Fans lined up at theaters across the country Thursday for the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — but Zach Putnam was not among them. He was waiting for the reviews, because he remembered all too well the disappointment of Star Wars Episode 1, which he'd been so eager to see in May 1999. "Boba Fett and I had our hearts broken by the Phantom Menace after three days of camping out at the Continental theater in Denver," writes Putnam, "and I've got the photos to prove it." And here they are:
Unlike so many of the massive theaters where early Star Wars movies premiered (we lined up outside the Cooper for the original movie — now known as A New Hope — in the spring of 1977, just months before we published Westword's first edition), the Continental still exists (albeit in a different format). Yes, The Force Awakens is showing there.
And Putnam, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, reports that once he saw the good reviews come rolling in for The Force Awakens, "I bought tickets and saw it on Friday night" — and he loved it.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.