‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ Returning To Big Screen For 2-Day Anniversary Screenings

This morning, Paramount and Fathom Events announced they are bringing Star Trek: The Motion Picture back to the big screen.

“Experience the Adventure” in movie theaters nationwide on September 15 and 18

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, directed by Robert Wise, premiered in December 1979. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the theatrical version of the film will return to movie theaters for two days only, on September 15 and 18. This will be the first nationwide cinema release for the film since its original premiere.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the fourth highest-grossing film of 1979 and earned three Academy Award nominations, including Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Music, Original Score. It featured the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and James Doohan.

Cast of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Paramount Pictures)

The 40th-anniversary screenings will be preceded with a behind-the-scenes documentary short titled The Longest Trek: Writing the Motion Picture.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a visual marvel and a film that even many ardent ‘Star Trek’ fans have never had an opportunity to see on a big screen. Fathom Events is honored to celebrate this cinematic classic’s 40th anniversary with this special theatrical presentation,” said Tom Lucas, Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations in a statement.

Tickets to Star Trek: The Motion Picture are available beginning Friday, August 2, at www.FathomEvents.com or participating theater box offices.

Poster for TMP anniversary event


TrekMovie has asked Fathom for more details about the TMP release and we’ll update the article when we have them.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hope we get it here in Canada

ST:TMP was the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater. I still have fond memories of the trek to the theater (going into the city was a bit of an adventure in and of itself), buying the program, waiting in line and actually watching the movie on the big screen. It remains my favorite Trek movie and I’m sure that experience is at least partly responsible.

I’ve owned the movie on practically every home video format from VHS all the way to BluRay and I have a nice, big plasma TV that really makes movies like this look their best. I’d love to see it again on the big screen with a full house of Trek fans. Sadly, from what I’ve read, I don’t think it will be playing in my area.

Will this be the Director’s cut or the original theatrical version?

Going by the 2:25 runtime that was mentioned last week, that would suggest the ABC or SLV version. I remember hearing that it had screened in the 90s someplace, though with the problematic unfinished matte shot removed, the one where you see the studio above the partial Enterprise.

If it is the theatrical, I would so dig it, assuming it was a film print.

Hard to tell though since that 2:25 running time likely includes the short feature before the movie

We’re trying to get more detail. The press release really didn’t say much.

Just read that the dvd extra ‘the longest trek’ on the DE is also part of the presentation, so that suggests it would be the theatrical, right? (fingers crossed.) that doc is like 11 minutes, which is too long if you add it to the 136 minute DE, and just a minute or so short if you think theatrical at 132 minute.

Where is the unfinished matte shot? I’ve never noticed it before.

It’s in the SLV version, with footage that should have never been included. Pretty sure Kmart is referring to the footage of Kirk in the wrong space suit (uncomfortable first version of the suit that was scrapped when the memory wall scene was abandoned) as he heads out to follow Spock. You can see the stage supports and scaffolding, etc. just over the hatch area in the long shot as he comes out.

I hadn’t heard of the “SLV” version but it must the the one I saw at the BFI about three years ago. Apart from the widescreen, is it the same cut as the ABC version?

Yes it’s the same as the ABC version. Paramount re-released TMP on VHS in the USA in 1983 it was effectively the ABC cut branded as the “Special Longer Version” and became the default version sold in the USA from then on.

The Special Longer Version did one thing right, which was to fix Kirk’s and Ilia’s dialogue which had been unnaturally sped up in places. Wish the director’s cut could likewise have fixed this. Transmittheimageofalientostarfleetadviseweareattemptingfurthercommunication.

(The SLV also had a more naturalistic, less stilted cut of McCoy’s “command fitness” dialogue with Kirk, which also should have been incorporated into the DC)

As the article notes, it’s the theatrical version. The DE is not in any way ready for a proper theatrical release. It exists in SD only right now. Hence the news from last week about Paramount being interesting in making a new 4K version of the DE. Work on that new version hasn’t even started yet.

This confuses me, maybe someone can explain. Didn’t the DE have a “premiere” at Paramount Studios theater when it was first released with luminiaries like Wise, Shatner, etc attending? That would’ve been shown on the big screen and I don’t think that would have been in SD. Something about this whole story doesn’t seem right.

It was shown blown up on a big screen, yes. Warts and all. It was 2001, so what studios did before digital cinema (the DCI standard wasn’t created until 2005), was make a 35mm print of each frame from the digital source to project in a theater. But it wouldn’t have been very good looking, it was still from a low quality source.

