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'Godzilla' hits town - quietly

May 20, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

LEITERSBURG - A big green monster came to Hagerstown a day ahead of schedule, and almost nobody cared.

Only 61 people showed up Tuesday night for the first of two sneak previews of the movie "Godzilla" at the Hagerstown Cinema 10 theater on Leitersburg Pike.

The movie, which wasn't officially released nationwide until today, was shown at Cinema 10 in two theaters with room for 976 people at 8:10 p.m. and 8:40 p.m.

Only 20 tickets had sold for the second showing by 8:20 p.m.

"I wasn't expecting anything phenomenal because the kids are still in school and adults have to work. But I'm expecting a blowout on Friday night," said on-duty manager Brian Rickard.

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On Friday, the theater is showing the hyped-up thriller starring Matthew Broderick at midnight and advance tickets are going fast for that show, he said.

Some Godzilla viewers showed up at least half an hour before the first movie Tuesday thinking they'd have to wait in line.

Smithsburg resident David Barnard, 21, got to the theater just before 7 p.m. where he enjoyed first dibs on popcorn and the quiet cool of the empty theater.

"I came to see if it's as good as it looks," Barnard said.

Produced and directed by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, of "Independence Day" movie fame, the new "Godzilla" is a remake of the original 1954 Japanese production in which the monster materialized as a side effect of French nuclear testing blasts in the South Pacific.

The foreign film was redone in America in the 1956 version, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," starring Raymond Burr as a reporter and narrator.

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