Hunger. It’s something we’re all familiar with; something we’ve all felt. If you go too long throughout the day without eating it makes you start to feel bad, even sick. It’s nice to be able to just run somewhere to get a quick bite, or to grab a snack out of the fridge or pantry and make that go away. Unfortunately, some people–many people–in this country can’t do that. Their hunger can go on and on because they’re unable to get food form themselves or worse, for their families. The reasons are varied and irrelevant. No one should have to go without food. In 1971, a Cincinnati man named Frank Gerson thought that same thing and began keeping food and household items he saw being discarded at his work to give to disadvantaged families. This act of kindness grew into one of the largest foodbanks in the state of Ohio. This is Frame USA‘s Charity of the Month:
The Freestore is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that collects food and household goods that most of us take for granted, and distribute them throughout 20 counties across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. They purchase, solicit and collect food donations and provide 20 million meals a year. They work with 250 different community partner agencies to make this happen. They are a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and rescue programs and their mission is simple:
“We provide food and services, create stability, and further self-reliance for people in crisis.”
One of their core values is a commitment to the idea that “we will not accept hunger.” And they don’t. They have a “Customer Connection Center” in downtown Cincinnati where people in need can go to receive help. And not just with food–they provide clothing assistance, help with money management, bus tokens, housing and rent assistance and a homeless outreach program. In addition to this they seek out families in crisis who aren’t close enough to come to the Connection Center but still need their help. In addition to this they have other food related programs to help stamp out hunger:
Please go to their website freestorefoodbank.org to learn more about how you can help, not just in Cincinnati, but in your own hometown. Also, if you’d like to donate you can click on the “donate” button on your checkout screen to send a donation to the Freestore (we also donate $0.75 of every frame order to our Charity of the Month).
With Thanksgiving coming up, eating will be on most of our minds. Let’s try to get everyone fed, not just for this month, but every month.
To mat or not to mat? That is a valid question when putting art and photos into picture frames. When should you use a mat? What color mat should you use? Do I need acid free matting? There are no wrong answers (well, when it comes to mat measurements there can be wrong answers) to these questions but there are some typical things that people tend to do that might be helpful if you’re wondering what you should do about matting your piece before framing it. So let’s do a quick, easy-breezy run down of some common mat ideas.
WHEN SHOULD YOU MAT?
Not every picture you put in a frame needs a mat. If you just want to pop in one of the kids’ 5×7 or 8×10 school photos into a picture frame of the same size, and you’re just going to change it out the following year–those probably don’t need matted. Matted photos are usually ones that you plan on keeping framed indefinitely and that you want to give a little extra oomph to. The purpose of a mat is to give the picture some extra space in the frame so that you can use a larger picture frame to add dramatic weight to whatever the artwork is that you’re framing. A family portrait that you’re hanging in the living room, or a special art print that you’ve purchased and want to put in a nice, righ frame. These are the typical kinds of pictures you want to mat. Of course, you can mat anything you like but if you’re wondering, “Does this need matted?” this is a good rule of thumb.
Also, when you have a piece that is an unusual size but you’d like to try and get it into a standard sized frame–that is a time you’d want to get a mat. The mat will go to the inside edges of the frame and the opening then can be centered and made the size of the piece. The only caveat with this is that the vertical sides of the mat may be different than the horizontal so that one dimension has more space than the other, but this is a solution to that problem.
WHAT SIZE MAT AND OPENING SHOULD I GET?
