July 9, 2010— -- "Grease" is still the word.
Before "High School Musical," the most-successful movie musical about high school was "Grease." Now, 32 years after its original release, the hit musical about a group of 1950s greasers and bobby-soxers, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John returns to theaters in a sing-along version. It's like karaoke on the big screen, with the lyrics at the bottom -- though it's unlikely all those diehard "Grease" fans will need them.
The special release is only in limited cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, this weekend and next. But if fans outside major metro areas lobby hard enough, the film could be shown in their town the weekend after.
One town that refused to be left out was Ocala, Fla., Travolta's adopted hometown. When the film's organizers launched an online competition promising to show the film in the city with the most votes, Ocala residents flooded the site and won.
And, according to contactmusic.com, they will be treated to drinks and snacks by none other than Travolta.
"I want to thank you, my hometown, for showing your support for the Grease Sing Along and bringing it to the Regal Hollywood 16 in Ocala. I am so impressed that show times sold out, I would like to treat each Grease Sing Along ticket holder to a popcorn, soda and candy item when you attend the movie on July 8, 9 or 10," Travolta said in a press release.
When it was originally released in 1978, "Grease" broke all sorts of records, including the highest-grossing movie of that year and the highest-grossing movie musical at the time, surpassing "The Sound of Music."
The movie's soundtrack was just as popular, reaching number one in several different countries. In the UK, two duets "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" by stars Travolta and Newton-John both scored No. 1 hits. The movie's title song was also a No. 1 hit for singer Frankie Valli.
But it's the stars of the film -- Travolta, Newton-John, Stockard Channing -- who reached new heights in their careers following "Grease."
Here's a look at them then and now:
John Travolta/Danny Zuko