"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is out in theaters on Friday, but Rick Cohen, owner of the Transit Drive-In, got a sneak peek.
“I can let everyone know, without giving a spoiler, that the film is terrific. It truly is a continuation of the original Star Wars movies,” Rick said.
And Rick would know. He and his brother David Cohen, who now lives on the West Coast, have fond memories of when the original film came out in 1977. David was 22-years-old at the time and previewed the film in the middle of the night. The rest, he said, is history.
“We didn't know what to expect and it shocked us. We sat there under the stars transfixed and I don't think anyone blinked,” David recalled.
Rick was only 9-years-old and said they watched the film more than 100 times that summer.
“I didn't even understand that my family owned the drive-in theater until Star Wars came out and I was able to bring my friends every weekend. I was the most popular kids for a while,” Rick remembered.
This is the first time the drive-in has been open in December in years but when the first Star Wars came out, Rick said the theater was open year-round.
“There are just so many more options for people for entertainment. In the 70s, if you didn't go to the drive-in, you didn't go to the movies,” Rick said.
The drive-in is previewing the movie to the public Thursday evening at 7 p,m. They have 1,200 parking spots and are expecting a big crowd. It is first come, first serve.
For Rick, he said older fans will be brought right back to the good old days while watching this new saga in the Star Wars franchise.
“I felt like a giddy 10-year-old boy when I was watching the movie,” he grinned.
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