‘Top Gun’ Is Returning To Theaters For Movie’s 35th Anniversary

Ride into the Danger Zone.

(Photo: Paramount Pictures screengrab)

May 13 is apparently “Top Gun Day,” so what better way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the high-flying movie’s premiere than watch it in its proper setting? No, not a grainy old copy ripped from a DVD your dad forgot to return to Blockbuster back in the day, but the movie as audiences first saw it in 1986, in an actual theater. 

This year it will be easy if there’s a theater near you, as the Tom Cruise vehicle is rocketing back into movie houses just in time to prime a new generation for the upcoming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.

Friday, May 16, 1986, was the original “Top Gun Day” — the actual date it premiered. It was a pretty eventful day. The world was only beginning to grasp the magnitude of the Chernobyl disaster (which occurred three weeks before), Megan Fox was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Tom Cruise took off into that “Danger Zone” Kenny Loggins sang about on the movie’s classic soundtrack. 

The radiation released at Chernobyl dissipated, Megan Fox went on to grace the cover of Maxim and the adrenaline-fueled Tom Cruise vehicle about the Navy’s most brilliant fighter pilots became a mega-hit and pop culture touchstone. 

Military.com makes a great case for seeing the Paramount re-release in theaters rather than just staying home and watching it on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, or Blu-ray. It’s all about the Dolby: 

Dolby Cinema combines Dolby Vision HDR imaging technology with Dolby Atmos surround sound. You can get the gear to enjoy a version of this experience at home if you’ve got big bucks for a home theater setup, but even the best home theaters don’t compare to the experience in a specially equipped cinema.

“Top Gun” didn’t look this good in 1986, and it probably won’t play this way again anytime soon.

The much-delayed sequel, Top Gun: Maverick premieres in theaters on November 19, 2021. The original Top Gun, starring Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards, is in AMC theaters today.

Find a theater that’s showing Top Gun near you here. Don’t delay. It’s only out again for one week. If you’ve never seen it before, it’ll take your breath away.