, CA / Paramount Theatre
August 27 – Boston, MA / The Boston Opera House
Date TBD – Houston, TX / Venue TBD
Date TBD – Denver, CO / Venue TBD
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