It’s hard to believe that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is 24 years old. Even harder to believe that when the movie first came out, the day after my birthday, I had just turned 14, would be graduating grammar school, and starting high-school that fall. But all of that is true. It’s no secret around here that I’m a huge Indiana Jones fan, most likely readers skip my blogs when they see me mention Dr. Jones, but I can’t help it, there were and are so many great collectibles about him that you can keep writing and writing about them all.
This story actually begins on May 24th, the day Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released, which was a Wednesday back in 1989 and was released in time for Memorial Weekend. My mother, for whatever reason she decided, perhaps because my birthday was the day before, perhaps because she knew how much I loved Indiana Jones, or perhaps because she wanted to do something nice, or all of the above, let me go on opening night, which was pretty huge back then considering it was still a school night. I saw the movie the first time with my buddy Rich and another kid from our 8th grade class named Peter. I can still remember walking into that theatre and being the first ones in the room, and being so excited to see it. That summer, I would wind up seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 6 times in the theatre, the most I would ever see any film in the theatre. Leading up to that first showing, I was reading my Lucasfilm Ltd. magazines that had every issue leading up to May dealing about Indy, like crazy.
At one of my viewings, it was the 5th, my brother was there seeing it with my cousin, and my other cousin was there with his parents and saw me and I told him this was my 5th time seeing the movie, I bought this t-shirt below for $15.00 that they were selling in the theatre. Looking back, that seems kind of pricey for 1989, but looking even further back, it’s tough to imagine being 14 and this shirt fitting me. But I was and it did, and I wore it all the time I was such a fan of his.
(I cropped the picture so you could get a better look at the shirt, but there it is. Part of me wants to have it framed, and part of me likes having it in a draw so every now and then I can take it out and remember. Not really sure which I’ll end up doing, but either way, it was a cool shirt to buy back then and is still a cool shirt now.)
I even wore it to Walt Disney World’s new theme park that had just opened Disney-MGM Studios (now named Disney Hollywood Studios) the first time I went there, though I couldn’t wear it to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular because it opened on August 25th, 1989 and my family was vacationing at the beach in Florida the last week of July and the first week of August. But, the next time we returned to Florida in the Summer of 1991, the shirt still fit and I wore it that day to see the stunt show (which recreated the exciting stunts from Raiders of the Lost Ark including a cool scene where spears came out of the ground, the giant boulder chasing after Indy as he gets the idol, the fight in the Streets of Cairo, and the famous fight around the plane that was to fly the Ark of the Covenant to Berlin).
That year I was 16 and had been working part time on the weekend with my dad in a garage, and half days during the summer, so I saved up a lot of money for the trip. We drove down to Florida, and on the day we went to Disney-MGM Studios (it was still called that back then) I spent over $200 on Indy merchandise. I walked out of there my wallet much lighter, but my arms heavier from the items I had just bought.
When my wife and I go back to Disney each year, we skip the stunt show for a few years, then see it. As many times as I’ve seen it, I still like to watch it, after all, it’s based off my all-time favorite Indy movie as it is, so what isn’t there to like?
Below is a button I got at a convention one year for $1.00. Sometimes, at a convention, you just feel like Indiana Jones when you make a cool find of something you collect.
Until next time,