Return of the Jedi, 1983 -- My first theatre memory and probably my first memory period. I was almost four and so excited to be going to the movies with my dad. I don't think I will ever again feel the pure overwhelming joy I felt while watching that movie that day. I went back several times and reportedly had the movie memorized after two viewings.
Chasing Amy, 1997 -- The new Kevin Smith movie was coming out and I was not going to wait and hope that the "art" theatre in town would get it. We drove 75 miles to see it in Schaumburg, IL. I was a Smith fanatic at this time. Seeing Clerks the previous year had ignited a new found love for the movies and opened a world of indie films. We made this feel like an event and it was a great day.
Star Wars, 1997 -- Seeing Star Wars on the big screen brought me back to childhood. My days as a kid were spent obsessing over Star Wars and now to see it as a "young adult" was truly magic. Despite the fact that Lucas messed with a few of my favorite parts, the sheer experience of seeing that film up there the way it was meant to be seen completely outweighed my problems with it. The Star Destroyer, my god...
Boogie Nights, 1998 -- I saw this on a one-screen arthouse theatre in my college town called The Egyptian. I had seen Hard Eight but didn't know who made it and was pleasantly surprised, after being captivated with Boogie Nights, that it was the same filmmaker. I loved the style, the music, the characters, the everything. Great fun and it didn't even matter that the sound cut out at the tense blowjob scene.
There's Something About Mary, 1998 -- First date with a girl who I'd end up dating for 4 years. She had already seen it and suggested it. I wasn't much of a screwball comedy guy at the time but I went and laughed like crazy. I don't know if I had ever laughed so hard in a theatre before. It was a great time and a beginning to a new phase of my life.
Eyes Wide Shut, 1999 -- Seeing a new Kubrick film on the big screen, you can't beat that feeling.
Magnolia, 1999 -- I've been reading up on PTA for a bit now. Still didn't know what to expect by this, the small amount of reviews I've allowed myself to skim through have been very mixed. Needless to say, I was wide-eyed the entire running time and completely immersed in every moment. My companion said that people were walking out. I certainly didn't notice. It was all I could talk about for weeks after. Oddly enough, I only saw it in the theatre once.
Nice thread, thanks.