Over the weekend I purchased a film magazine from 1983 in a small antique shop. Little did I know that there was 'treasure' within this treasure. Yes, inside was the "entertainment" section from the Providence Journal dated July 24, 1983. Above you can see what fun choices we had at Showcase Cinemas that summer! Although almost all of the movies ended up sucking it's still fun to imagine looking at this ad on a rainy afternoon and trying to choose something to watch. Let's take a closer look...
'JAWS 3D' - Clearly Jaws 3D was the newest film to join the summer season given how large the picture is in the ad. This was the time of weird horror 3D sequels (Friday the 13th 3D, Amityville 3D, and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare come to mind). Although it ended up being awful in every respect, that damn Jaws ad makes me want to watch it again! It's Jaws, in 3D!
'Twilight Zone: The Movie'. - I LOVE LOVE LOVE 'The Twilight Zone'. The film? Not so much. In fact, it was terrible. The Twilight Zone movie is best remembered as the movie where 3 people (including two little kids) died horrifically during filming when a helicopter crashed on top of them.
'Octopussy' - I love Octopussy for the name and because it's so bad it's great! I love the later Roger Moore 'James Bond' films because he was way too old to play the titular character (pushing 60 in this installment) and it's fun to look at the much younger stunt doubles taking on the heavy work.
'Staying Alive' - I Love 'Saturday Night Fever"! Say what you want but John Travolta is absolutely brilliant in the film. Sure he's pretty much channeling Vinnie Babarino, but his dancing is unmatched to this day. Don't remember? Check out the video above. Written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, 'Staying Alive' is an absolute turd. In the embarrassing sequel Tony Manero's tries to succeed as a dancer on the Broadway stage. YAWN! A misfire on all accounts (although the Bee Gees contributed a few good songs to it).
'Superman III' - I love all the recent Marvel movies but back in the day 'Superman II' was the best superhero film ever (wanna fight about it?) which is one of many reasons why 'Superman III' was so utterly disappointing. Attempting to make a low-budget comedy out of the Superman property was such a misfire that it ruined the franchise. What's that you say, 'Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"? Okay, okay, true, that was even worse.
'Trading Places' - I haven't seen Trading Places in over 30 years but back in the day I recall that it was constantly shown in school when teachers needed to kill time. Does it hold up? I have no idea. I remember thinking it was funny but then again I was just a 14 year old idiot at the time.
'Return of the Jedi' - Sure it had stupid Ewoks and Boba Fett was killed off in the least dignified manner possible, but come on, it's Star Wars! I waited three long years after Empire ended on a cliffhanger for this and I was not disappointed!
As an aside, I love how the ad states, "Starts Friday, 'Vacation'"! I wonder at the time if they realized what a blockbuster that would become?
I might add that the small print notes that the matinee price was $2.50.