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Celebs recall early film favorites at CinemaCon

Associated Press Published: April 27, 2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) — This week, Sin City looked a bit more like Tinseltown, as some 5000 folks from virtually all walks of the film universe gathered for the theater operators' convention known as CinemaCon.

Among attendees were dozens of major and emerging movie stars who like to meet and greet exhibitors in hopes of getting their new releases into more cineplexes.

Actor-musician Tyrese Gibson of "Transformer" fame was there for another reason — to mentor eight student filmmakers with dreams of getting their own films shown on the big screen.

Oddly enough, Gibson's first cinema memory came not in a cinema but at home, on videotape. "I don't remember going to the theater," he said at the theater operators' closing-night gala. But he noted his first favorites on VHS were "Back to the Future" (1985) and "Ghost Busters" (1984). "These were, some way, somehow, the only two VHS tapes that we had in our house. So, I must have seen 'Back to the Future' over 150 times. We knew all the words to both the movies."

Actor Taylor Kitsch, who appears in May's "Battleship," also cited "Future" as "the first movie that I saw in a cinema that really knocked me out," he said. "You were taken away. It was done so well, especially at the time. And that's what movies do. That's what it's about. Escape."

Actress Jennifer Garner, pushing August's Disney family dramedy "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," recalled going to the theater to see the Lily Tomlin comedy, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981). "It was such a big deal that we went," recalled Garner. "It was my older sister's birthday, and I got to tag along. . I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen in my life."

"The Lion King" (1994) was the first film fave for Diego Boneta of the June musical "Rock of Ages." ''Until this day, I always cry when (the father) Mufasa dies, and my favorite animal is a lion and I wish I could be (the cub who would be king) Simba."

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