Thursday, September 8, 2011


I remember it like it was yesterday.

On Saturday, November 23, 1989 (I had to Wiki the actual release date, which was Friday, November 22) my parents, my brother and I went down to Trolley Corners, the second best theater in Salt Lake City (second only to the Villa) and got in line with hundreds of other people. It was the first time in my life that I’d anticipated a movie as much as this.

The line wrapped all the way through the halls, down one wall and back up the other side. My parents made sure we got there early enough for the afternoon screening that we weren’t stuck at the very end, but we weren’t the first ones there either. I was in awe. I didn’t know there were other people as excited as I was, but there they were. Early one Saturday afternoon, we all anxiously awaited to see what happened when Doc Brown took Marty and Jennifer BACK TO THE FUTURE.

I’d watched the original too many times to count—mostly by convincing my babysitter to figure out how to record it when it came on HBO so I could have my own copy. It was easier than renting it every weekend like I’d been trying and far cheaper than shelling out my allowance money to buy the official VHS copy. I’d been waiting four years to find out what happened next—and this was before the Internet ruined every possible movie well before it started filming. I didn’t even know Part II was coming out until I saw the preview that summer and my excitement began to build.

We piled in that theater and for an hour and a half, I was the happiest I’d ever been. BACK TO THE FUTURE was a bigger deal to me than STAR WARS—but only because I had to wait for the next chapter. I never had to do that with STAR WARS. RETURN OF THE JEDI was the first movie I ever saw in the theater (I was 4, and hid under the coats until the Rancor monster showed up, then I was hooked) and could watch those any time I wanted (also thanks to the VHS pirating babysitter—with the extended long play enabled, you could get six hours on one tape).

With BACK TO THE FUTURE, I had to wait on that cliffhanger, “To Be Continued…” for four years. And when it finally came around, every little bit paid off.

Well, until the camera pulled back with Doc Brown lying in the street and those three words, “To Be Concluded…” came up on screen. At that point I was crushed. I looked around the theater and everyone felt exactly the same. I looked at my mom and dad and even they didn’t know what to say. Luckily, they had filmed both movies back-to-back, the trailer came on immediately after Part II ended and I only had to wait six months for the (admittedly lackluster) third part.

But I digress…

The two things I took to the most from Part II were the Hover Boards (which I heard were real but the government wouldn’t allow their release) and the self-lacing Nike shoes. 2015 was a long ways away, but I always held out hope.

Now it’s 2011 and that commercial at the top there just came on. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t smiling the whole way through it. It brought me back to that morning when I was 9 years old, waiting in line at Trolley Corners for a movie I’d been waiting over half my life to see. And I want them just as bad now as I did then.

Unfortunately, I won’t be shelling out the $3,000 (minimum) for them, but at least I know they exist. That means Hover Boards and self-drying jackets can’t be far behind.

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