Again, with sizing, there is no one right thing to do. If you’re basing the size of your frame on the size of your mat you start with the mat width. That is how much matting you want around your photo or art. A good safe, round number is 2″. A lot of people use this number. It’s not too much matting or too little. If your photo is small-ish (5×7) and you don’t want the frame to be much bigger, you can drop this down to 1″. And of course if you’re going for a certain look where you want a lot of space, or just a thin edge, you can do those too. The thinnest you can go, however, is 3/4″ because you must account for the lip of the frame taking up a little on each side. And speaking of accounting for the lip, you will also want to take into consideration making your mat opening slightly smaller than your piece (unless your piece has already built in a border around it to accomodate matting–in which case you can make your exact image size the opening size). For this example we’ll assume your piece has no border. You need to make the opening at least 1/4″ smaller than your actual paper or whatever physical medium your image is on. This is so the piece has something to fall against when put up to the opening and can be taped to the inside of the mat. We recommend 1/2″ total (which works out to be 1/4″ per side because there are two sides). Once you have your opening and how wide you want your mat, you can come up with your outer dimensions. Again, because the lip of any frame will take up a little of the mat, it’s nearly impossible to get the exact amount of space (unless you have the frame in hand and can measure the lip exactly), So for example, if your piece is an 11×14 photo and you want 2″ of matting you would:
Take 11×14 and remove 1/2″ from each side to get 10.5×13.5. This is your opening size. Then add 4″ to each side (this is taking both sides into account) to get 14.5×17.5. This is your outside dimensions and the opening size of your frame. Or, if you want a standard sized frame, a 16×20 would give you about 3.25″ of matting all the way around.
SHOULD I GET ACID FREE?
Most paper products contain some acidic chemicals. The amounts are minute, but over time they can discolor or damage a piece that they’ve been attached to for a long period of time. If the piece you’re matting and putting in a picture frame is not particularly special to you or is not valuable or will never be removed from it’s frame then you can probably safely use any standard or premium mat. It takes a long time for any damage to occur, if it ever does. However, if the piece is a one of a kind, a limited edition or something with sentimental value, you may want to consider acid free. Acid free mats are a little more expensive and don’t come in as many colors but they will not mar or damage your piece, even after years and years. If you are going to choose an acid free mat you’ll also want to be sure and affix your piece with acid free tape.
There are a lot of other questions that can go into matting; multiple openings, double and triple mats, color choices and textured mats. When you have specific questions about matting, you can always call the customer service department at Frame USA (800-577-5920) or live chat them through the website and they will help you choose and size the right mat for your piece. You can also use our Build-A-Frame service to do a step by step process that shows you what the mat and frame will look like (and you can even upload an image and compare it against your wall color to see how it will look) to make things even easier. Or if you know exactly what you want, feel free to go straight to Mat Designers and put in an order.
Matting may seem complicated once you get into it, but don’t overthink it and always ask questions. Your framed art piece will be better for it.
Giving gifts is hard. Whether it might be for a friend or loved one that you want to give something personal to. Or maybe it’s for a school or work event and you want to give the recipient something will keep and remember. It can be tricky choosing something. A really perfect choice, for nearly any situation is custom engraved picture frames from Frame USA.
A picture frame is a gift that you can tailor to whomever you’re giving it to on many levels. First off, you have the photo or art that you’ll put into it. Maybe it’s a brother or sister and you’ve found a picture from when you were kids. It was thought lost but you turned it up. Now you can get a nice photo frame to put it in and give it to your loved one. Already this is a nice, thoughtful present, but you can take it a step further by making it a true custom picture frame. You can have it laser engraved. We are able to engrave text and logos by burning away a line of the finish or top layer of the wood on a wood picture frame to show the wood beneath. It’s a very tight, classy look. You could engrave your picture frame to say, “Me and my big bro” on the top frame rail and “Myrtle Beach, 1993″ on the bottom of the frame. Or both lines on the same frame rail. Or a line on every frame rail. There are a lot of options for how to make your custom frame and many standard fonts to choose from. This idea works well for wedding anniversaries, baby showers, anything where a date is involved that you can engrave on your frame or to commemorate an event. For friends and family, an ideal wood picture frame to engrave is our Engrave-It frame. As the name suggests, it is made specifically to be laser engraved. It has a wide profile and a rich honey finish. Text and logos show up great when the wood shows through.
