Lights flash, time dates are programmable and there is illusion that the Hollers’ DeLorean is ready to take off through time.
The variety show is performed by FRP regulars and staff and showcases current apprentices. These shows typically include timely political humor — ideal in this presidential election year. It is a “retrospective walk down FRP memory lane, with scenes and songs from milestone performances over the years,” FRP Marketing-Communications Dir. Dane Whitlock said.
The show starts at 8:45 p.m., in the main theater. All show ticket proceeds benefit non-profit FRP.
The Supporting Players Guild of Flat Rock Playhouse puts on the event, entitled Dark Night Revue: Let’s Rock Back to the Future! The timing is fitting, within a year of Oct. 21, 2015 when Marty McFly and friends visit a harrowing future of their small town Hill Valley, Calif. in Back to the Future Part II.
The DeLorean is due to be on the grounds by the 6:30 p.m. start of cocktails ahead of a ticketed picnic dinner 7-8:30 p.m. The car is available for photos inside it at $20 each. Those proceeds go not to FRP, but rather the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, according to the car’s owners, Oliver and Terry Holler of Myrtle Beach, S.C. The avid Back to the Future film fans call their medical charitable project “To the Future.”
Fox, 55, diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 29, starred as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film trilogy that started in 1985 and immortalized the souped-up DeLorean and its supposed “flux capacitor” enabling time travel.
Oliver and Terry Holler sit in their DeLorean replica time-travel car, that they will bring to FRP Aug. 15.
The 1982 DeLorean at FRP is street-legal. It matches the original in the films. Oliver said it took nearly four months toiling day and night to replicate the famed car. He utilized scrap metal, surplus electronics and various gadgets and detailing. It has the “Outatime” California license plate like on the original car.
The modeling of the car is itself a blast from the past, to the era of VHS tapes and before common website search and data sharing would have uncovered blueprints or at least clues. Instead, Oliver watched a tape of the first Back to the Future film. He kept pausing it, to study the vehicle’s details. The project was his “Field of Dreams.”
Its pretend flux capacitor fusion reactor has gone through many generators. When a donation is placed inside the reactor, it plays a line from film such as Emmett “Doc” Brown’s startled catch-phrase “Great Scott!!”
It has working time circuits inside, an old-styled alarm clock on the dashboard, and even a replica of the gravity-defying hoverboard Marty used. Such DeLorean replicas typically simulate sounds of the car’s activation.
The digital time readout for the point in time the traveler visits was upgraded in this replica, from fixed plastic numbers lit from behind to a programmable LED readout. This enables children who visit the car to set the time to their birth date. The color codes are red for destination date and time, green for current time (thus realizing what era one lands in), and yellow for time of prior departure.
There are many DeLorean replicas, with stock drivetrains. This one has more authenticity and official status than most. The car acts as an ambassador for the movie series’ official website BacktotheFuture.com, and has appeared in promotional films. One of the actual DeLoreans used in the films is displayed at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Hollers have toured all 50 states and five countries, to span over 650,000 miles in the last decade. This is a homecoming of sorts, as the Hollers met on the FRP stage in 1992. They have theater backgrounds and owned a theater in Myrtle Beach for a decade, until closing it in 2012 to dedicate to the DeLorean tour.
In the film plots, inventor Doc devises a time-travel vehicle that runs on plutonium in a hubcap reactor or — in a pinch — a lightning strike if driven to precisely 88 mph. A lightning strike was much easier to film than the earlier concept of Marty having to drive the car into an atomic bomb test site. Doc modifies the DeLorean in phases and to eventually hover above ground using air vents, and later creates a “hover train” after the car smashes into a train.
Parts from three ’81 DeLoreans were used in that first film. Liquid nitrogen on the car gave it misty frost from supposedly zipping through time and space. The occupants see a flash of light, while observers see plasma implode as the car disappears. Producer Bob Gale said in DVD back notes the car realistically looked as if built by hand with parts from a hardware and electronics store, and not too smooth.
Before settling on a car to time-travel in, director Robert Zemeckis once said in an interview, he conceived a laser device then a refrigerator but did not want children to climb into fridges and get trapped in them.
The DeLorean was chosen for its sleek space-age design and gimmicky gull wing doors, so it was plausible people in 1955 would mistake it for an alien spacecraft, according to The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) trivia. After the film’s release, body kits were made for DeLoreans to make them look like the time machine, IMDb noted.
John Z. DeLorean (1925-2005) designed the car that bears his name. His DeLorean Motor Company’s only model was the DMC-12. DMC produced it in 1981-83, but went into bankruptcy in ’82 as the Detroit auto industry sunk and Chrysler nearly went under. Flashy 6-foot-4 Detroit native DeLorean ran Pontiac and Chevrolet for General Motors, left to start his own company in 1974, and patented foam panels a year later. The DMIC-12 prototype debuted as a safety car, in ’77. He got Lotus to design it into a sports car, and made it in terrorist-ridden Belfast, N. Ireland. Costs spiraled beyond sales revenues.
DeLorean was swept up in more trouble than the Back to the Future characters, as a recent Car and Driver magazine story recounts. He beat charges of fraud regarding nearly $18 million in missing investors’ money, and cocaine trafficking theoretically to try to financially salvage his company. An FBI-DEA sting hidden camera caught him boasting the white powder is “better than gold.”
The first Back to the Future film opened between his two high-profile trials, on July 3, 1985. Thus, there was much snickering in the Detroit area at least when the time-travel car was a DeLorean. In going back to 1955, the film goes to a year before DeLorean started working for G.M.
Dinner on Aug. 15 will be catered by Brandy’s on Main, Dandelion, Dragonfly Cafe, Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, Season’s Restaurant and Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. Tickets are $100 for reserved show seating and open-dinner seating, $125 for VIP show seating and reserved dinner seating, or $50 for those under age 40. Call the FRP box office at 693-0731 to reserve tickets. For more about the DeLorean time machine and its owners, check www.ToTheFuture.org.