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On this day:

Star Wars Opens in the UK

Many, many, many young lives were changed forever on this day in 1977 when a little space movie called Star Wars finally opened in the UK (it had been released in America in May - but the rest of the world had to wait). There was massive demand for tickets, with people queueing from 7am to snap up unreserved seats to the first showings in London. With tickets booked until March the following year, touts were also doing a roaring trade, with reports of the £2.20 tickets changing hands for as much as £30!

Before its release, studio executives were unsure about the film’s potential success. Which just goes to show what studio executives know. The film (and the accompanying merchandise which director George Lucas had the rights and royalties to) was a massive global smash and became (adjusting for inflation) the second most successful film of all time after Gone With the Wind.