Engraved frames are particularly well suited to awards ceremonies for schools and corporate events. Again, for work anniversaries or retirment, a beautiful wood picture frame like our American Hardwoods or Coffee Bean series. These are both wide, flat frames with a slightly beveled edge and rich, dark colors that really contrast well when the finish is burned away to reveal the wood of the frame. These are great for graduation photos with the grad’s high school or college name engraved and maybe their years of attendance. Or maybe your PTA wants to present something to a particularly inspirational teacher, this is a gift where they’re name and room number–or a message of thanks, can be engraved. For corporate giveaways at tradeshows, simple logos can also be engraved as well. it is a sharp look and has the feel of a substantial promotional product but is also very affordable.
There’s no right or wrong way to create your engraved picture frames. There are so many options for text and graphics. You can get creative with it and give someone something really memorable. Engraved picture frames are made to impress.
“Space–the final frontier…these are the voyages of the Starship–Enterprise…” This is the most iconic lines from all of television history. It is part of the introduction that preceded each episode of a little science-fiction program that debuted this week in 1966. That program, about a group of intrepid explorers hurtling through the furthest reaches of our galaxy on a scientific mission of discovery, would go on to spawn a media giant; a pop culture phenomenon that included songs, halloween costumes, parodies, fiction, fan fiction, a cartoon spinoff, FOUR spinoff series (that all debuted twenty years after the original was cancelled) and 12 movies (with more yet to come). I don’t think it needs said but just in case–I am, of course, talking about Star Trek.
A million blogs’ worth of content could be written about Star Trek and has been, so I’ll stick to the basics of the original series. In the 23rd century, Earth has managed to find peace and prosperity here at home and has made contact with several different extra-terrestrial life forms. Humankind has conquered interstellar travel and we now have a space fleet to protect us and are part of an intergalactic Federation of Planets. A science vessel, The Enterprise, is sent out to the very limits of space, “the final frontier”, to see what it can find and what civilizations it can make contact with and learn about. To, “boldly go where no man has gone before.” It framed a hopeful message: that, instead of a ruined oppressive dystopia, our society would flourish and racism and war would be put aside and we’d come together as a species to further our intellect and better the universe around us. It was made up of, what was in the 60’s, an ethnically diverse cast and promoted tolerance. It was colorful and the stories were compelling.
It was also just good sci-fi fun. Colorful costuming, exotic sets, great monsters, cool spaceships, a little bit of sex appeal (Uhuru’s mini-skirts and those green alien women Kirk was so fond of) made it something fresh amongst the courtroom dramas and westerns that dominated the airwaves. Also, William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk and (the late) Leonard Nimoy’s commander Spock had one of televisions all time most enjoyable bro-mances, Kirk being a brash, emotional man of action (and of the ladies) with Spock counterpointing as the Vulcan science officer whose species valued logic and subdued all emotion. They were like the Odd Couple in space and it was hilarious, touching and adorable.
The original series only lasted 3 seasons (a total 79 episodes) having its time-slot moved around by NBC, but the cultural impact secured an ongoing legacy for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic vision of our future. It reached new heights of popularity in syndicated reruns, reaching a second audience of youngsters who hadn’t been around for its first run and in 1978 (probably boosted by the success of “Star Wars” the year before) “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” debuted as the first in a series of films that is still going strong. We won’t get into the good vs. bad films debate or the transition from Original cast to Next Gen cast to the J. J. Abrams reboot–we’ll just say that there’ve been a lot of popular, quality films in the series.
Star Trek has also generated a HUGE fandom and memorabilia is much sought after. If you’re a collector you want to take good care of those really valuable pieces. How should you store and display your mint condition Mr. Spock action figure (complete with phaser and tri-corder)? At Frame USA we have a number of shadow box frames that would be perfect for your collectibles. Our
Shadow Box Elite has just under an inch of useable depth and would fit an action figure perfectly with plenty of space to mount the accessories separately (unless you want to have Spock holding them, in which case there’s room for that too). Or maybe you need a large shadow box for the carefully laid out diorama you’ve created of a space battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon Bird of Prey. Our Shadow Box Showcase comes in sizes up to 24×36 or even 30×40 and has 2 1/8″ worth of useable depth.
It’s a beautiful wood shadow box that is available in 4 finishes (black, white, honey and cherry) to give your Starship battle maximum gravity (haha, see what I did there? Gravity…space…ok).
