To quote the late, great Darth Vader, “This will be a day long remembered.”
On December 17, the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII, “The Force Awakens” will be in theaters everywhere, and it’s going to be huge – the movie broke the advance ticket sales record a month before its debut, and here in Huntsville several showings have already sold out.
It might be going a little too far to say that the Rocket City will be the best place on Earth to watch the movie,* but there’s a strong case to be made that Huntsville’s in the top 15 places in the world to watch the new Star Wars.
A portion of the movie was shot on film with IMAX cameras, and only a handful of theaters in the world have the capability of showing the high-quality 70mm IMAX film version of the movie, including the U.S. Space & Rocket Center here in the Rocket City.
Reserve your tickets at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center by clicking here.
To give you an idea of how big a deal that is, Mike Sampson of Screen Crush wrote in an article that: “If you live in New York City and want to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 70mm IMAX, you’d have to drive two hours to Philadelphia. If you live in Chicago, you’d have to drive three hours to Indianapolis. If you live in Austin, you’d have to drive 10 hours to Branson, Missouri.”
“An Entire Legion of my Best Troops Awaits Them” — If you can wait until after release day – or, more likely, if you’re already planning your second viewing – not only is the U.S. Space & Rocket Center a great place to see the movie, but Saturday, December 19, is a great day to see it there. Plus, the Alabama Garrison of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers will be at the museum in costume. And, really, what’s better than seeing Stormtroopers in person?
LOOK FORWARD: Heads up: In January, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, there will be Star Wars-themed educational activities with take-aways for kids. Stay tuned for more details!
“I Want to Be the First to See Them All!” — Other local theaters are already gearing up for the release as well. The Regal Hollywood 18 stadium is decorated with a ticket-box-window mural of characters from the movie. At the Carmike Cinemas Valley Bend 18 + IMAX in South Huntsville, the movie will play for 24 hours straight starting at 7 p.m. on December 17, so that you can go straight from your 3 a.m. fourth viewing with a 6 a.m. fifth time around. At the Cinemark Monaco on the campus of the popular shopping destination Bridge Street Town Centre, you can enjoy the movie from the plush Privé 21+ (in comfy chairs and with your beverage of choice) balcony seating, while the new Touchstar Madison Square 12 promises luxury reclining chairs in all theaters at the lowest ticket prices in town.
“Han, Old Buddy, Do You Read?” — Beyond the movie itself, there are other opportunities to let the Force be with you in Huntsville during December. Friday, December 11, will be Star Wars theme night for the Huntsville Havoc hockey game, with a Star Wars jersey auction. (Last year, the game started with Darth Vader dropped the puck.) The Madison Public Library will have a “Star Wars Day” on Saturday, December 19, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with activities related to the new movie. Check out their own description below. YES. YES and YES.
“Ready are you? What know you of ready? If you think you have what it takes to become a Jedi, attend Jedi Academy Training on Saturday, December 19th at the Madison Public Library! Drop in any time for family-friendly activities, games, and crafts featuring your favorite Star Wars characters. Complete every step of training to become a Jedi and take home a prize!”
“I Have a Bad Feeling About This” — If you absolutely just cannot wait for your “Star Wars in Huntsville” fix, hunt down the 2005 film Constellation, which brought together Star Wars’ Billy Dee Williams and Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana to the Rocket City, and managed to earn an impressive perfect zero rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Or, better yet, don’t.
(If you know of a local Star Wars event we missed, please let us know so we can add it to the list!)
May the Force be with you!
*The best place OFF Earth to watch Star Wars is, of course, the International Space Station, where astronauts celebrated May The Fourth this year by watching Revenge of the Sith.
We’re all fans of making things super simple, right? So, here you go. 8 ways to experience the new Star Wars movie in Huntsville, Alabama
Also.. did you hear about the Star Wars movie filmed in Huntsville – Battle for the Rocket City? Check it out. #BecauseHuntsville
Merry Star Wars!
Which iHeartHsv blogger wrote this?
David Hitt is a native of Huntsville who enjoys telling the stories of his hometown. He works in strategic communications for NASA’s Space Launch System, the rocket that will send astronauts to Mars and prove once again that nobody builds ‘em like the Rocket City. David tells Huntsville history stories at the Huntsville Ghost Walk, Constitution Village’s downtown trolley tour, and the Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll. He’s the author of two books on space history, “Homesteading Space” and “Bold They Rise” and is the director of the Comic Science Improv comedy troupe.