Full Circle - Looking Back at Our Superman Beginnings 7 Years Ago
by Alex Billington
June 14, 2013
It began seven years ago. I went to camp out for the opening show of Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, the could-be-cool new Superman movie. I discovered my friends, rivals at the time, had just snagged the #1 spot in line, so I decided to create a website called FirstShowing.net and setup behind them (in response). That was early June of 2006. The very first post on the site on June 3rd, 2006, I wrote "the Cinemark movie theatre in Colorado Springs (where I'm heading) just posted up their tickets for Superman Returns and Cars." That same theater is still alive and kicking in 2013 with more campsites now (see photos) including one by our friends at MovieCamp.co. It all comes full circle with Man of Steel, now in theaters June 2013.
There's nothing that special about a 7th anniversary, but I wanted to take a moment for reflection, looking back at our origins and how far we've come. This could be a huge day for the future of superhero movies, if Man of Steel does well Warner Bros might try to get Justice League on track. How about that? Within the next few years we might be seeing new Star Wars, Justice League and Avengers movies. I started this site out of a passion for movies. I was so excited for the release of a Superman movie I was camping out. And I'm happy to see so many other fans continue to share a passion for midnight shows of movies by camping out.
As embarrassing as it is, here's a photo of our vintage campsite from the "Superman Camp-Out Live" blog:
How long ago that seems. I even complained about the guys who beat us in the Superman blog: "The biggest let down: we're #2 in line. These other kids who were in front of us for X-Men 3 heard about our arrival and decided to jump-ship and get here earlier than us." Indeed. But how things have changed. Now it's all about the first showing, and encouraging the same excitement that we had back then. I love this remark I make at the very end about the reactions to our campsite. "Getting this sort of response is just worth it to be out here doing this no matter what anyway!" I've been camping out since Star Wars: Episode I, which rebooted the camp-out-for-seats craze and got us to where we are today. Now we're on the eve of another Star Wars saga.
It's fun thinking back over the years I've been running this blog, noticing how much I've grown, how much we've changed, for good or bad. But the one thing connecting us back to our roots - Superman, the Man of Steel himself. There was a lot of hype back then, and looking back, it was an exciting opening but it didn't hold up to the test of time. What will we look back and say in seven years from now? It's also cool to note that one of the first movie sets I got to visit in late 2007 was for Zack Snyder's Watchmen, and now here we are years later, with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel hitting theaters. It's been inspiring to follow the careers of many filmmakers since I started, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them and so many others.
While I don't camp out as much anymore (it's not as easy in New York!), so many other die-hard movie fans still do. Places like MovieCamp.co support and encourage that enthusiasm. As explained best from their story: "We're a community of fans, a gathering of people with a common love of movies, friends who have yet to meet. Movie camping isn't for everyone. It's for anyone. ... Movies are awesome, we want more. We want awesomer." We'll continue to do our best supporting a love for movies, a love for all things cinema and the incomparable theatrical experience. This weekend, that experience is all about Superman. Have fun.