Admit One…

Filmex1Filmex2-001Filmex7Filmex8Filmex3Filmex4Filmex ’83 I imagine would’ve been quite the occasion.  A glamorous Hollywood event of the old school at the Avco Centre Cinema, Columbia Pictures and Rastar Films, Inc. selected the venue for the US premiere of its summer blockbuster Blue Thunder.

Despite indifferent reviews from preview showings critical of placing the emphasis and value of technology over the human factor, Blue Thunder opened to strong box-office and audience popularity (especially with its eventual release in Europe).

The program for opening night starts with the ‘Blue Thunder & Lightning’ premiere (heralded by searchlights!) for the opening followed by the Filmex Benefit Ball at no less than the Beverly Hilton Hotel with star Roy Scheider in attendance.  Parking passes were issued with the complimentary tickets –

Filmex5Filmex6Roy BT Premiere

I was lucky enough to acquire this set of memorabilia from the premiere (which included two tickets and a newspaper article) some time ago and have never seen it offered before to come.

Did you attend this event?  What are your memories of it?  Please share those or any other insights in the comments block…

5 thoughts on “Admit One…

  1. Saw your post on RPF and wanted to give you my (minor) connection to Blue Thunder.

    My dad was the chief test pilot for Aerospatiale in Grand Prairie, TX. I’m sure you knew, but the Blue Thunder helicopter was a heavily modified Aerospatiale Gazelle helicopter which, according to my dad I actually got to fly in (before being sold and shipped off to Hollywood and get modified, that is 🙂 )

    If I remember correctly, it was originally painted in browns and tans.

    Also, because the helicopter was (lets face it) the star of the movie, his company got a free screening of it at a local theater in Arlington, which was cool to go to (my first R rated film in a theater)

    Lastly, and I WISH I still had these, my dad got me actual blue prints of the actual helicopter. There were two sheets, one was of the outline of the gazelle and there they would make the cuts into the cockpit for the modifications, and another of the finished Blue Thunder itself.

    I still cry when I think about how I threw them away when I ‘outgrew’ movie posters.

    Anyhow, thought you might like that bit of trivia.

    Catch ya later.

  2. Welcome Curtis!

    Many thanks for some great info – worthy of a post in itself – Did your dad take any pics of the chopper before it was sold on perchance??
    Sad about the blueprints – I know they are out there somewhere but there are plenty of fan-made ones out there that will do for now – I’d love to find a real set.

    Thanks again for sharing your story!

    • I’ve run across this site over the past few years, and as a fan of Blue Thunder, it’s great to see neat info about this unique and fun movie.
      I just ran into Curtis’ post (5 years after it was written), and I wanted to add a little more trivia.

      I grew up in Arlington, TX, and I saw the Blue Thunder movie at the Forum 303 Mall movie theater which was only a few miles from where Aerospatiale was located (right next to the now closed Dallas Naval Air Station which was shut down in the early 1990’s.) By the way, the Forum 303 mall is no longer around too.

      I was 15 at the time, but I vividly remember an Aerospatiale Gazelle Helicopter on display in front of theater as a tie-in! It was absolutely cool! I recall there was a placard that explained the helicopter in the movie was a heavily-modified Gazelle. A “Special” memory indeed (yes, a pun was intended!)

      Great site! Would like to see more posts!

      • Hey Doug –

        Thanks so much for your comments, and for the clarification – I had read that the helicopter had made an appearance outside a theatre and had always presumed it was the movie chopper. Your story about it being a regular Gazelle makes much more sense and now I can stop trawling the internet for images that don’t exist!!
        I’m working on a site revamp for 2019 so watch this space…

        • Thanks for the reply! Looking forward to new posts.
          I wish I had photographed that display. I’m sure some photos exist somewhere.

          As a quick epilogue to my post, Aerospatiale, at least in the guise of Airbus Helicopters, still operates in Grand Prairie, TX. Apparently Aérospatiale merged with several other European aerospace companies in the ensuing years. Interesting stuff!

          Regards, Doug

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