BOONE, NC – “I dream for a living,” said Steven Spielberg. “Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.” The legendary filmmaker also said, “Whether in success or in failure, I’m proud of every single movie I’ve ever directed.”
After a successful month with record-setting attendance, the final screening on the Cinema Classic Sci-Fi Film Series at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is Steven Spielberg’s classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). The multiple award-winning movie will be shown at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25 in the historic theatre on King Street in downtown Boone.
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is a science fiction film written and directed by Spielberg, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, Cary Guffey, and François Truffaut. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an everyday blue-collar worker in Indiana, whose life changes after an encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO). Neary witnesses the UFO, and even has a “sunburn” from its bright lights to prove it, but he refuses to accept an explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his life to pursue the truth about UFOs.
The film was a long-cherished project for Spielberg. In late 1973, he developed a deal with Columbia Pictures for a science-fiction film. Though Spielberg received sole credit for the script, he was assisted by Paul Schrader, John Hill, David Giler, Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, and Jerry Belson, all of whom contributed to the screenplay in varying degrees. The title is derived from “Ufologist” J. Allen Hynek’s classification of close encounters with extraterrestrials, in which the third kind denotes human observations of extraterrestrials or “animate beings.” Douglas Trumbull served as the visual effects supervisor, while Carlo Rambaldi designed the extraterrestrials.
Made on a production budget of $19.4 million, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was released in a limited number of cities in November 1977 before expanding into wide release the following month. It was a critical and financial success, eventually grossing over $300 million worldwide.
The film received numerous awards and nominations at the 50th Academy Awards, 32nd British Academy Film Awards, the 35th Golden Globe Awards, the 5th Saturn Awards, and has been widely acclaimed by the American Film Institute. The film score received two Grammy Awards for composer John Williams.
In December 2007, it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. A Special Edition of the film, featuring both shortened and newly added scenes, was released theatrically in 1980. Spielberg agreed to do the special edition to add more scenes that they were unable to include in the original release, with the studio demanding a controversial scene depicting the interior of the extraterrestrial mothership.
Spielberg’s dissatisfaction with the altered ending scene led to a third version of the film, referred to as the Director’s Cut, that was issued on VHS and LaserDisc in 1998 (and later DVD and Bluray). The director’s cut is the longest version of the film, combining Spielberg’s favorite elements from both previous editions but removing the scenes inside the extraterrestrial mothership.
The film has a family-friendly start time of 7 p.m. with a budget-conscious general admission ticket price of just $5 per person. The running time for “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is two hours and 18 minutes. PLEASE NOTE that films @TheApp are shown without trailers, so please arrive a few minutes before the listed start time to secure tickets and purchase concessions.
The Cinema Classic Sci-Fi Film Series is generously sponsored by Nancy and Neil Schaffel and consists of four movies suggested by audience members and the general public.
While the App Theatre’s online ticketing system is accessible 24/7, customers can avoid the online service fees by visiting the lobby box office between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday, or one hour prior to showtime for each film. For a complete performance schedule of all upcoming events, or to sign up for the theatre’s e-blast distribution list, visit the organization’s website at www.apptheatre.org