Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in North America on 7 December 1979. At that time I had been a fan of Star Trek for over two years. I had extensively watched the original series on TV, played with my Star Trek toys, and avidly read James Blish's Star Trek adaptations.
Yet somehow, some way, the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture seemed to pass me by unnoticed. I did not see the film during its theatrical release. I did not clip out any ST:TMP newspaper ads as I had previously for various less worthy films. I do not have any record or recollection of eating a ST:TMP Happy Meal at McDonald's. There is absolutely no mention of the film at all in my diary. In fact, here's my verbatim entry from 7 December 1979:
"I am writing this on Sunday. Today we got our Math Exam back. I got 84%, which is, so far, the lowest mark of all my exams."
What happened? The short answer is: "I don't know." The release of the first film must have coincided with a dip in my Star Trek fanaticism. In terms of not seeing the film during its initial run, this can be explained by my parents' insistence that we see films only at the drive-in rather than the theater. In Ottawa, the drive-in would have been closed for the winter in December. Having just turned eleven, I was probably a little too young to hit the theater on my own.
My first viewing of the original Trek film would have to wait until it aired on television during the early part of the next decade.