Today is, for me, a significant anniversary. And most people don’t even know about it.
In the summer of 1975, a young filmmaker, directing just his second feature film, transformed the way we consume movies, but launching the summer blockbuster. Until then, studios just released films as they were available, sometimes waiting for the end of the year for their “prestige” pictures, but the idea of bubble-gum movies aimed at wide audiences out of school hadn’t taken hold until Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. It was the first film to gross $100 million on its initial release, and revolutionized Hollywood.
Of course, that was in the summer. So why is March 26 important? Because the very first preview screening of a rough cut of Jaws took place, in of all places, at the UA Cine cinemas (now torn down, they were near where Mockingbird Station is now) on March 26, 1975 — exactly 40 years ago today.