ST. LOUIS — As the heavyweight movies come and go at the theater this holiday season, there's one film that holds power over them all.
While Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese can swing a big stick at the cinema, few cinematic experiences dominate the masses like the one that takes place in a galaxy far, far away.
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," which wraps up the 40-year-old Skywalker storyline, hits theaters next week on Dec. 19, which is a Thursday night. J.J. Abrams, who directed "The Force Awakens," returns to the director's chair with a cast including returnees Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and even the late Carrie Fisher.
This is a unique form of cinematic beast, one that hooks even casual movie fans along with the loyal diehard Star Wars fanatics. If you like lightsabers, father-son quarrels, Jedi destinies, or just cute little creatures taking part in the battle between good and evil, this film is for you in some shape or form. One theater in the St. Louis area is trying to match the larger-than-life plot.
Marcus Theaters is pulling out all the stops to make this the most epic theater experience yet.
- There are special shows, extended hours, and helpful tips being handed out by the successful theater chain. An event unforeseen and aimed to please any fan, no matter what age or school/job restriction they have.
- Starting next Thursday on premiere night, Marcus Ronnie's Theater is letting fans see the film one hour early at 5 p.m. with a commemorative ticket that includes a special pin and junior popcorn. All the other opening night showtimes start at 6 p.m. and will show in up to three theaters.
- During the first week of its theatrical run, Marcus Theaters will feature special early and late screenings, some taking place at 7 a.m. in the morning and others running past midnight. The film carries a running time of two hours and 32 minutes, so these special showings allow the dad getting off work late or putting the kids down a chance to sneak out and enjoy the film. What if you work in the afternoon and at night? Come in the morning, grab a cup of coffee at the concession stand and kickback. An early morning show gets out just in time for you to catch Show Me St. Louis at 10 a.m.
- While there are many showtimes to give everyone a chance to see the film, visiting the website to secure your tickets is still the smartest way to operate. Since this isn't your standard French Independent film, you should seize the opportunity and see the film in a format that fits the blockbuster-sized tale. Marcus Theaters will offer the film in Super Screen DLX and Ultra Screen DLX auditoriums. Basically, very large and loud screens. The recliners, screen size, and comfortable feel will all be presented in these theaters.
- The concession stands will be stocked with more than your regular nachos and pretzels. Get a Lightsaber Limeade at the Take Five Lounge, or the Hyperdrive Hot Chicken Sandwich at the Big Screen Bistro at the Marcus Theaters in St. Charles and Des Peres. Star Wars-themed popcorn tubs and cups will also be available. This is the kind of movie where you should just lean into it with the goodies. Leave the microwave popcorn at home this time.
- Now, for the people who like to come to the theater dressed as their favorite character ready for battle, Marcus Theaters will welcome this-but with restrictions. Masks, makeup, and paint that covers your face are restricted. Outfits are welcome. Toy lightsabers are acceptable, but plastic guns are not. After all, the characters on the screen should be doing the battle while you pleasure the taste buds and relax.
The special thing about "Star Wars" is how many people it attracts and attaches itself too via stories. There are people in their 40's and 50's who saw the original film in theaters, and then the younger fans just getting into the films.
Marcus wanted to know which character and movie stood out to moviegoers, and in a recent survey covering 11,000 awards program members in 17 states, here were the findings:
Out of all the films, "The Empire Strikes Back" still leads the pack with 28% as the favorite film while Han Solo leads the long list of characters with 26% of the vote.
I will have my review of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on KSDK.com on Wednesday, Dec. 16, so you can get a feel of what to expect on the big night.
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