This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
The 20th anniversary of Disney’s serial-spirited adventure “The Rocketeer” will be celebrated June 21 with a special screening and an exhibit of props and costumes, as well as a cast and creator reunion panel that will be moderated by filmmaker Kevin Smith. The entire program is being staged by D23, the paid-membership club that offers deeper, prestige access and archival-minded events to Disney fans.
There’s no word yet on the lineup of that panel, but it and the screening will take place at El Capitan Theatre – the same site where the underrated film premiered on June 21, 1991, and marked the movie palace’s grand reopening after a two-year remodeling and restoration that took it back to its gilded, Art Deco origins. “The Rocketeer,” a commercial disappointment at the time of original release, has a bit of extra resonance right now — Far East Movement has a big hit with a song that borrows the title and wild-blue-yonder imagery, and the film’s director, Joe Johnston, is back in retro adventure mode with “Captain America: The First Avenger,” opening in July as one of the big films of the summer. The anniversary event also will be tinged with sadness due to a key absence – Dave Stevens, the creator of “The Rocketeer,” died in 2008 at age 52.
“The Rocketeer” starred Bill Campbell as stunt pilot Cliff Secord, who comes into possession of a jet-rocket backpack that sends him flying into adventure (and comedy). Terry O’Quinn, later known for “Lost,” plays Howard Hughes, and later Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly captures the playful pinup-girl spirit of the Stevens comic books. The memorable supporting cast also includes a dastardly Timothy Dalton, Alan Arkin and Paul Sorvino.
After the screening, guests will be invited around the corner to the Hollywood Museum in the old Max Factor Building, where a special exhibit of “The Rocketeer” props and costumes from the Disney Archive will be on display and limited-edition collectibles will be available for purchase. The price for the panel, screening and exhibit is $50 per ticket. Fans with a D23 membership can purchase tickets beginning May 2, remaining tickets will be available to the general public beginning May 23.
For the record, 11:57 a.m. April 27: An earlier version of this post said you had to be a D23 member to buy tickets. Membership is required to take part in the pre-sale of tickets.
– Geoff Boucher