Even if your Star Trek stuff only consists of autographed photos you’ve taken with the cast–your treasured picture of yourself with Nimoy doing the Vulcan “live long and prosper” gesture–you want to keep those in nice picture frames that you can put on your wall. In keeping
with the modern feel of the series, our Black Narrow series is a sleek wood picture frame with a stylish bevel that would show off your framed photos in style.
If you don’t have any Star Trek goodies but are looking to start collecting, you could start with posters and poster frames. That’s an easy and affordable place to start. Posterservice has some fun Star Trek posters to choose
from. And once you have your posters picked out, you can bounce right back over to Frame USA to choose some posterframes to mount your new 24×36 posters in. Our Simply Poly poster frames in black or our Budget Saver poster frames would be ideal choices for framing your poster art.
So as you seek out new life, and new civilizations this week, set your phasers to stun, turn off your communicators and kick back to enjoy some hopeful, high-adventure space travels. And whatever you do, don’t get tangled up in a swordfight with Commander Sulu–he is good at that.
Sometimes you want to reinvigorate the interior design of a room that’s maybe gone stale. Maybe you still like the color scheme and the furniture but it feels like it needs a little…something. Something to give it some new life. One trend that’s hot right now in decor is Gallery Walls or frame clusters. This is a method of grouping picture frames of varying sizes and profiles, though similar in style, on a wall or in an area to give that spot a theme. The idea for your frame cluster can be broad or specific. You can use framed posters, art or photos to create a sort of mini-environment that feels like a special part of the room. Using frames this way helps to give the room a bit of purpose and personality.
Maybe you don’t have a spare room to set up as a home office, so you’ve pushed a small desk into a corner of your bedroom or dining room from which to do some work. It just feels a little out of place and intrusive just stuck in there like that because it’s so solitary. Use the two walls that form the corner you have it in and put together your Office Gallery Wall. At Frame USA we have a number of different wood picture frames that would be perfect for creating this effect. Three frames that would be ideal for this would be our
Diploma Wide in Mahogany, our Classic series in black and our Executive in Library Mahogany.
Making sure to choose different sizes and orientations (some portrait, some landscape) choose images that are calm and neutral. Maybe black and white photos of landscape and architecture. Illustrations and line art in muted colors are also good for creating an office feel, and of course, any business certificates you may have that you like to display. Then, working at about two thirds up the wall from the surface of your desk, begin arranging your cluster of picture frames. With sizes ranging from 5×7 to 11×17 (probably not much bigger than 16×20) you can put your biggest in the center and put your smaller frames along the outside. You can do the opposite approach and put your biggest frames on the outside and get smaller as you near the center. There are an infinite number of ways to arrange your picture frames. If your office is in the corner, use both walls that create the corner. This gives your spot the feel of a separate space, not just a haphazardly placed desk shoved into a room for necessity.
Using wall gallery picture frame clusters can create interest in different settings. In the kids’ room there might be a lot of posters and colorful, whimsical art. Our
Colori picture frames come in many fun, vibrant colors and putting a wall gallery above a child’s bed would give them a place all to themselves where they can daydream happily.
In the dining room, maybe you have a bare wall that could use a little something. A cluster of frames showing family photos in a rustic picture frame like our Appalachian Barnwood frames might be just
the thing to give it the warmth you’ve been looking for.
Picture frame clusters are a fun and easy way to turn any old room into a unique gallery that says something personal about how you like to e
I think it’s a fair question to ask what an employee of a great frame and poster company would choose to hang on the walls of their own home, I mean we are the experts, right? (Fun fact: We are!) Of course, what attracted me to this company in the first place was my love for art, so of course I also enjoy decorating my own apartment. I would like to share what I’ve chosen to frame on my own walls, whether it came from Frame USA and Posterservice, (which have obviously been great enablers in terms of what I choose hang up), photos of my own, or even my own artwork.
It’s tough to choose the favorite thing I have up, but ultimately I would have to pick my wedding photos, (Okay, so maybe it’s not that tough) which I had framed at our retail store earlier this year. They came out amazing and I get compliments on these all the time.
