Devoted fans dress up, camp out for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere in D.C.

Devoted fans dress up, camp out for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere in D.C. (ABC7)

For a surprising number of people in the long line to see Star Wars at D.C.’s Uptown Theater Thursday night, the scene brought back memories because they’d done the same thing before – in 1977.

“I was only eight years old,” said Brian Rudolph, of Gaithersburg, who wore two Star Wars buttons he’d received at the theater 40 years ago. “It’s just awesome to be back here, especially with my son Danny.”

Rudolph was one of a number of people who’d been to the theater for the original Star Wars as kids who were now bringing their kids to see the eighth episode of the franchise.

Another man told ABC7 he’d sat in the exact same seat in the giant theater Thursday that he’d sat in to see the original movie 40 years ago.

The way movies were released was a lot different in 1977 than now. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' is being shown in so many theaters in the D.C.-area that tickets to see it somewhere were relatively easy to come by for opening night Thursday.

But in May 1977, you had one choice – the Uptown Theater. It wasn’t just the only choice for D.C., but for a wide area. One woman from Baltimore told us the movie didn’t hit that city until June.

If you wanted to see the movie then, you had to wait in what were very long lines.

“It’s great to see this again,” said one man who’d come in 1977 as he looked at the long line waiting to get in Thursday night.

But there was one big difference – the people in line had for the most part already bought their tickets not at the box office but online or through an app. They lined up not to get tickets, but to get in first so they could get the best seats.

Still, for many, the scene brought back a lot of memories, and they say when they saw the original film in 1977 they never imagined they’d be here 40 years later watching Episode VIII – with their kids.

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