Can you believe it has been 27 years ago today 8/8/1980 that Xanadu was released onto the big screen. I remember going to see it at the movie theater and i was so excited. There had already been alot of promotion up to it's release. Olivia's single "Magic" was #1 and in heavy rotation on top 40 radio stations. It was a very exciting time. I loved the movie then and i love it now. I never dreamed that it would have such a huge impact on so many people. Below is a timeline from Xanadu's beginings to the present.
September 18, 1979: Filming of Xanadu begins in Los Angeles, California. Filming locations include the Venice boardwalk (the muse mural), Palisades Park in Santa Monica (the scene where Kira first kisses Sonny), Malibu Pier (where Sonny falls into the water), the Pan-Pacific Auditorium (the outside of Xanadu), the Hollywood Bowl (where Kira and Sonny drink champagne), Fiorucci's in Beverly Hills (All Over the World scene), and Hollywood General Studios (the inside of Xanadu). The movie is directed by Robert Greenwald and produced by Joel Silver. It stars Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck, and includes songs written by John Farrar and Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra. The dance numbers are choreographed by Kenny Ortega and co-choreographer Russell Clark, with one of them featuring an appearance by rock band the Tubes (Dancin'). There is also a unique animation sequence by former Disney animator Don Bluth.
April 14, 1980: Hollywood Nights, an Olivia Newton-John television special, airs after the 1980 Oscar telecast. Intended partly as publicity for the upcoming release of Xanadu, it features a musical number with Olivia and Gene Kelly, Makin' Movies.
June, 1980: Magic, I'm Alive, and Xanadu are released as singles. The soundtrack is released in July, and eventually yields even more hits: Suddenly, All Over the World, Don't Walk Away, and Suspended in Time.
July 25, 1980: Olivia appears as guest host on The Midnight Special. Several songs from the movie are performed, including Dancin', where she is seen in triplicate performing with the Tubes. She also performs Suddenly with Cliff Richard, Suspended in Time, and Magic.
August, 1980: The Making of Xanadu, a 30-minute television special about the making of the movie, is shown about a week before the movie is released.
August 8, 1980: Xanadu is released in the U.S. The movie is panned by critics but develops a cult following that grows steadily through the years.
May 26, 1984: Xanadu is broadcast for the first time on network television (CBS).
May 30, 1989: The building used for the outdoor shots of Xanadu, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, burns down.
1989: The Xanadu soundtrack is first released on CD in Australia.
February 2, 1996: The legendary Gene Kelly passes away.
Sept. 8, 1998: The soundtrack is released on CD in the U.S.
July 20, 1999: The DVD is released in the U.S.
July 27, 2000: A smaller version of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium is rebuilt on the same location, completed in April 2002. It is used as a recreational facility.
Summer 2000: Director Annie Dorsen debuts Xanadu Live!, a staged version of the movie, at the 2000 Williamstown Theater Festival.
October 11, 2001: Xanadu Live! begins a one-month run in the 99-seat Gascon Center Theatre in Culver City, California. Produced by actress Amy Pietz and her husband, Kenny Alan Williams, the show is hugely successful and sells out almost every night. It is believed by some that this show sparked a new interest in the movie, leading to many screenings across the U.S.
November 12, 2002: Xanadu dancer and co-choreographer Russell Clark passes away.
Spring 2006: Plans are announced for an off-Broadway production of Xanadu, starting in the summer of 2007.
June 2, 2006: Vince Welnick, keyboardist for the Tubes, passes away.
July 2, 2006: Fred McCarren, who played Richie, passes away.
May 23, 2007: Xanadu previews begin on Broadway.
June 26, 2007: Xanadu opens on Broadway.
Xanadu Movie Trailer