THE MORE THINGS CHANGE … - Blogs
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE …
Artist's sketch of downtown Salt Lake City's regal Centre Theater.
For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re among those who couldn’t wait for the latest ‘Star Wars’ film last month, you may relate to this column from 37 years ago when ‘Return of the Jedi’ was ‘coming soon’ and fans were getting anxious. Note that Salt Lake City’s downtown premiere venue, the Centre Theater, no longer exists (it was torn down in 1989) and the Century Theater is not at all like it was back then (it’s a 16-auditorium multiplex now). Also note the size of the theaters, quite a contrast to the present day when many auditoriums in current multiplexes are just 50 seats! And especially take note of the ticket prices!!! This ‘Hicks on Flicks’ column was published in the Deseret News on May 19, 1983.
If you read this column and say to yourself — “Enough on ‘Return of the Jedi’ already,” you are obviously not one of those dozens of people who have called me asking for information regarding play dates, admission prices, show times and other bits of trivia about how the film will be shown.
If you are one of those who has called — you can stop now. Here’s the latest:
“Return of the Jedi” will open at two theaters in the Salt Lake Valley next Wednesday (May 26) – the Plitt Centre downtown and the Century Complex on 33rd South near State Street.
Watch for traffic jams in those areas, because if the calls I’ve been getting are any indication, the audience is ready to start lining up any minute.
The 1983 line for 'Return of the Jedi' at a Lowe's Theater in Los Angeles.
The Plitt Centre Theater downtown has 1,174 seats and will play “Jedi” in 70mm (that’s mammoth wide-screen, in case you’d forgotten) and Dolby Stereo. Admission there is currently $4.50, and discount tickets will not be accepted during the first five weeks (if you only have $2.50 in your pocket, hold it until July 5).
The Century Complex will play the film on two screens, one, seating 575 people, will be in 70mm and Dolby, and the other, in 35mm (that’s the standard size) and Dolby, will seat 550. Admission there is also $4.50, and there will be no $2 economy seating price for “Jedi” showings.
It is possible that admission prices could rise to $5 for adults. On the other hand, in the competitive spirit, the two theaters could try to undercut each other, reducing admission prices. But no one is saying for sure at this point.
Salt Lake City's Centre Theater, circa 1966.
As to show times, you’ll have to look at the ads in the newspaper for specifics, but it’s interesting to note that the Centre will essentially screen it around the clock. The first show each day will be 8 a.m., and the last will be 15 minutes after midnight.
To my knowledge, that’s an earlier start and later end to a screening weekday than has ever been offered before locally. As one colleague of mine noted, it’s possible to see the first show before you go to work in the morning — if you’re a bit late. The Century will also run all day, beginning around 10 a.m.
And if you only have $2.50 and don’t want to wait five weeks to know what “Jedi” reveals, you could run down to the Magazine Shop downtown and buy the Marvel comic book, which costs exactly that.
And for those in other areas around the state, “Jedi” will also play in 70mm and Dolby at the Cinedome in Ogden, and in 35mm and Dolby at both the University Mall in Orem and the Capitol Theater in Logan.