Above our fireplace (slash beer shrine) I have a copy of a Cincinnati skyline print that we gave away to customers and employees here at Frame USA to celebrate our retail store grand re-opening back in 2013. Besides being a stunning shot of my home city, this image is also pretty special to me personally, as I was the one
who communicated with the artist Keith Allen to get him on board from the project. Below the mantle you’ll also notice the license plate from my last car, which sadly was totaled last year (RIP Car), luckily I came out of that fine, but decided to keep a little memento, because why not?
Speaking of beer… here is the arrangement we have behind our couch in the living room. (Noticing a theme?). My husband and I really love the craft beer theme, and even homebrew our own beer.
I also don’t mind framing some of my own artwork, including one of my pieces from my senior thesis project
at UC – DAAP. This piece, “Fibers” is illustrated on stained wood!
Another drawing of mine is hanging in our computer room, and sports a wicked awesome wood picture frame courtesy of the Frame USA custom framing team.
This isn’t technically on a wall, but on the door to our bedroom. I cut this Legend of Zelda logo out of contact paper and placed it on the door. I really enjoy creating unique wall art like this.
The next one I guess you could call a combination of my own artwork, and a Frame USA/Posterservice project. I designed this ‘Shots!’ poster for the Posterservice line in 2014, since then it has taken off and can even be found in Spencer Gifts stores throughout the nation! So naturally I had to have a copy of my own.
While that is not everything I have on my walls, those are for sure some of my favorites! (And some of them would not be there had I not started my career at this company.) I think the
best rule to follow when choosing what to put on your walls is, have FUN!
Whether you work in an office, a restaurant a garage or a factory, you’re going to have things hanging on the walls. Inspirational “Successories” posters, a copy of your drink menu, safety guidelines and certificates, or even just prints to spruce up your decor. This isn’t a dorm room where you can just tack them to the wall, this is your business. You need nice picture frames to hang your art and photos in. You don’t necessarily want plastic poster frames but maybe you’re also not looking for wood picture frames either–you want something more sleek and modern. A perfect solution for your framing needs would be metal picture frames.
Metal picture frames are a great way to show off your business’s wall hangings. There are many benefits to choosing metal frames. For one thing, they’re versatile when it comes to styling. They have slim profiles giving them a sleek, modern look that would be at home in any office setting. Most come in a shiny or “flat” finish so you can decide how much attention you want drawn to the image being framed. You can choose a flat finish frame if you have neutral images that you want to blend into the overall decor, or you can go with shiny if you want to make sure people’s eyes are being caught and focused on your piece. Another benefit to metal picture frames is that they’re lightweight. They’re easy to move around and wall mount. In addition to their lightness, metal frames are also sturdy. Another consideration that is specific to food-service type businesses is that metal picture frames are easily cleaned. If you’ve got pictures hanging up at your tables, food particles can easily find their way up there. With metal frames it’s a snap to just wipe them down and keep them fresh and sparkling. The same goes for a garage where dust and grease are omnipresent. A good scrub with a damp cloth will have metal frames looking like new.
At Frame USA we have several different styles of metal picture frame, each one having its own profile and color options. Our most basic and popular metal frames are our Metal I and Metal II series. These frames have the same profile– a 3/8″ width with a rounded face–but differ in color choices and finish. Metal I has the shiny finish with the more basic colors–white, blue, red gold and silver.
Metal II has the more flat, “brushed” finish with more elegant colors like bronze, old world and blue pewter, contrast silver, among others.
Let’s say you like the look of the Metal I and Metal II but you want something a little thicker and heavier. Our Heavy Metal picture frames give you the same rounded face but with a 5/8″ width and a heavier build. It comes in four colors, shiny black, flat black, gold and silver and is ideal for more labor oriented shops that need to display safety regulations and certifications.
