September 3, 2007 will be a dark day for Back to the Future fans. Universal Studios will be closing the movie themed ride permanently on this date.
A send-off ceremony was also held this past weekend at the park. Screenwriter Bob Gale, who was nominated for an Emmy award for his work on Back to the Future, and special effects supervisor Kevin Pike were on hand for the event, joined by the star of both the ride and film, Christopher Lloyd.
The ride, which opened in 1993, is an Omnimax film surrounding a motion-simulator. Tourist are taken on an adventure in which they must recover a stolen DeLorean, hijacked by Biff Tannon (the movieâ€™s nemesis). Doc Brown, (played in the ride and in movies by Christopher Lloyd) guides the tour by video.
To celebrate this historic event , Universal Studios is sponsoring an online video contest. Fans are asked to enter a 90-second film tribute to the movies and the ride. The winner will receive a 1981 DeLorean car similar to the one used in the movies.
The fourteen year old ride, which is estimated to have hosted 61 million flights, will be replaced by a Simpsons-themed ride, scheduled to open Summer 2008.