'Back to Future' Trilogy Draws Packed Houses

From Times Wire Services

"Back to the Future" fans lined up early for a back-to-back-to-back film trilogy as the latest time-travel adventure officially opened the summer film sweepstakes.

To promote "Back to the Future Part III," opening nationwide in about 2,000 theaters today, Universal Pictures organized special marathons in 19 cities Thursday night.

Patrons could watch all three "Back to the Future" films for a single admission.

At the Pacific Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, fans started lining up at 2 a.m. Wednesday, and more than 100 devotees, wearing all sorts of "Back to the Future" paraphernalia, were in place six hours before the trilogy was set to begin.

At the sold-out showing at the Cineplex Odeon National in New York City, some customers bought 10 to 20 tickets at a time. The line of customers, stretching along Broadway and down 43rd Street, was entertained by a group of stilt-walkers outfitted like cowboys.

"Back to the Future Part III," starring Michael J. Fox as time traveler Marty McFly, is set in the Old West.

Universal reported early queues at theaters showing the trilogy in Orange County, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Toronto and Portland, Ore.

"I was first in line to see 'Back to the Future,' and I was second in line to see 'Back to the Future Part II,"' said Adam Mast, 21, who was first in line at the Cinerama Dome.

"There are more inside jokes in the 'Back to the Future' films than most people realize," he said. "I've seen the first two dozens of times, and I always find something new to laugh at."

Last year's "Back to the Future Part II" opened in November and generated domestic box office revenues of $110 million.

"Back to the Future Part III" finds McFly and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) arriving in 1885 to stop Doc's murder. Early reviews of the film have been mixed.

In last summer's film season, a record $2.04 billion worth of tickets were sold.

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