Maybe you aren’t a huge fan of the rounded face, though. You want something flat and you want some different colors choices for your frames. We’ve got you covered
there too. Our Glory Metal picture frames have a 5/8″ profile with a flat face, and in addition to the normal black, silver, gold and bronze also features a purple, evergreen and a steel grey. These picture frames would do well holding menus and specials or even posters in a theater lobby.
All of these frames come complete with glazing, backing and hanging hardware, all pre-assembled. “That’s all fine and good,” you say, “but I’ve already got a guy that cuts plexiglass for me and I use special backing. Do you have something I can just put together myself?” As a matter of fact we do! Our U-Frame-It kits come in two different styles; a 7/8″ depth and a 1″ depth, both feature the same colors. These include two frame sections in a certain size (so if you want to build an 11×17 you would buy one kit of 11″ and one kit of 17″) that start at 8″ and go all the way up to 51″. You can mix and
match to build any combination of sizes for your framed art.
So when you’re thinking about dressing up your business and you’re wondering what kind of frames you want to use, consider metal picture frames. They’re a solid solution that rocks!
Summer time in the good ole’ USA means baseball is in full swing. And we here at Frame USA are fortunate to work in one
of the greatest baseball cities in America: Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. If you’re a baseball fan, you know that the Cincinnati Reds had one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports, The Big Red Machine. In the 1970’s baseball greats such as Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez (among others) came together to win five National League pennants, and two World Series titles! Wow, what an accomplishment! But I’m sure you’re asking, what does any of this have to do with picture frames?
Well, we have an equally great team in place here at Frame USA. Just call us The Big Frame Machine. Only instead of winning pennants and World Series titles, we’re working hard every day to create raving fans. Any customer who logs onto the FrameUSA.com site to purchase any of our American-made products can be sure that a lot of time and care will go into each order; you’re going to have a team full of Peter Rose’s and Joe Morgan’s in our warehouse cutting and assembling your frames, making sure each one is a winner for you. And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or can’t decide between one of our awesome wood or metal frames? Don’t worry, just give us a call and your own personal Johnny Bench or Tony Perez (including yours truly) will be ready and willing to get you from first to home safely. We’re always happy to interact with our fans; you’re the reason we get out of bed each morning!
At Frame USA we understand how important the photos and memories you’re looking to preserve are to you. So whether you’re purchasing a poster frame for your kid’s college dorm, buying a wooden frame for your recent family photo, or ordering a set of metal frames to decorate your new office, you can be sure that whatever you order will be a home run. Now go hop on the website and knock one out of the park. Happy shopping!
Summer vacation is almost over. For some of you there may be a scant few days left before the kids head back to school. You feel like you’ve done it all; amusement parks, road trips, the zoo, the aquarium. You’ve played games together, seen movies together, the whole gamut of activities has been run. You’re all a little tired but you don’t want to just sit around and do nothing, but you don’t have a lot of time (and you don’t want to spend a lot of money). What can you do?
A fun and
relatively easy activity is decorating unfinished picture frames to commemorate all the special things you and your kids did over the break. If you’re lucky enough to be home with your children over the summer, you know that it’s fleeting and you want to have something that you, and they, can hold on to. At Frame USA we have a frame that is specifically made to be crafted and decorated. It’s called the Decorate-It frame and it comes in 3 widths (1.5″, 2″ and 3″–for when you need a lot of room–).
The decorate-it is made from real, unfinished wood so that it can be painted on, glued on, have wood-burning pens used on it–anything you can think of. In addition to coming in three different widths, the decorate it picture frame also comes in a ton of standard
sizes, including 8×10, 11×17 all the way up to 24×36. But hey, maybe you bought some nifty piece of art at the Summerfest art fair that you all went to and it’s not a
standard size. That’s okay because the decorate it also comes in custom sizes as well.
