My parents taped the movie for me when it aired on pay cable... may have been HBO, I'm not positive. May have been Showtime.
But I was a full-fledged fan when the movie aired on CBS, and I never saw it in a theater or rented it, so it HAD to have been on cable before network TV.
= Derek =
Yeah, it was on cable first. I didn't have HBO at the time, but I did see it on the station 'Spotlight', which was eventually replaced by Showtime. I can still remember the theme song --
'Spotlight, shining bright, day and night...we bring out the stars for yoooooouuuu...'
I don't know for sure when the air date was, but February 1982 sticks in my head for some reason. It was a pretty big deal for me though. My parents bought me some McDonalds food for viewing munchies (Filet O' Fish [no tartar sauce, extra cheese], large fries and large chocolate shake) and my cat took off with one of my fries.
So if I can remember all of that stupid crap, then maybe the airdate is correct as well...
"Negative. I am a meat popsicle."
I remember watching it's broadcast television premier on CBS. A year or so before that I watched it on a cable service (I think it was called) Select TV. This was the early days of cable in my area and this was a single channel cable service that aired movies throughout the day and evening and porn through the night. Aaaaah, I miss that channel.
"The last thing I want to remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth." - Del Griffith my home theater my DVD collection
I remember it being on CBS and seeing it the for the first time ever. I started taping it from the part where 3po is walking through Tatooine alone. I musted have watched it so many times. My great mom just decided to buy me the complete trilogy from some video club(I think it was some Fox Video CLub) she got discounts from. My favorite movie was Return of the Jedi(I liked those damn Ewoks) then Star Wars, and I never watched ESB(just watching the begining trailers on each tape showed the ESB to be way too scary. Then when I did watch ESB I saw Luke get his ass kicked from the Wampa, a scary looking puppet, han getting frozen, and the most shocking and painful scene of Luke losing his hand. It's funny how we change over time. Now I look at ESB as the best of the trilogy. I used to like Han and his blaster, but now I like the Jedi and Lightsabers more. I have to fastforward all of the Ewok scenes in Jedi. I just pretend the Ewoks were Wookies.
Yep. I remember all of the hub bub of Star Wars being on CBS. If it wasn't for Star Wars being on CBS, I may have never found the trilogy.
------------------ Michael's DVD's
I remember seeing it for the first time in the pre-cable era on an over-the-air pay broadcast system called "Spectrum." Its main competitor here was a service sold through Sears called "On TV" Anyhow, I can't pinpoint the exact date, but I would have to say no later than 1984. I remember there was much hoopla surrounding it at the time, with a big marketing push.
--Mike Amazon Hot 100 DVD's [Edited last by Michael*K on August 31, 2001 at 09:52 AM]
It was definitely on HBO during August of '83. This is the summer my family moved back from Australia. Watched it every time it was on. I also remember watching ROTJ in an empty theater (I think 5 other people were in there) in San Francisco as it had been out for 3 months here while the premiere in Australia was set for November.
Why do so many people have terrible memories??? These things can be looked up, you know!
Cable debut: February 1983 (this included HBO, Showtime, the Movie Channel, etc.)
Network debut: February 1984 (this included the intros mentioned in prior posts, but no, it WASN'T aired for the first time for the 10th anniversary...there were also celebrity "bumpers" going in and out of the commercial breaks)
In Southern California, there were some "Pay-TV" (what we now refer to as "Pay-Per-View") airings in Fall 1982.
Showtime and HBO both showed Star Wars at about the same time -- but one fact I want to put out there is that each used a different pan & scan version.
I distinctly remember noticing that one channel did a superior job of panning and scanning, because of the scene near the start of the film where the escape pod (with R2D2 and C2P0 inside) is jettisoned. Some bad guys are watching through a viewscreen as the pod flies away, and one says something like "hold your fire, there's no life signs aboard". In one version, they pan over to the guy who says it, in the other, they just stayed fixed on the center of the screen and the voices are off-screen.
Now, which did the more careful job...Showtime or HBO? That, I forget. I want to say it was HBO that did the better job, but I don't know.
And that kind of reminds me...as I converse with myself here...that a lot of films had these differences. I guess the stations did their own panning and scanning themselves?
Before cable, when there was some kind of scrambled broadcast "cable" (through the airwaves, not through a cable) kind of channel, the transfer of Close Encounters had different end credits, compared to the version that was on cable later. As you may recall, the credits are superimposed over the mothership flying around in space. I think on the former, they just squished everything, but when it was on cable later, they'd recomposed the titles so the images didn't need to be squished.
I guess the studios didn't really care much about how their films looked, at the time. Whatever the channels wanted to do was apparently fine with them.