The theatrical release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture somehow passed 11-year old me by unnoticed. However, 13-year old me was ready and waiting for the theatrical release of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.
Although I undoubtedly knew about it even earlier, my first diary entry related to the second film is from 11 May 1982: "...I saw a preview of the new Star Trek movie -- The Wrath of Khan. Trek fans who saw the entire movie at a preview say it has excitement, humour, love, emotion and tradgedy [sic]. I can't wait until it comes out in June or July. The only set back is that Mr. Spock is going to die at the end of the picture, I think."
Then on Friday June 4th, the following short entry: "Today Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan opened at the Nelson theater here in Ottawa." I also snipped out a copy of the movie ad from the Ottawa paper that day:
My 5 June diary entry: "Tomorrow is the big day. David Agulnik and I are going to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. We will leave at about 9:30; the movie starts at 1:45. The review in today's Citizen wasn't the greatest though it did say that the special effects were good, the end was excellent and it was superior to the first movie (termed "chaotic'). I can't wait to see it." Here is the review that I referenced:
I did indeed go to the 1:45 show with Dave Agulnik, and was duly impressed. Here's my diary entry from 6 June, complete with a copy of my $2 (!) receipt:
I have several other diary entries throughout the Summer of 1982 related to the film. Here are some samples:
16 June: "We arrived in Lindsay just after four o'clock this afternoon. I found out that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was playing at the theatre in Lindsay. I went to the 7:00 show. It is simply a great movie."
17 June: "Today the movie reviewer on Entertainment Tonight reviewed Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. He said the movie had its ups and downs, but overall it was good entertainment. He gave it a strong 7. What a night! -- Moments after I finished writing the above I watched Sneak Previews and Star Trek II was again reviewed. Roger Ebert and George Siskel were even more enthusiastic than E.T.'s reviewer. Even George, who didn't like the Star Trek series along with science fiction in general thought the film to be very good."
20 June: To showcase the new uniform design, I clipped out a picture from the newspaper and pasted it in my diary:
1 July: "The three movies looking to be the summer's top grossers are E.T., Rocky III and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan in that order. Star Trek has made just over $50 000 000 after 24 days in the theaters."
26 August: "...today marked the end of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan's run at the Nelson Theater. It has been replaced after an 84 day stint, with The Beastmaster, starring a former Charlie's Angel, Tanya Roberts. It must have made close to 75 million dollars, one of this year's ten, if not five, top movies." I also clipped on of the last Nelson theater adds for the film and taped it into my diary:
Speaking of The Beastmaster, I can't help but include this precious entry from September 5th: "Today Dave, Alec and I saw 'The Beastmaster', a fantasy epic op "a new kind of hero." I think I prefer the old heros better. The only good thing about the movie was Tanya Roberts and the two little weasels which steal nearly everything in sight. I certainly cannot see how the movie could garner a PG rating in the U.S. as I have heard for there were several semi-nude scenes in the movie, one with Tanya Roberts."
15 September: "I was wrong about Star Trek not being played in Ottawa movie theaters. Though it no longer is shown at the Nelson it is being shown at the Brittania Cinniplex [sic]."
I even continued to track the film into the following year -- it was shown at the National Arts Center theater in February 1983:
All in all, a much better job tracking the second Star Trek film than the first!