My memories of watching Batman (1989) for the first time.

batman 1989 blockbuster store
A photo of a display of VHS cassettes of The 1989 movie Batman at a Blockbuster Video Store.

Hello everyone. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the Batman movie on June 23, 1989. It had preview screenings the day before at most theaters. I went to see the movie the next day on Saturday at The Ford City Cinema at The Ford City Shopping Center in Chicago. I have seen the commercials on TV for months, and I was very excited to see it in the theater. At The Ford City Cinema, the movie was shown on two screens.  I remembered the lines were so long and everyone looked so happy waiting to see it. Even comic book geeks, like me, couldn’t wait either. No one was available to go with me so, I went alone. As I entered the theater, I saw some people dressed like Batman and The Joker. They must have been diehard fans. I loved the music in the movie composed by Danny Elfman. The movie was very dark in viewing it and the tone of it was very serious at times.  Most people balked the idea of Michael Keaton cast as Batman, but he was fine. Jack Nicholson as The Joker was superb. He made me laugh all during the movie. As a comic book stickler, I had two complaints in the movie. One was, The Joker didn’t have a name in the comics. He was a criminal called The Red Hood before he fell into a vat of chemicals and became The Joker. I thought that would have been more interesting. The second was, in the comics the man who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents wasn’t The Joker. It was a petty mugger named Joe Chill. I don’t know why they changed all that but I have accepted it. I loved the movie so much and I saw it two more times. Again at Ford City Cinema and at The Chicago Ridge Mall Theater in Chicago Ridge, IL. The 1960s Batman TV series was airing again on TV practically all day during that time. Most people were comparing the movie and the TV show as Batman Light and Batman Dark. I have watched the TV show ever since I was five years old when reruns were on WGN-TV Channel 9. When WFLD-TV Channel 32 started airing the reruns in the mid-1970s, that is when I got completely hooked on the show. I have the complete series on Blu-ray and I love it very much. The 1989 film was released on video in November 1989. I heard pre-orders were phenomenal but I knew there was plenty in stock. I went to Suncoast Video Store in Orland Park, IL and picked it up. When got home, put it in the VCR, and watch the movie again. I have bought DVD’s of the movies, and it still is a good movie. The sequels came along, and they were very good but not as good as the original. During the Batmania in 1989, people were buying all kinds of merchandise. Clothes, toys, watches, video games, magazines, and of course, comic books. Back issues of all The Batman titles skyrocketed in prices. I have a pretty good collection of Batman titles myself. Last night, I watch the movie on DVD for the first time in years. It’s still entertaining and it’s still one of the best of Batman movies. Batman is still popular today. There will more movies and TV shows about him that will be made in the future. Thank you. Pete Kastanes, Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook page.

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