Clutch your pearls, Michael Jackson fans. The video to end all videos is making its way to theaters for a special anniversary event. On Sept. 6, 2018, IMAX in conjunction with the Michael Jackson Estate announced they will be releasing “Thriller” exclusively to IMAX theaters in glorious 3D! IMAX and the estate came up with this special screening to commemorate 35 years of “Thriller’s” impact on the music industry.
“Thriller” is arguably the greatest video ever made. It’s a spectacle of direction, costuming, makeup and choreography. The legendary video was the most costly of its time — coming in at around $500,000. With lauded director John Landis at the helm, special effects makeup legend Rick Baker creating some of the most iconic images, the genius of Michael Peters working with MJ to create one of the most recognizable pieces of dance ever captured on film and the eerie presence of horror film’s most celebrated figure, Vincent Price, providing chilling vocals (that damn LAUGH!), it’s no wonder the video (excuse me, Mr. Jackson, short film) is still the topic of conversation when people discuss the greatest of all time.
MTV was just in its baby stages, and up until 1982, music videos were little more than stage performances caught on tape and a few student film-esque concoctions that were entertaining in their newness but by no means sophisticated. In walks Michael Jackson, his latest album still climbing its way up the charts. After the commercial success of 1979’s “Off The Wall,” he was determined to outdo himself. Using video as his vehicle he ushered in the MTV generation with “Billie Jean.” This pivotal video, not only changed the perception of black music and performers (Jackson being one of the few to get any rotation on the then fledgling station). It also reinvented what it meant to put music on screen. One could say (and many have) MTV would not be MTV without Michael Jackson.
Hot off the heels of his legendary “Motown 25” performance, he began work on the short film for “Thriller.” When it hit the airwaves in December of 1983 … it was like an explosion went off, and its blast shook the entire world. Thirty-five years after its release, the 14-minute short is still spoken about in stage whispers, with absolute reverence.
This is an exciting time for Michael Jackson fans. However, set your alarms, Moonwalkers. The special IMAX showing only lasts for one week. Let me repeat: ONE. WEEK. Special screenings begin on Friday, September 21 in US IMAX theaters as the opening short to Amblin‘s “The House with a Clock in its Walls.”
Get your red jackets and werewolf masks ready. It’s going to be one hell of an evening!
Check local listings for IMAX theaters near you.