You can sit down with the kids, take your decorate it frames, and maybe pick out pictures together of the fun stuff you did over the summer. Maybe when you were running around the museum, or at the bacon festival. You can paint the frame with your favorite colors and even glue decorations onto it. Did you happen to keep the movie tickets from when you took the kids to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron”? You can glue those to the frame that has the selfie you guys took together in the lobby that day. And even if you didn’t take a lot of photos (because you were too “in the moment” to worry–a good thing to be) you can sit down with the kids and talk about their favorite memories from the summer and have them draw pictures of those days. Paint the frame to match the weather that was happening (lots of blues if it was rainy,
oranges and reds if it was hot and sunny). This way you can sit and enjoy reliving those memories with your children as they talk about how much fun they had at the splash park and the time you saw a skunk on the nature trail. And afterwards, you’ll have a beautiful reminder of each and every one of those little moments.
So get out your paints and feathers and glitter and beads, gather the kids around the table, on one of these last long afternoons before school starts. And don’t forget to order some unfinished, decorate-it wood picture frames from Frame USA, to help you get every last ounce of quality time you can.
We all appreciate the impact “Star Wars” has had on pop culture. It can’t be overstated. Whle “Jaws” may have been the first major
“summer blockbuster” in 1975, “Star Wars” came along and nearly doubled it’s lifetime box office (and I’m just talking about the very first Star Wars movie, now referred to as “Episode 4″ in the franchise canon). It’s soaked into our identity and vernacular. Everybody knows what a lightsaber is–even kids who’ve never even seen one of the movies. If you go up to someone and say, “Long ago….” there’s a good chance they’ll come back with, “…in a galaxy far, far away.” It both influences other media and infiltrates it. There were a ton of no-name knockoff space operas in the years that followed, trying to cash in on the Star Wars fever. Of course, without the talent and passion behind them they were easily forgotten. And Star Wars is routinely mentioned in music (Weird Al has at least two or three songs about Star Wars), been the central theme of TV shows (remember when Leonard and Sheldon broke into Skywalker Ranch on “The Big Bang Theory”?)…it’s one of the most ubiquitous films of all tme. Maybe THE most.
The original theatrical run of Episode 4 was just not enough for people. VCR’s and movie rentals were still a few years ahead of the mainstream and people wanted to see this movie over, and over again. So on August 13th, 1982, two years after the seconf film (The Empire Strikes Back!) was released, Star Wars burst into theaters again, blasters blazing. It included the trailer for the third (and supposedly final) film, “Return of the Jedi.” During this run it grossed over $15 million. A five year old movie that everybody had already seen. People just couldn’t get enough of Luke Skywalker, stanring off into the burning Tatooine sunset. They needed to relive Han Solo asking, “Who’s scruffy looking?” And everyone needed more R2-D2 and C-3P0 in their lives (we still do).
That would be amazing enough except that Star Wars got ANOTHER WIDE THEATRICAL RELEASE! Almost twenty years after the original run George Lucas gave us the (fan-loathing and overly retconned)
Special Editions. These were digitally remastered, had a ton of extra scenes added, other scenes and musical cues tweaked, it made a ton of money, I don’t care for them at all. So let’s move on to the release of the VHS Special Edition Boxed Set. This happened, AGAIN on August 13th, the summer of 1997. This was where George Lucas and the fans he’d given so much to broke up. The Special Editions were released with no plans to offer the original theatrical versions (the ones that he didn’t mess around with). Star Wars fans were (and still are) furious. They mostly did not like the additions and changes and didn’t understand why they couldn’t get cleaned up restorations of the originals (evenutally they were included, bare bones
and with no re-mastering as secondary discs with the special Edition DVD release). Star Wars fans are passionate, to say the least, and were crestfallen. There’s even an entire documentary about the rift between Lucas and his fans (The People VS. George Lucas).
With Disney having taken over the franchise and the first film under the new regime due out this Christmas, hopes are high that the movies will get back to their glory days. It’s doubtful though, that they’ll ever be able to recapture the magic of that first run, of that first film (or that second run for that matter). So while you’re thinking nostalgic thoughts about enjoying Star Wars with your dad as a kid, playing with your action figures and making the little guns go “pew pew!” why don’t you head on over to Posterservice.com and check out our selection of Star Wars posters. Maybe pick one (or all of them) up, frame them with posterframes from Frame USA and relive those Alderaan days and Tatooine nights (and get ready for the onslaught of new movies).