By JOHN MATTISON
Fox Colonie Theatre, which was located on Wolf Road across from Colonie Center, left a lasting impact in the time it was created on January 8, 1969 to its closing in 1984. Featuring gold drapes on its walls and an 800 seat auditorium, Fox Colonie was one of the go-to places to watch a movie.
A large amount of iconic and impactful movies were released during Fox Colonie’s period of operation, including the classic Star Wars series. Many members of the community today still look back fondly at some of their first experiences seeing these movies at Fox Colonie, and we reached out to the public on social media to hear their stories.
“I remember standing in line with my dad for ‘Return of the Jedi,’ which wrapped around the building. I was 8,” stated Ed Rogers, “We passed the time by him answering all the questions I had about Empire because I was 5 when I saw it and needed a quick refresher. The big question though… is Darth Vader really Luke’s father?”
It’s difficult to conceptualize the magnitude of the cliffhanger George Lucas left his fans at the end of “Empire Strikes Back.” Forty years later, the cat’s out of the bag. Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. However, from once the bomb was dropped in 1980 to when the followup story continued the storyline with “Return of the Jedi” in 1983, fans were to question and hypothesize amongst themselves. There was no internet. Today, fans are often leaked information about movies well before they are released.
But, for some, the saga was a welcomed escape from real life drama.
“I remember the day I was laid off from my job, called my parents in tears, they said ‘go to a movie’,” stated Kathleen Cummings, “I picked up my friend Steff and we went to see the opening of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. The line wrapped around the outside of the theater, but we got in it and waited through a couple of performance before we finally got in. It was worth it.”
In 1990, Fox Colonie Theatre was torn down to be made into a parking lot, where a Chile’s was later constructed in 2004. Even with this being the case, Fox Colonie Theatre will remain a place full of fond memories of wonderful movie experiences for years to come.