When STAR WARS first arrived in theaters in the summer of 1977, word spread like wildfire that this was no ordinary movie diversion. It was an experience. It was a blockbuster. And it quickly became a bonafide phenomenon. Of course, they called movies like JAWS and STAR WARS blockbusters because audiences would line up around the block for hours waiting to get in to see the movie and see what all the hype was about — or to see it again and again and again.Outside the theater, lobby cards would always be displayed to entice audiences and provide a taste of what’s to come once those theater lights would dim. I have very specific memories of waiting in line to get into screenings of STAR WARS and staring at the STAR WARS lobby cards — in particular the one of the Stormtrooper riding on a Dewback, the one in which Darth Vader first enters the Rebel Blockade Runner, and the one of Han Solo and Chewbacca aiming their blasters in front of the Millennium Falcon. These images truly sparked my imagination — and also remind me of how patient I had to be as a nine-year-old, twiddling my thumbs while talking about the movie with my friends and family until I could get through those doors and see it. Again. And again. And again.
Here are close to 20 original STAR WARS Lobby Cards from 1977. Enjoy!
A little background info on lobby cards I like to regularly share for context: Back in the days before the Internet, movie lobby cards were a powerful tool used by Hollywood studios to lure audiences into the darkened theater. They were the last line of enticement — and sometimes the first — alongside carpet-bombing consumers with coming attractions, movie posters, marquees, publicity stunts, movie program books, and newspaper advertisements for their newest big-screen sensation. With no entertainment websites or blogs available to tease audiences with stills from their films, lobby cards served that purpose for the studio publicity machine. These days, movie theater lobbies have eschewed the traditional lobby card for posters, standees, trailers on repeat, experiential activations and more.
More Lobby Cards to ogle:
More STAR WARS stories:
- My STAR WARS Story and Mark Hamill Interview
- STAR WARS and the End of Famous Monsters
- Happy STAR WARS Day!
- STAR WARS Toys and Early Bird Kit Nostalgia