Forty-five years ago, Universal Pictures released “Jaws,” forever changing how a generation experienced the ocean. Working with a limited budget, then unknown director Steven Spielberg was forced to leave the main character, a great white shark hellbent on wreaking havoc within a small coastal community, mostly up to the audience’s imagination. The ploy worked so well that “Jaws” became the highest grossing film of all time until the release of “Star Wars: A New Hope” two years later.
Now Yelm Cinemas is offering a special screening of the first movie to earn the title “blockbuster.” On Monday, July 15 movie fans can enjoy a moment of nostalgia or experience this masterpiece of suspense for the first time. “This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” says General Manager Noah Aden. “It’s always seemed like a summer movie.”
Each ticket purchased will double as a raffle ticket, making audience members eligible for a gift basket that includes tickets to Wild Waves, beach towels, pool floaties and more. “Once you see the movie, you’re automatically entered into the raffle,” says Aden.
Before the screening, visitors can stop in at the adjacent Uptown Lounge for a “Jaws” Feature Presentation, a drink comprised of Caribbean rum, a splash of banana liqueur and great white shark gummies. The following day on July 16, the Lounge will host a trivia night focused on the film. It’s part of a weekly trivia night series around different film-related themes. Traditionally, it’s started at 7:00 p.m. but based on customer feedback the contest will move to an earlier time starting this summer, according to Lounge Manager Wayne McCarten.
Aden notes that despite its reputation, “Jaws” is rated PG. Customer response to the screening has been positive and though tickets are still available for sale online or through the box office, they’re going fast. “People are showing up,” he says. “They’re excited about the raffle.”