Billy Jack Opening in Cincinnatti, OH

This is it! The ad that started it all!

From the Cincinnati Enquirer on May 1, 1971 on page 11 (thanks to the help of Troy Jump, Magazines & Newspapers Department, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County)

Billy Jack opened on May 1, 1971 in Cincinnatti, Ohio. You’d have to ask the folks at Warner Brothers the hows and whys, because none of us know how Cincinnatti was chosen as the ‘launch’ city. But it was, and this is the ad for Roy White’s Studio Cinema theaters on 7th Street. Roy was the first person to warn Tom, “Don’t worry. You’re film is bulletproof. Even Warners can’t kill it.”

This is the original ad in the Cincinnati Enquirer on May 1, 1971 on page 11, for the premiere of 'Billy Jack'

6 Responses to Billy Jack Opening in Cincinnatti, OH
  1. Mike Gardner

    I am from Cincinnati and was part of a martial arts school asked to do some demos in front of the movie theater in downtown Cincinnati for this premier. Ending up seeing the movie over 50 times!

    Current score: 2
  2. Judi Jones

    I would think it made it to Austin, as I first saw it in a small town in NM, 4 miles over the state line from West Texas in 1971. Been watching it every since. I was 21 then, and I have grandsons that watch it now, my son having grown up on it, and passing it on to his boys. Great movie and from what it did for my son, and the comments I have read, it has had a very positive impact on an untold number of people. There should be a remake, but I do not think they could find anyone to equal the performances of Delores Taylor and Tom Laughlin.

    Current score: 1
  3. I don’t think it made it to Austin the first go round. I may be wrong because I was only 11. Thanks for the post, I’m not sure if I had seen this ad. r

    Current score: 0
    • admin

      Don’t have any specific knowledge of Austin, but I tend to think it did get there. Billy Jack was an enormous success when it was first released in 1971, earning $32,500,000 and becoming the second highest grossing film of the year. It beat out film classics like The French Connection, Summer of ’42, Diamonds are Forever, Dirty Harry, A Clockwork Orange, Carnal Knowledge, The Last Picture Show, The Andromeda Strain, Shaft, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, and Shaft. To put it another way, the only film it did not make more money than was Fiddler on the Roof. All that from a little indie film made for less than $400k.

      To do that kind of box office, the film had to play e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, so odds are it played in Austin. But the advertising for the film was nothing like it was when the film was re-released under Tom’s control in 1972-1973. When it was re-released, Billy Jack made an additional $60,000,000, raising its total box office to $92,500,000, making it by the end of 1973 the highest grossing film in motion picture history.

      Current score: 2
  4. Great movie! Have it on dvd. A gret movie to watch to see what this government is doing to all of us1

    Current score: 0
    • admin

      Richard: Thanks for your support! If you get a chance, take a look at the restored version on Blu-ray we did. It’s stunningly beautiful: no tears, jumps, pops… nothing. And the DTS-HD Master soundtrack, which was restored by MiCasa Multimedia in Los Angeles, is better than when recorded. ‘One Tin Soldier’ is cleaner, fuller, and richer than I had ever heard… except live when Jinx Dawson recorded it.

      Current score: 1
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