For more on the nuts and bolts of the DE, Daren Docterman has provided more info over the years including on this podcast in 2014

http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/001/transcript/ [Optical Podcast website is down right now, but here’s the relevant part]

Mark: So when you did this Director’s Edition, were the shots completed at film resolution, cause there doesn’t seem to be a Blu-ray output yet, but maybe they just haven’t gotten to it?

Daren: There is not — well, we tried. We, our proposal included a film rez finaling of the Director’s Edition, and the ability to go back to a film negative. The studio, for their reasons, did not want to hear that and because we were working through the home entertainment division they were only interested in the project being released on DVD, and so they were not interested in funding anything past that. So we were limited to outputting at DigiBeta resolution which is, I think, 720×480. So that’s how it exists. I mean it certainly, we planned everything to go at film rez, all the models were built to hold up to that and, you know, we wanted to, but one of the things you have to work with is your budget and we just did not have the budget to render any of the stuff out at film rez. But, you know, that’s just how it goes.

Thank you Matt.

must have missed that theatrical part, sorry.

I would be interested in seeing this on the big screen again. If only there were screens as big today as there were when the film was released.

Umm ever heard of IMAX? The one in Lincoln Square in NYC is 80 feet high

Funny thing about IMAX. Only a precious few of them are what most people think of when you say IMAX. Many have started to call the IMAX screens Lie-MAX. There are three or four Lie-Max screens in my area but I have to drive 25 or 45 miles to find one that is even close to the first IMAX in the area. The Pictorium at Great America amusement park. In fact, the local Lie-Max screens are ALL smaller than the big screen standard theater that closed here a few years ago.

Apparently IMAX can be anything from your tiny mobile phone to the largest screens. It’s just another brand name that is beginning to mean blog all.

That would seem to be true. Unfortunately they have marketed the term IMAX to the point where people assume “giant” screen. When that is absolutely NOT the case. I went into one in a theater chain a number of years ago. Walked in, looked at the screen, then walked out ans asked an employee, “Is THAT the IMAX theater?” I was stunned when they confirmed it was.

Okay yes definitely true. So real IMAX screens exist, they’re just not very common. But they’re enormous

I saw this on the theater. Was so disappointed.

It was much better in the theater.

Agreed. The movie was a turkey.

I like TMP, though I do not love it. I did see it in the theater as a six-year-old, and I owned the amazing modular Enterprise toy from West Bend that they made. It did light a fire in my imagination that has carried through the last 40 years. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the Trek film that has the deepest place in my heart, for a lot of reasons.

I do like the Director’s Cut a great deal more than the Theatrical version, and I will likely go to the theater to see the Theatrical re-release if only as a way of helping to signal that there is a market for the 4K Bluray edition of the Director’s Cut that they are apparently talking about.

PLEASE come to the UK!

I would love to see that happen too, but the cynic within me thinks that it’s unlikely…

DITTO. It would probably be shown only once and at some odd time that contrast with working hours.

DS9’s documentary “What We Left Behind” was only shown once at about 19:00 in my local cinema. Didn’t get the chance to see it. :-(

Not exactly the best iteration of Star Trek BUT it was the beginning of not only 13 motion pictures but it also paved the way for the return of Trek on the small screen – something that continues in a big way 40 years later. For those reasons alone, IMO it deserves landmark status in Trek lore. Despite TMP’s many faults, perhaps its greatest contribution was Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score – something that later became synonymous with TNG!! The opening theme and the Klingon battle scene might make me spend the $15 to watch a movie I have already seen countless number of times.

I don’t think the franchise as a whole would have endured for so long if we didn’t have the Motion Picture. I think this film is one of the main reasons we got the TNG era and why Star Trek as whole managed to successfully segue into the 90’s, 2000’s and 2010’s.

Let’s hope the Director’s cut is shown, where Robert Wise had the unfinished special effects cleaned up and enhanced. I remember seeing this back in Dec 1979 and was so thrilled to see our original cast on the big screen that my friends and I sat through it twice! But as much as I’d love to see it theatrically again, I’d much prefer to see something improved.

Missing effects were created in CG, not cleaned up. Unfortunately, they were created in Standard Definition and would not look good on the big screen. This is why fans have been begging for a 4K version of the directors cut.

Yes, I was aware that new CG effects were created and not “cleaned up.” It just seemed simpler to phrase it the way I did.

As the article notes, it’s the theatrical version.

I VERY MUCH want to attend….and I WANT that poster. Classic Trek was never presented with this much scope again.

This would be awesome. TMP is now the only Trek movie I have never seen in the theater (I saw TWOK finally in the theater a few years back when they were releasing the special edition on Blu-Ray). TMP is my favorite Trek film so seeing it in the theater will be great.

