With cold months come nostalgic movies. You’re probably getting ready for the annual rewatch of festive classic like 1984’s Gremlins and 1985’s Back To The Future.
But when you’ve seen it before, have you ever thought that something about it looked familiar? We’re talking specifically about the cinema where those cheeky Gremlins went and watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
We see the outside of it when Billy and Kate are running away, having set up an explosion to kill all the Gremlins.
Well, this is what might be causing déjà vu for you: it’s the same cinema that we see in the Back to the Future series, meaning that it’s a cinema in both Kingston Falls and Hill Valley. At least it’s still in one piece in Hill Valley, mind.
That’s not the only connection between the two movies, though, as Back to the Future’s iconic Clock Tower can be spotted in the opening credits of Gremlins – just focus on the left-hand side of the photo below and you’ll see the building’s recognizable pillars:
Of course, the same buildings don’t appear in both movies because two towns just happened to have a similar cinema and courthouse. They are actually the exact same buildings as both movies were filmed at Universal Studios, specifically the Courthouse Square set.
This mock American town square set was perfect to double as Kingston Falls in Gremlins and Hill Valley in Back to the Future – and they’re not the only movies to use it, either. It’s popped up in everything from To Kill a Mockingbird and Psycho II to The Nutty Professor, Batman & Robin and Bruce Almighty.
You might even recall spotting it in TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as Buffy’s old high school, not Sunnydale, unfortunately) and Ghost Whisperer.
Courthouse Square has even proven to be as resilient as Stripe as it has been damaged by fire three times – 1957, 1990 and 2008 – but has been restored each time, so you can still visit Kingston Falls or Hill Valley if you want.
Did you also notice the credit in that photo above? Yes! Frances Lee McCain whom played Lynn Peltzer (Billy’s mother) in Gremlins, was the same actress whom played Marty Mcfly’s Grandmother (1955), mother of Lorraine Baines.
Another fun correlation between the 2 movies are the time machines. Back To The Future, of course, is obvious with the Delorean Time Machine. But did you see the Time Machine in Gremlins as well:
In the first scene you can see an HG Wells version replica Time Machine in the background. After cutting away, the film returns to the the father at the convention, except the time machine is now gone, and its place are a couple of people wondering what had happened for it mysteriously disappears. GREAT SCOTT!!
Recently, Billy and our little Gizmo came together for a Mountain Dew commercial.