1984: The Year Drew Barrymore Came to Bangor for a Movie Premiere
Drew Barrymore was only 9-years-old when she arrived in Bangor for the premiere of her latest movie.
Why Was The Movie Premiere in Bangor?
You don't think of Bangor, Maine as a destination for a movie premiere. They're usually held in Hollywood, with lots of paparazzi, stretch limos, and designer gowns, not a much smaller movie theater on Main Street in Bangor. Unless, of course, your name is Stephen King, you live in Bangor, and the film 'Firestarter' is based on your novel.
If you've never seen it, 'Firestarter' is about a little girl who seems to be living a normal life. But she has one very dangerous quirk - she can set things on fire just by looking at them. And when she gets angry, watch out. It was King's 9th movie and starred Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, David Keith, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, and others.
At the tender age of 9, this was Drew's third film, having previously acted in 'Altered States,' with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt, and 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,' with...well...ET. On May 9th, 1984, Drew Barrymore made her way to the Pine Tree State to attend the national premiere at what is now the Bangor Opera House but called the Bangor Cinema back then. She wore a pretty dress with puffy sleeves and ribbons in her blonde hair.
I Was at the Premiere but Didn't Get to Mingle with the Famous.
I worked for the theater system in the Bangor area and was at the premiere but I didn't get to mingle with the celebrities. My friend was running the projectors in what used to be the balcony until they closed it to the public. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I wasn't exactly 'dressed' for the event. He and I sat on the risers, outside the projection booth, and watched the movie. Stephen King and Drew Barrymore sat in the main theater below.
There was a reception, complete with cake but, again, I did not attend. A friend's relative did, however, and said that Drew seemed to grow tired of the festivities toward the end of the evening. And who among us, at 9 years old, wouldn't be ready to go home by 10, instead of hanging out with a bunch of stuffy adults? I would have been driving my mother crazy, tugging on her sleeve, asking when we were leaving.
Did You Know There's a Remake of the Movie?
In case you haven't heard, there's a new remake of 'Firestarter,' starring Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
Somehow I doubt that the premiere will be held in Bangor. But who knows? It happened before, in 1984.