This will be the original theater version for anyone wondering.

They should just play TWOK. This movie is pretty boring and the uniforms are lame. They should have gone with ST Phase II at the time.

The Wrath of Khan has already gotten a Sunday/Wednesday release in September 2016 as part of the now-defunct Cinemark Classic Movies series, a Sunday/Wednesday (and Thursday encore) release in September 2017 through Fathom Events, and a Sunday/Wednesday release in August 2018 as part of the Flashback Cinema series.

I think it’s time to see The Motion Picture (if not The Voyage Home) in theaters for a change.

I was 9 years old when this flick was released, and I love it just as much as I did when I first saw it as a kid (particularly the directors cut)

The Enterprise looks awesome and I prefer the uniforms in ST:TMP to the ones from Wrath of Khan and all the following films (not a popular opinion, I know!)

The film has its faults, but to this day I can still feel the excitement that I had when I heard that a Star Trek film was actually happening, having grown-up watching the reruns during the 1970’s.

And the icing on the cake? Buying the AMT (Matchbox in the UK) model kit of the refit Enterprise!

I remember that kit, with the slightly crap holographic stickers for the engines! I cannibalised it to scratch-build the Reliant when I got the ST II kit with all the individual panels. Hand-painted each single one and still got it!

I hope they will also show TMP in some German cinemas (in English).

Me too! They brought “what we left behind” last month in Germany, so chances should be high.

There is a reason why this movie is called The Motion Picture and that it was designed, shot and meant to be EXPERIENCED on the big movie screen. Most posters here weren’t alive to experience this and appreciate the finer production elements that the movie has to offer. Watching this at home is not the same as in a large auditorium with 500 or more enthusiastic movie goers back in the day. Yes, parts are boring to watch on your iPad or similar device when you’re home or otherwise distracted. When you’re in a movie theater, your focus is on that big screen.

The DE has been shown in at least ONE theater. They showed it at the AFI in Silver Spring a few years back. It did fill the 40′ screen but with any film or video showing, if the presentation is not there, you don’t feel it. The sound was played low despite the fact it was in a 500 seat THX certified auditorium. Couldn’t hear any of the surrounds, except in front, even though it was a new mix. The ‘new’ sound FX (warp drive jump, certain ambient sounds, engine room, the surround computer voice, Vger plasma energy weapon) does, indeed, detract (to me anyway) from the original, more dramatic choices of the original.

I’m quite sure that the version shown will be some kind of digital copy. I’m thinking the best looking digital copy will be the Blu-Ray version of the ORIGINAL cut. Its the cheapest way to distribute something that will not generate a whole lot of box office, imho. Given the automated way movie plexes run their shows, if the movie’s sound level isn’t right or lighting adjustments made (if necessary) to the picture, it won’t look/sound right, but we won’t know until the day it comes out.

And remember, this film has an overture. What theater that will be showing this even uses curtains, much less opens and/or closes at the appropriate time? No showmanship exists at any multiplex I am aware of. So, I’m expecting the Ilia overture to play on a blank screen while audience members look at scratchy film until the overture ends and we see the Paramount logo and start of the Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek movie fanfare.

I’m just thinking they’ve got time to piece together previous space travel scenes from the end credits of the JJ films..slow them down to match the length of the overture until credit time. If they didn’t have to show the Paramount logo, then do a transitional fade from the JJ end credit scenes to the usual star fields and THEN run the TMP credits (with the DE-type star field), then another fade to the VGer cloud and start of the Klingon ships. This will play like one is making this one journey through the stars to meet up with Vger and the start of the movie. How cool is that? :)

So for those going to see the movie, demand the movie is played loud and at the correct light level so its not dark!

WHOA this is gonna be epic, I’ve never seen TMP on the big screen and I don’t think I’ve seen ORIGINAL TMP since before the DE DVD which I believe I got Christmas ’01 when I was 9. I played it every friggin day when I got home from school. I’m pumpeddd, this will be an experience for sure

On a BIG screen with the sound turned up to 11, propel me into the future with the first two percussive beats of Goldsmith’s main theme! :-)

I’d go see it, if it was the Director’s Edition.


YESSSSSSS! Yahoo! I was SO hoping this would happen! It will be exactly forty years since I saw this film at the old Parkway Theater, back when I was a little kid in Oakland (I also saw “The Jerk” that same day). Yayyyyyy!

I had forgotten that when the Enterprise is being pulled inside V’ger, Spock tells Decker that “resistance, commander, is futile”.
That’s all kinds of awesome.