#957: Star Wars at the Mall 1981

RECORD STORE TALES #957: Star Wars at the Mall 1981

Cast your minds back to a time before the internet.  Before DVD players.  Before we all had VCRs.  Prior to the advent of on-demand TV.  If you wanted to watch Star Wars…you couldn’t!

There isn’t much more to be said than that.  We had our records, to listen to the soundtracks, and “The Story Of…” discs.  We had novels and comic books.  We had our action figures.  If we wanted to watch Star Wars, we had to use the ol’ imagination and memories.

Given that lots of kids would love to watch Star Wars at any given moment, there was a demand.  And nature decrees that a vacuum must be filled.  I remember that there was a Star Wars play at the mall.  A few actors, maybe six or seven total, wearing budget costumes, and doing the best job they could.  I remember it being really bad, but I found a photograph that indicates it might not have been as terrible as I thought.

We can only guess who the actors were.  Students?  A travelling troupe, adventuring from mall to mall?  All to sell toys!  Kenner was king!  Kids flocked to the toy sections, begging mom for a Bossk figure.  Why not have a Star Wars play to promote it?  Perhaps kids can be the harshest critics and this play wasn’t as terrible as I recall….

We only snapped the one picture; film was expensive.  But the costumes don’t appear all that bad.  Sure, it looks like Chewbacca is wearing a sweater.  I don’t remember Princess Leia having gold trim on her gown.  Is that Old Ben Kenobi on the far left?  It’s a shame we didn’t get a picture of Luke or Han, but Vader’s helmet does not look bad, nor Chewie’s head.  At least not from this angle.  Could we have taken a worse picture?  You have to give Leia some credit for the nailing the hairstyle, and a killer pair of boots!

The wall behind looks like the barriers that go up when a store is being renovated.  You can also see some litter on the ground.  Consensus seems to be that this was Stanley Park Mall, due to the familiar flooring.  

14 comments

  1. I tell young people about the days before we had access to anything, and in my hometown of about 350 people, to boot, and they just can’t imagine. Imagination was key! When we finally did get a VCR, we still only had 3 channels and the only tape mom bought was Grease (I’m still sick of it). We got Star Wars soon, though.

    I think it’s awesome they put on that play. I mean, that’s dedication!! Cool you even have a picture at all, that’s the kind of thing that might otherwise go forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaron, if I could go back in time to any period, I would change only one thing. I would take pictures of EVERYTHING. Many pictures. We got one but film was so expensive! We were only allowed one!

      Like

    1. I seem to recall there would be “appearances from Darth Vader” and things like that a lot when I was a kid. I have a terrifying picture of me with Bert and Ernie. I was terrified and didn’t smile. Ernie tickled me to smile — you can see it in the picture.

      Liked by 1 person

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