Prince’s dual-medium-conquering work of art Purple Rain hit theaters just over 30 years ago, on July 27, 1984. The soundtrack had been released June 25, and the album landed at no. 1 on the Billboard charts on August 4 of the same year.
Aside from being one of the most unimpeachably excellent collections of songs ever put together – and a wellspring of great trivia unto itself: The title song was basically recorded live at Minneapolis’s First Avenue on guitarist Wendy Melvoin’s first night with the band – Purple Rain has become one of the most iconic films of the ’80s.
So what better way to commemorate its release than with photos from the film’s July 26, 1984, Hollywood premiere?
Fun fact: The first draft of the film’s script (by William Blinn, the creator of Starsky & Hutch) was called Dreams. Prince wanted the word “purple” involved, and so it was changed. Lesson: You don’t write a Prince vehicle without the word “purple” in it.
Prince had originally intended for “Manic Monday” (a 1986 hit for The Bangles) to be sung by Apollonia’s group, Apollonia 6.
Look at that roguish gleam in young Spielberg’s eye.
And look, it’s Diff’rent Strokes actor Todd Bridges, here clearly under the fashion thrall of Michael Jackson and Rick James.
“Weird Al” and Pee-wee Herman
30 years later, “Weird Al” would finally find his own first Billboard Number One. Must have been that Paul Reubens magic – better late than never!
Two years later, Mark Mothersbaugh was composing for Pee-wee’s Playhouse – were the seeds of that collaboration sown at this very premiere?
Harold Ramis, a little over a month after the release of Ghostbusters – in other words, on top of the world.
Not sure why Lionel looks so surprised in this pic. Maybe somebody brought that clay bust from the “Hello” music video to the premiere?
No ’80s movie premiere would be complete without a feathered, blond prime-time soap star. In this case, Morgan Fairchild. (Did you know she once dated Secretary of State John Kerry? Neither did we.)