Exactly 30 years ago, Moonraker blasted off with
its world premiere in Leicester Square, London...
26th June 2009
Friday 26th June 1979 saw the launch of
the biggest James Bond adventure of them all - Moonraker.
With post production
and the final cut of the film completed the night before,
it was a critical time for 007 as the movie had clocked
up a $34m budget (the highest of the series so far) and
an expensive worldwide marketing and merchandise campaign.
The Odeon theatre in Leicester Square,
London, was emblazoned with a huge Moonraker poster and
a model Moonraker space shuttle
was driven around the square on top of a transit van accompanied
by two extras in space suits.
Above: Inside the theatre, Corinne
Clery, Roger Moore and Richard Kiel posed for photographers.
Cast and crew in attendance included Roger
Moore, Richard Kiel,
Michael Lonsdale, Corinne
Clery, Blanche Ravalec, Bernard
Toshiro Suga, Albert R.
Broccoli, Lewis Gilbert and Ken Adam.
Former Bond girl Britt
Ekland also attended the premiere along
with celebrities of the day Joan Collins, Dodi Fayed, Dino De
Laurentis, Michael Winner, Sidney Tafler, Richard Johnson, Ingrid
Sweard, Nai Bonet and Sascha Auerbach.
Above: Roger Moore with
wife Luisa, Richard Kiel with Corinne Clery, Albert
R. Broccoli with Dana, Bernard Lee and wife in the
Odeon reception area.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, gave the
royal seal of approval to the events and met with cast and crew
ahead of the
screening. The film's summer release in 1979 was originally planned
to coincide with a premiere in Houston, USA, and the first launch
of NASA's new space shuttle. The space programme was delayed
it would take a further two years before the shuttle was launched)
so Bond went back to his regular home for opening night.
Above: Toshiro Suga, Richard Kiel with Blanche Ravalec,
Michael Lonsdale with Richard Kiel and
The arrivals scene at the Odeon for the premiere
was televised live and an after party was held at the London
Club with the
famous bunny girls dress in space outfits. The cinema clocked
up £86,084 in its first week of ticket sales, breaking
a new record. Total box-office for the UK would eventually run
to $19.4m. Moonraker's global haul would remain a series high
until GoldenEye sixteen years later.
Above: Roger Moore, Albert R. Broccoli, Michael Lonsdale
and Richard Kiel meet Prince Philip.