Back to the future – and back to cinema in Wellington as DeLorean comes to town
It took center stage in the highly acclaimed Back to the Future trilogy, but the DeLorean time machine – flux capacitor included – was turning heads in Wellington on Saturday.
The iconic car was parked in the plaza as part of a promotion for the Wellington Orbit trilogy screening, which debuted today, with Back to the Future, and will be followed by sequels over the next two weekends. .
The sold-out shows boosted community cinema, which had been unable to screen any films this year, until May 18.
While the car was a firm favorite with 1980s kids, it proved popular with young people and its classic target market, with dozens of people lining up for photos with the vehicle.
Alex Taylor, of Wrockwardine Wood, was one of those who took the risk of snapping a quick photo, asking vehicle owner Steven Wickenden to take him in the famous pose from the movie poster – arm on the raised door, checking his watch and lifting his glasses.
The 57-year-old said it was an opportunity not to be missed.
He said: “I loved the movie. I saw it when it first came out in ’85 in the ABC Wolverhampton. There were lineups for it when it came out.”
Mr Taylor added that it was “fabulous” to see a “movie star” on the streets of Wellington.
Wellington Orbit volunteer John Abbott was also able to fulfill a long-standing ambition by replicating the classic Michael J Fox pose – with his own matching costume.
The car was used by Universal Studios to promote the film and is an exact replica of the one used to shoot the film.
It’s actually a fully functional vehicle, which has been on a host of superstar events, including the premiere of Ready Player One, where Steven Spielberg added his signature to his dashboard.
Mr Wickenden explained that he always drove it as much as possible – taking it to stores and even using it for the school run.
The star’s appearance comes as the cinema has reopened, but at 50% of its capacity.
There are plans to expand it to full capacity next month, but that will depend on whether the government proceeds smoothly with its “road map”.
Damian Breeze, director of Orbit, said it has been great for people to come back to watch movies and to get the look of a star to promote their latest screenings.
He said: “It was absolutely fantastic to open after the lockdown. Seeing repeat customers is wonderful and they all love to be back.”
Mr Breeze said people were eager to come back and start doing things again – although with that comes some understandable trepidation after months of being locked in their homes.
He said: “I think people want to come out. They may worry a little bit, but they want to go out, they want to go out and support a local independent cinema.
“We’re so happy to be open and can’t wait to get back to normal like everyone else.”
The McClelland family were among those booked for the afternoon screening of the ’80s classic – the first movie they’ve seen in a theater since last year.
Steve and Jackie, 52 and 51, were joined by their 16-year-old daughter Grace for the screening.
While Steve and Jackie both have fond memories of the movie, for Grace it was new territory, never having seen the time travel classic.
Jackie said it was great to be able to go out to watch a movie – a simple pleasure that has been sorely missed in recent months.
She said, “It’s like an occasion now, you dress and feel great. It looks normal, which is great.”
Steve added: “You can see people are happy to be away rather than afraid to be, which is good after all this time.”