It was standing room only at Peeve’s Public House on Saturday as the Downtown Fresno pub hosted a free all-ages showing of “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” for thirsty patrons, hungry families and those who are fans of “The Force.”
“This is the busiest I’ve seen it,” said Vil Chanthavisouk, a Peeve’s employee. “It’s just because it’s ‘Star Wars.’ Everyone loves ‘Star Wars.’ ”
Kat Bulger said it was the family-friendly atmosphere that brought her to Peeve’s.
“Where else are my kids going to be able to see Empire on – well, sort of a big screen,” Bulger said as she marshaled her 11-year-old twins, 3-year-old son and husband Shawn into their seats. “Plus, we love the low-key atmosphere and being able to support a local business.”
Although no one donned full Imperial Stormtrooper armor or Jedi garb for the event, the crowd of around 100 people was not short on enthusiasm.
Attendees cheered in unison whenever an Imperial bad guy was killed, nervously urged Han Solo not to walk into the trap in Cloud City and even let out a disgusted “Ew!” when Princess Leia unknowingly kissed her brother, Luke Skywalker.
One group at the bar played a game in which each would drink beer every time someone said “force” or Han Solo said “kid,” which ended up being quite a lot.
Fresno State senior Tabitha Dubois and her friends used the movie night to relax after a day spent hiking.
“We came here to unwind with some beer and watch Star Wars,” said Dubois.
The night’s festivities were capped off with a live music show headlined by Amoret, a Fresno electric pop band also celebrating the release of its “HRZN” EP. Employees and volunteers hastily folded plastic chairs to turn the makeshift movie theater back into a music venue.
In total, guests enjoyed about four hours of free, all-ages entertainment.
Employees project a movie onto the pub’s north wall every Saturday at 7 p.m. during the winter and at 8 p.m. in the summer time. This Saturday’s movie will be another George Lucas hit, “American Graffiti.”
The full list of films can be found in the events section of the Peeve’s Public House Facebook page.