A long time ago at a movie theater in Scranton, young Jedi knights, Rebel fighters and Sith apprentices lined up along Lackawanna Avenue to buy tickets for the local premiere of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”
Fans started queuing at United Artists Theatre, Lackawanna Avenue, on May 11, and tickets went on sale the following day at 3 p.m. Tickets at United Artists Theatres in Scranton and Dickson City cost $7 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and matinees.
Nicholas Kresky, 18, Scranton, holds his 12 Star Wars tickets after he was one of the first few people to buy them at United Artists Steamtown movie theater on May 12, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
Star Wars buffs wait their turn to buy tickets for the first few showings of the new movie at the Steamtown United Artists theater Wednesday, May 12, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
Steven Michael of Kingston buys 12 tickets for “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” at the United Artists Theater in downtown Scranton on Wednesday, May 12, 1999. Tickets for the first-day showings of the movie sold at light speed locally and nationwide a week before the movie’s scheduled opening. Four of the first day’s 11 shows at the downtown United Artists Theater, including the 12:01 a.m. debut, had sold out by 8:30 p.m., according to a flier posted at the theater. The downtown United Artists will show the movie in two theaters, which hold about 260 people each. Tickets are already on sale for the rest of the month. Each person is allowed to buy up to a dozen tickets. Fans stood stood in line overnight to buy tickets. Non-fans also stood in line for others who paid them to buy tickets for them. “It was crazy,” one theater employee said. Times-Tribune Archives
Star Wars fans Donny Blotch, left, Mehoopany, and Chris Coleman, Vandling, amuse themselves with a light-saber fight as they wait in line on May 11, 1999 outside the United Artists theater on Lackawanna Avenue to be among the first in the area to buy tickets to next week’s debut of ‘Episode I — The Phantom Menace,’ in the ‘Star Wars’ film series. Times-Tribune Archives
P.J. O’Malley, 20, of Scranton, along with two men who would not give their names lounge on the sidewalk of Lackawanna Ave. on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 waiting to buy tickets at United Artists Theater for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace which go on sale on Wednesday, May 12. May the force be with them. Times-Tribune Archives
P.J. O’Malley, 20, of Scranton, left, and two other unidentiffied mens, are the first three to arrive as they relax on the sidewalk of Lackawanna Ave. on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 waiting to buy tickets at United Artists Theater for the movie Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace which go on sale on Wednesday. It seems the force are with them. Times-Tribune Archives
“The Phantom Menace,” the first new “Star Wars” film in 16 years and a prequel to the original trilogy, opened May 19. It introduced audiences to a young Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and the trouble starting to brew within the Galactic Republic. Despite mixed reviews, the film made $431 million at the box office, according to Rottentomatoes.com.
United Artist Theatre on route 6. Chris Rassmusson, chief projectionist prepares the Star Wars film in the projection room on May 19, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
Star wars fans line up to buy advance tickets in Downtown Scranton on May 16, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
John Canjar and Terri Harchar, both 16, of Dickson City, purchase tickets to “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace” at United Artists Theatre on Route 6 on June 6, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
Star Wars opening at the United Artist’s Theatre on Lackawanna Ave. from left: Chris Kuruts (Forest City) and John Wildenstein (Pleasant Mountain) wait in line to see Star Wars and play with lightsabers on May 19, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
The much-anticipated “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” opened on May 19, 1999 around the country, including at United Artists Theatre on Lackawanna Avenue. Playing cards while waiting to see the movie are, from left, Mike Agliata, Scranton; Dennis Fletcher, Scranton; David Fletcher, Scranton; Jeff Mauritzen, Lake Wallenpaupack; Anthony Byrd, Madisonville; and Brian McNichols. Times-Tribune Archives
Dave Castelli, manager of United Artists Theatres Route 6, displays a poster of’Star Wars 1: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace’ before the screen where the movies opened at 12:01am on May 19, 1999. Mr. Castelli was offered $500 for the poster but said he declined. Times-Tribune Archives
In the crowd attending the opening of ‘Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace’ at United Artists Theatres on Route 6 were Clarks Summit residents Stacy Lang, 10, left, dressed as the character Yoda, and Victoria Sook, 11, as Queen Amidala, on May 19, 1999. Times-Tribune Archives
On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, another chapter begins with the opening of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” This film takes place between the action of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” It centers on a group of Rebels tasked with stealing plans for the Empire’s Death Star, according to Starwars.com.
Updated – Since Dec. 15, 2016, there has been several more stories in the Star Wars galaxy. On Dec. 17, 2017, there was “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” and two years later the final film in the Skywalker Saga – “Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” on Dec. 20, 2019. In addition to these two film, there was another stand alone story called “Solo” that was came out on May 25, 2018.
Luke Diegnan, 7, of Moosic, as a Storm Trooper with his sister Leah, 9, as Rey, get ready to watch Star Wars at the Cinemark 20 and XD in Moosic. Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer
Grant Kashi, 5, of Bloomsburg, plays with his light sabers in the crowd during Star Wars night at the Railriders vs. the Durham Bulls game at PNC Field in Moosic on Friday, June 21, 2019. Sean McKeag / Staff Photographer
Katherin Majeski, 13, of Plains, dressed up as Rey for the opening night of Star Wars. Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer
Charlene Hartman, 17, of Dickson City, strikes a pose in her Chewbacca outfit, as she waits in line with many other fans for the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Thursday night at the Great Escape IMAX theater in Dickson City. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer
J.T. Mills, 30, of Clarks Summit, wears his Boba Fett sweatshirt Thursday night for the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Regal Dickson City 14 IMAX theater. Below, Tara McVeigh, 30, of Blakely, displays her Princess Leia hairstyle as she waits in line. BUTCH COMEGYS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Tara McVeigh, 30, of Blakely, displays her Princess Leia hair, as she waits in line with many other fans during the premeir of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Thursday night at the Great Escape IMAX theater in Dickson City. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer
Kevin Gayout of Carbondale wears a Yoda backpack as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” begins during Scranton Tomorrow’s Drive In Downtown at Lackawanna County Courthouse Square on Thursday evening. JAKE DANNA STEVENS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Scott Pineau of Dalton, Pa., is dressed as Director Orson Krennic for the opening night of Rogue One a new movie in the Star Wars series at the Regal Dickson City Stadium 14 and IMAX in Dickson City, Pa., on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer
On November 12, 2019, the new streaming service Disney+ premiered a new Star Wars story – “The Mandalorian.” This story is set in the time between “Return of Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.”
All of Star Wars movies plus more content is available on the streaming service – Disney+.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show "Ask Me Another." Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast