When Prince Premiered A Movie In Sheridan, Wyoming
The year was 1986 and I was a DJ at KTAG Cody, Wyoming. Big hair was in, pop music was enjoying great success and MTV was king. In the midst of all this, Prince was HUGE! Coming off the successes of Purple Rain the album and the movie, Prince could do no wrong. So when it came time to release his next movie, Under the Cherry Moon, Warner Bothers and MTV pulled out all the stops to promote the event. MTV promoted the contest that would award the world premier of the movie to the hometown of the 10,000th caller. Who could have known that Lisa Barber, a hotel worker and living in a trailer house in Sheridan, Wyoming would end up being that lucky caller. In the days leading up to the June 21st premier, local and national news was all over Wyoming and of course Sheridan where the movie was to be seen for the first time ever in the Centennial Theater in Sheridan. We interviewed the winner, law enforcemen,t the Mayor and anybody else that wanted to talk about this big an event coming to Wyoming. Being that close, when it was time for the party, the crew from KTAG made their way up and over the Big Horns to be a part of the fun. The night included Prince along with co-stars Jerome Benton and newcomer Kristin Scott-Thomas, Rosanna Arquette, Joni Mitchell and singer Ray Parker Jr. as well as MTV VJ Martha Quinn who brought a live broadcast to well over 2 million people, by way of MTV, to Sheridan. Lisa was allowed to invite 200 of her friends and another 300 tickets were released for the event with some of them selling for over $500 a piece. Several hundred people were treated to the movie and the crowd loved it, I think more because Prince was there than any other reason because the film ended up being a flop, panned by critics and rated underwhelming by film-goers. The movie was followed by a live set of music featuring Prince at an after party at the Holiday Inn and one whale of a party all through Sheridan that night. It also produced a ton of memories from the night Hollywood came to Sheridan. Here is some archived video of the night in Sheridan.