Earlier today I had the good fortune to attend a special 40th anniversary screening of Superman: The Movie (1978) – and it rocked! The event – organised by 237 Signings – took place at the ODEON Great Northern, Manchester and not only included a screening of one of the greatest films of all-time (I’ll fight anyone who says differently), it also included a fantastic guest – Jeff East!
In Superman: The Movie, East played the role of the young Clark Kent. The actor appeared in scenes set in Smallville and the Fortress of Solitude and while his screen time was modest, according to the actor himself he was involved with the film’s shoot for a whole year!
Anyway, East was on hand today to sign autographs, pose for pictures and introduce the movie. At the end of the screening he also took part in a Q&A session, where audience members were given the opportunity to interact with the actor.
I had the chance to meet East prior to the screening. He signed my Blu-ray copy of Superman: The Movie and then posed for a photo.
As East signed my Blu-ray, I asked him if it really felt like 40 years had passed since he was involved with the movie? He said it didn’t!
As for the screening itself, it was fantastic. I’ve watched Superman: The Movie on the big screen before, but never with such a packed audience.
I believe over 400 people were in attendance – most of them adults, but some kids too. And some of the attendees were dressed up in Superman costumes.
The highlight? Other than shaking hands with Jeff East?
One of the guests, who bore an uncanny likeness to Superman actor, Christopher Reeve, arrived at the event dressed as Clark Kent. Before the screening was over he had a costume change and was walking around dressed as Superman.
At one point he walked up through the auditorium in full costume, much to the surprise and disbelief of a rather young attendee who couldn’t quite make out what he was seeing. The kid – who was also dressed in a Superman suit – did a sort of double-take as a Christopher Reeve-style Superman walked past him.
Watching this moment happen was magical. It was as if I could see the cogs turning in the kid’s mind as he was trying to work out how Superman was in the cinema with him, when he’d just seen him on the big screen!
The best way I can describe the situation is if you imagine what it was like being a kid, going to visit Santa in one of those department store grottos. When you saw Santa you knew it wasn’t him, but then at the same time you kind of thought it was!
Well, for a few seconds today that kid believed he saw Superman. The look on his face spoke volumes.
Today’s anniversary screening of Superman: The Movie, plus everything that went with it, was fantastic – and it only cost £16! That was £6 for the film + Q&A, along with an additional £10 for an autograph (with the photograph thrown in for free).
A top day and a brilliant way to celebrate such an epic movie.