It was June of 1977 and Disney's The Rescuers spawned a revival of animated films that continues today. ABC had a lockdown on prime-time television with its string of hits including Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Three's Company and Charlie's Angels. Disco was alive and kicking, and KC and the Sunshine Band was on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with "I'm Your Boogie Man."
But the biggest entertainment story of the year was the popularity of Star Wars, in its premiere theatrical release. In its opening weeks, the film was on target to smash box office records as a top-grossing film of all time. The film was shown throughout Bergen but made its biggest splash at the Stanley Warner on Route 4 East in Paramus. Exuberant fans lined up for hours to get a prized ticket to the show. The theater is gone now, replaced by a 24-Hour Fitness. Memories, however, are preserved in the minds of thousands who caught their first glimpse of Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and Princess Leia. The special effects may seem simple to today's audiences, but they were revolutionary at the time.
"I remember standing in the line that wrapped around the building," says Patrick Vitacco, who grew up in Paramus and now resides in Hawthorne. "There was so much excitement around the film, and it was unlike anything we'd ever seen. The Stanley Warner was a great place to see an action movie."
"A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master."
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