By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …”
And so begins the opening scene of the very first “Star Wars” movie released in 1977.
The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Public Library and the Colfax Commercial Club, in an effort to bring more activities to the municipal building, selected “Star Wars” as the movie to be shown in the municipal building auditorium’s Cozy Theatre Saturday, February 10.
The movie is free and open to the public.
[emember_protected] Several years after the original “Star Wars” trilogy had been shown in theaters, the first movie was subtitled “Episode IV: A New Hope.”
“Star Wars” in 1977 was followed by “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 and “Return of the Jedi” in 1983.
Between 1999 and 2005, a prequel trilogy was released to mixed reactions from critics and fans.
A sequel trilogy was released in 2015 with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
The original trilogy of Star Wars movies was shown in theaters again in 2016, but the original movies had not been available in movie theaters in more than 10 years at that point.
In a review published in the Washington Post on May 25, 1977, reviewer Gary Arnold called it “a new classic movie in a rousing movie tradition: a space swashbuckler,” and described it as “George Lucas’ delightful science-fiction adventure fantasy.”
Other reviewers did not like it as much, and one review in New York Magazine called it “a set of giant baubles manipulated by an infant mind.”
Another reviewer at the time said the movie “was an assemblage of spare parts.”
According to the Washington Post’s review, Lucas spent four years writing, preparing, directing and editing the movie.
A Washington Post article published in December of 2015 noted that in 1977, movies were released in one theater at a time and slowly spread across the country, instead of being released simultaneously in theaters across the country, as they are now.
The original “Star Wars” movie featured a cast of characters that those who saw it in movie theaters in 1977 immediately knew would be unforgettable: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2D2, CP30, Yoda, Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi, and the quintessential villain, Darth Vader.
The famous “opening crawl” in the original movie, which has become a signature feature of the Star Wars movies containing a prologue of the story, was reportedly based on “opening crawls” featured in the original “Flash Gordon” and “Buck Rogers” movies from the 1930s and 1940s.
If you have never seen a Star Wars movie, the “opening crawl” is text that scrolls past in outer space with stars in the background and then disappears into the distance.
The purpose for showing movies in the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium is to provide family entertainment in the renovated historic auditorium in downtown Colfax that was once the home of the Cozy Theatre.
The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has raised and spent well over $100,000 on electrical upgrades and restoration of the auditorium.
The Colfax Municipal Building auditorium is available for all groups to use for any activities requiring a stage, such as theatrical and musical performances, talent shows, comedy routines or guest speakers.
The screen used for movies on the stage of the auditorium is courtesy of the Colfax Commercial Club.
For more information about using the auditorium, contact Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at 715-962-3311.
The doors of the Colfax Municipal Building will open at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 10, for the free-admission showing of “Star Wars,” and the movie will start at 7 p.m.
The Colfax Commercial Club will offer concessions.
The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group is currently raising money to put an elevator in the municipal building, and for anyone who is inclined to support the elevator project, donation cans will be located in various places around the theater. [/emember_protected]