Star Wars! These ads are for the summer 1978 re-release. My parents weren't huge movie buffs, and my Mother in particular had an aversion to theaters, so movie night for our family was fairly rare and typically occurred at the drive-in. (Often at the Auto-Sky or Airport drive-in, which you'll see referenced in several of these ads.) Such was the case for Star Wars, which I saw for the first time in 1978 at the drive-in. Not exactly Dolby Digital IMAX, but for this particular 9-year old it didn't take away from the magic one bit.
I also remember seeing Battlestar Galactica at the drive-in. According to Professor Google, the film was released in Canada in July 1978, a few months before the premiere of the television series. The Canadian release was a 125-minute edit of the TV pilot; the full 148-minute pilot aired 17 September 1978 on TV. I started a diary in January 1979, and I see that I also watched the TV series pretty faithfully -- it aired at 8PM Sunday in Ottawa. I also caught the 2nd iteration of the show, re-titled Galactica 1980; for example my 3 February 1980 diary entry indicates that I watched Part 2 of the (3-part) premiere.
I'm fairly sure that I didn't see Close Encounters during its theatrical release, but that didn't stop me from snipping a few ads. The film was released in November 1977, but these ads are clearly from 1978 since they tout its Academy Award wins.
Here's a film that I definitely did not see at the time, and still have not seen to this day. Captain Internet tells me that I'm not missing much!
In addition to those above, I also saved ads from:
- Capricorn One
- The Swarm
- Damien Omen II
- Heaven Can Wait
- Jaws 2
- The Cheap Detective
- Saturday Night Fever
- The Norseman (starring Lee Majors)
- The Buddy Holly Story
- The Bad News Bears Go To Japan
- International Velvet
- The Goodbye Girl
- Revenge of the Pink Panther
- Corvette Summer (starring Mark Hamill)
- Foul Play
- Eyes of Laura Mars