‘Grease’ Will Briefly Return To Theaters In April To Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary

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Grease, the iconic original high school musical will celebrate its 40th anniversary by playing in theaters for a couple of days in April.

Movieweb reports that on Sunday, April 8, and Wednesday, April 11, Grease will be presented as part of the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series. TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will join in the fun by offering a special commentary before and after the film, which will play at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (local time) each day. Tom Lucas, Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations, talked about the experience of watching Grease in the theater.

“Whether you’ve seen it dozens of times and know the words to every song, or you’re in for the rare treat of seeing it for the first time, watching Grease on the big screen with an audience is an unforgettable experience that we’re delighted to offer movie lovers.”

The musical, starring John Travolta as greaser Danny Zuko, and Olivia Newton-John as his sweet and innocent girlfriend Sandy Olson was a smash hit. Released in 1978, it became a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It was the highest grossing film of the year and it is still the second-highest grossing movie musical of all time. Its unforgettable soundtrack, which included such hits as “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “You Are The One That I Want,” and “Sandy,” was the second best–selling album of 1978, behind Saturday Night Fever, which also starred John Travolta.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Featured image credit: Jon Kopaloff Getty Images

Grease’s storyline, characters, fashions, and dance numbers have become so etched into our popular culture that is hard to imagine it being different than what it is today, but according to Vanity Fair, The musical could have turned out quite differently.

The movie musical Grease was based on the Broadway show under the same name. Created by an advertising copywriter, Jim Jacobs, and a high-school art teacher, Warren Casey, the play paid homage to the youth of the ’50s and the era’s greasy hair, greasy engines, and greasy food. The gritty, profanity-laced raunchiness in the play was toned-down for the movie in order to attract a wider audience.

Paramount offered Henry Winkler, Fonzie on ABC’s popular sitcom Happy Days, the role of Danny but Winkler didn’t want to be typecast, so he rejected the role.

Marie Osmond was the frontrunner to play Sandy, but she objected to Sandy’s transformation at the end of the movie and dropped out of the project in protest. Another actress considered for the role of Sandy was Carrie Fisher, but the role ultimately went to Australian singer Olivia Newton-John.

Other ideas for Grease that never came to pass was having Danny Zuko as a busboy and gas-station attendant, and the Beach Boys performing the garage number “Greased Lightning.”

Luckily for everyone involved, none of those prospects materialized, and the final product is a fan’s dream come true.

Tickets for Grease can be purchased online at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. The movie will be shown in more than 700 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Grease will also be available in a new 40th Anniversary Edition on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital April 24, 2018, from Paramount Home Media Distribution.