Article By Janet Bostic
A movie screen never looks larger than when Elvis Aaron Presley fills it. Thankfully, by the grace of God, I am old enough to recall a few rare occasions I witnessed it. It made an obvious impression fueling a lifelong passion. Aside from a time or two as a small child at the movies, my last big screen remembrance of our man was shortly after his death and a local theater in a seedy part of town showed “That’s the Way It Is” as a memorial tribute. I made my way there alone, as a heartbroken teenage girl sitting in a darkened theater, tears streaming down her face, viewing the beautiful persona of a man I knew I’d never see again, forever grateful I had had the opportunity to be truly up close and personal with him, once upon a time.
This is entirely different. “Singer Presents Elvis”, the ’68 Comeback Special will be on a big screen filling my senses as an anticipated thing of intense beauty. This is not a sad memorial makeshift tribute for a star gone but rather a monumental celebration of a life lived, a larger than life moment in time never to be recaptured or recreated.
December 3rd, 1968 I hurried through my dinner and my third-grade multiplication tables homework and had my happy little hiney parked promptly and squarely on the dense green shag-carpeted den floor just inches from the family television set. It may not have been a big screen but I was as close as I could humanly get to a man I loved with my entire being, at the tender age of nine. This love has only grown and expanded exponentially in that fifty years.
From the initial growls and sneers of black leathered “If you’re looking for trouble” to the “thank you, good night” white-suited “If I Can Dream” ending, I scarcely breathed, afraid to blink or look away, my eyes and ears intent and fixed on the one who held my heart. I was way too young and innocent to understand sex appeal or charisma, but I knew what love was.
I hope to live to be one hundred. If I do, I have no doubt I will be able to recall in detail exactly where I was and what I was doing 32,877 days prior. At the time I had no idea I was witnessing history being made that Tuesday evening. I had no clue this was something so monumental it would be discussed and dissected and celebrated even five months later much less fifty years later. The very thought of that was as unfathomable as the fact that 8 years and 8 months hence there would be a collective breaking of hearts and shared worldwide sorrow. I only knew Elvis Presley was singing to me and me alone that night.
This is a universally shared Presley experience. He doesn’t sing for you – he sings to you – direct from his lips to our hearts, from his soul to our being, forever giving an experience rather a concert, an event rather than a show. He’d been away from live audiences making less than academy award winning movies. No matter, it’s part of the story and I’m grateful we have them. This christened “comeback” special was mis-marked to those of us who knew he had nothing to comeback from. He had never left. We had never wavered. The address may have changed, the venues swapped, but the intensity of the shared love held steadfast, loyal and true, having never left the building.
The enormity of this Comeback production to hit the movie theaters now at this fifty year anniversary speaks volumes of all our Elvis stands for. For him to continue to fill the screen just as surely as he still fills our souls is a standing testament to that which we faithful fans know and feel. I for one plan to have my fifty nine-year-old happy hiney parked front and center, eyes and ears intent and fixed upon the one who still holds my heart. This event is one we can surely appreciate even more than we did back in 1968, having a greater understanding and appreciation for all things Presley, knowing he is timeless, enjoying him in all his big screen, swoon-worthy glory, appreciative he did indeed “come back” to the very spot he retains for all time – forever on top, forever number one, forever the King.
The screenings will take place on Presley’s death, August 16th, and again on August 20th 2018.
More information on Elvis Presley’s 68′ Special In Theaters Soon!
About the Author: Janet Bostic has been a fan of Elvis since the age of 5 (maybe before that!) and has studied his life as long as she can remember. She saw Elvis four times including once in 1976 when she received a scarf and enjoyed a kiss and some conversation with him. Janet has taken 4 trips to Graceland, with her earliest being in 1976 when Elvis lived there. She is visiting Graceland again in the Spring of 2019. Her favorite Elvis song is “Love Coming Down.” She is the mother of triplets and (just like Elvis) her only daughter’s name…is Lisa. Elvis has always been a huge part of her life.