What Happened at This Grand Junction Location 36 Years Ago Today?
Were you standing outside this building on June 4, 1982? If you were living in Grand Junction back then, you probably were. I certainly was.
Today, June 4, 2018, you would visit 417 Monument Road for a hamburger and a beer. If you're in the mood for pizza, you might visit the Pizza Hut in the southeast corner of the building.
Not that long ago, you would go to this building to lift weights. This used to be the home of Ultimate Fitness. Many people considered that gym to be Grand Junction's "hard core" health club.
What about June 4, 1982? What's significant about that date?
Long before 417 Monument Road became a plaza, or even before it was a gym, it was home to Monument Twin Cinemas. This was the happening theater in Grand Junction. All the big movies came to this venue.
On June 4, 1982, a smash hit film by the name of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" opened at this theater. That film, of course, was a major motion picture shown at theaters all over the country on that date.
Word on the street was Star Trek II was absolutely amazing. Critics loved it. Audiences, many of which were disenchanted with the slow pace of the movies predecessor, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, were excited about the idea of a higher energy movie.
I personally remember standing in a long line making its way behind the theater to the west. As I recall, everyone's socks were thick with foxtails courtesy of the surrounding grass and weeds. In addition, Grand Junction can get fairly warm in June. I don't recall how many showings I waited in line for before getting in to see the film. It's safe to say at least two or three. In other words, we were out there in line for at least four to six hours. It was worth it.
How things change. Little did we know in 1982 this location would one day morph into a shopping plaza. Then again, no one anticipated it would one day be a gym, either.
Happy anniversary, Star Trek II. You were a big hit in Grand Junction. I can clearly remember all the sniffles emanating from the audience when Spock died. Aside from the tears and "oh my gods," you could pretty much here a pin drop.