The Transformers are coming back to the big screen. And I don’t mean the forthcoming sequel to the big budget Michael Bay blockbuster from 2007.
Honolulu has been reveling in movie nostalgia lately. Consolidated Theatres saw great success with its 25th anniversary screening of 1984’s “Top Gun,” kicking off a “Hana Hou Picture Show” series that continues Monday with “Back to the Future.”
But on Saturday, June 25, the solitary dream of one local dad will be realized at the Ward Stadium 16 theaters. Local graphic designer and good friend Valentino Valdez, has organized what he’s dubbed the “Transformers 101 Film Festival.”
This special gathering of Valentino’s friends and fellow fans will bring the triumphant return of “The Transformers: The Movie,” the 1986 big screen debut of the Autobots and Decepticons.
“It’s a chance for Transformers nuts like me to see the classic film, and the pilot TV episodes, on the big screen, as well as a primer for those curious about the Transformers’ television origin,” he explains.
As for why?
“It’s pretty simple: I love Transformers. I watched the cartoon religiously, had most of the ‘Generation 1′ toys, and still play… um, collect them to this day,” he explains. “Let’s just say I’m the successful product of Hasbro’s decade-long ‘toy infomercial’ experiments.”
In fact, the original animated Transformers movie was in the running for Monday’s “Hana Hou Picture Show,” but when “Back to the Future” won the public vote, Valentino decided he needed to step in to make his Transformers vision a reality.
As consolidated offers theater rentals for special events, from birthday parties to church services to private screenings like this one, Valentino set up the “Transformers 101 Film Festival” with the help of Consolidated’s event coordinator Lindsey Chun-Hori (@Chi_Ho), who is a movie geek herself and a contributor to “The Red Band Project” blog.
“I’m also gonna have a little fun and show some original Transformers toy commercials from the U.S. and Japan, and, if we have time, some of my favorite Transformers parodies,” he says. “I’ll also be giving away some of my original Transformers artwork, and a few toys I don’t have room for, as prizes.”
Of course, this is totally not a public exhibition of a copyrighted work (which would be bad!), but rather, a private screening for Valentino and his personal friends. Fortunately, you are probably already his friend! Just let him know you’d like to attend on Twitter or on Facebook.
The “Transformers 101 Film Festival” is free and runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 25 at Ward Stadium 16. RSVPs are required, and while no outside food or drink is allowed, the concession stand will be open.
Like Valentino, I grew up watching the Transformers on Saturday mornings, and had amassed quite a collection of Transformers toys (which today, no doubt, would never pass any child safety inspections). So while I’ll likely skip “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon” when it hits theaters next week, the ten year old in me wouldn’t miss this special event for the world.