Why would “Rogue One” fans willingly wait in line for the most anticipated film of 2016 in an era of online ticketing and assigned seating? According to Gizmodo, for some fans, waiting in line is part of the “Star Wars” experience, a chance to meet with friends, dress as favorite characters, and have a party.

Back in a time long long ago, that is to say 1977 when the very first Star Wars film came out and became an unexpected phenomenon, waiting in line was a necessity and not something one did by choice.

So whatever fun fans derived from the experienced was a way to pass the time. Often the lines for one movie had already formed when the previous movie was just beginning. That meant that fans eagerly anticipating the greatest space opera action film of all time had a couple of hours to kill.

When the movie theater was in an enclosed mall, waiting in line for a couple of hours was tolerable. Some people would order takeout from nearby mall eateries and have their lunch or supper in line.

Others would strike up conversations with perfect strangers.

A lot of people now grown old will bore the children with stories about how they waited in line for the first Star Wars back when movies were still primitive, when Dolby sound was considered state of the art. Now younger generations are seeking the same experience that their elders enjoyed, at least after a fashion.

One reason why “Star Wars: A New Hope” ran in many theaters for the better part of 1977 was repeat business.

People would see the movie on the big screen dozens of times, experiencing anew the first time that Luke, Leia and Han helped to defeat the Empire, destroy the Death Star and thwart the machinations of Darth Vader. Seeing “Star Wars” every weekend was a part of being young in the 1970s. It was an era before the Internet, indeed before widespread home video. Going to the movies was and, in some ways, still is the vast collective experience Americans indulge in.

Big screen televisions and on demand video may wipe out the movie theater sooner or later, but when it does a fabulous era of entertainment will be gone forever.

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