I can’t exactly recall when I first knew Ghostbusters II was headed to theaters. Or from what type of advertising. I would think a combination of print (thanks to The Real Ghostbusters) and television. Ghostbusters as a franchise had made its parent soft drink company a lot of green stuff that isn’t Ecto-Cooler. Ghostbusters II promotions were in full swing before its release.
Unless you lived in northeast NJ. I can’t really prove Ghostbusters II wasn’t in theaters where I grew up in the Summer of 1989. The newspaper advertising that counted down to Ghostbusters II premiere (using part of the courtroom scene) was in another season, Fall. That’s right Ghostbusters II was in theaters, perhaps for a second run beginning November 3, 1989.
I was 12 years old and like any fan from the beginning I couldn’t wait to see it. My uncle who was more like an older brother and my aunt had a son. We all lived in the same town. I suspect because of me I got my then little cousin into everything Ghostbusters. As he is 7 years younger then me, he had the benefit of Ghostbusters, The Real Ghostbusters (with its toys, etc) and a new movie. My aunt and uncle took us to see Ghostbusters II (probably at the same theater I saw Ghostbusters) 5 years earlier on Friday, November 3, 1989.
After parking we were walking to the Franklin when we ran into friends of my uncle and aunt. They had just come from a previous showing. I can still remember their young daughter telling me Egon turns into a monster. Of course she hadn’t remembered correctly. I didn’t need a spoiler that apparently everyone else in the US had known 6 months earlier.
During our screening of Ghostbusters II I took everything in I could, enjoying a new live action Ghostbusters movie. While more a cross between Ghostbusters and The Real Ghostbusters, their were still some adult language and humor. I can still remember my uncle covering my very young cousin’s eyes when Dana is preparing to give Oscar a bath.
Experiencing Ghostbusters II with them was a great experience with happy memories I can keep close with me.
Disclaimer: This next part takes a turn. I understand if you choose not to read the next couple of paragraphs.
I don’t know how I’d experience or remember Ghostbusters II similar to Ghostbusters because of family tragedy the very next morning. While I have talked about it on the sites over the years, the weight of my family’s loss changed my life. It would take at least a year, then on and off in the 90s to enjoy Ghostbusters II in a way like Ghostbusters. It has nothing to do with comparisons to the stories. This was a major reason for what I called “dark times” in my Ghostbusters Movie Media. (Ecto-Containment Blog Post, January 17, 2014)
In less then a month I was helping my young cousin with his new Kenner Ghostbusters toys, including an ECTO-1A. I might have been happy that The Real Ghostbusters had one episode, Partners In Slime that referenced Ghostbusters II.
It wouldn’t be until after high school where I’d allow myself to enjoy Ghostbusters II like I did at 12. Although by 1995 I was looking forward to Ghostbusters III.
In part because of the Ghostbusters on-line fan base (which I probably came across in 1997) I can still experience Ghostbusters II. In ways that weren’t available to young fans even in June 1989.
Or November. 😀