Nerd Culture

Prepping for Back to the Future Day With the AZ DeLorean Club

Where is my hoverboard already?

It’s a question Mesa resident Mark Burchard and other Back to the Future enthusiasts have been asking for nearly 30 years since the fictional floating skateboard first appeared in the classic movie sequel. 

“Living in the future we predicted is really, really cool.”

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“I’ve wanted a hoverboard since 1989,” says Burchard, a Back to the Future fanatic who owns a real 1981 DeLorean. “That’s the one specific technology I’m sad we don’t have yet.”

It’s 2015, and the fictional future has now caught up with the actual present. And it seems we are all super disappointed.

October 21, 2015 is the iconic date that Marty McFly landed Doc Brown's DeLorean in 1989’s Back to the  Future II. And this coming Wednesday, the date on the calendar will finally match the dashboard of the DeLorean’s time machine.

Unfortunately, the real 2015 does not quite meet up to the fiction version of the future featured in the film. There are no flying cars, no self-lacing shoes, and most depressing — no freaking hoverboards.

“I think I, and every kid out there, at the time wanted a hoverboard,” says Mike Smith, a 36-year-old fan and creator of a Back to the Future 2015 countdown website. “I have a fake hoverboard in my office — it’s a reminder that we’re not quite there by no means.”

Still, that won’t prevent Back to the Future fans in Arizona and across the world from celebrating Back to the Future Day. In honor of the date, celebrations are being held, the movies are being released on Blu-Ray, and Pepsi is even producing limited-edition Pepsi Perfect bottles.

Locally, Harkins and other theaters are showing the movie or the trilogy in celebration of the day fans, like Burchard, have been waiting for practically their entire lives.

“The future was this destination in the movie and we finally got there,” says Burchard, who first became a fanatic as a kid. “Living in the future we predicted is really, really cool.”

As a coveted DeLorean owner, Burchard is one of about 20 members of the local AZ DeLorean Club who drive the long discontinued vehicle featured memorably in the trilogy. Burchard enjoys cruising around Mesa and people are always excited to see the vehicle.  

“Probably half of the people who see the car ask where the flux capacitor is,” he says, of the core component of the DeLorean’s time machine. 
On October 21, he will be driving his DeLorean to a Cinemark theater in Mesa that is showing the trilogy—the first time he will be seeing all three movies in the theater.

Anticipation of October 21 has been building steadily since the beginning of the year, says Smith, a divorced father of two who works at an ad agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“The excitement comes from it being the year of — the nostalgia of it,” says Smith, who has the first movie, and much of the second movie, memorized.

Anticipating the 2015 date approaching, a few years back Smith created a website and Facebook fan page to countdown to October 21, 2015. The Facebook page currently has nearly 50,000 likes.

“I always had a passion for the movie and making the site felt like I was contributing something to the ‘Back to the Future’ universe,” he says. 

He plans on taking the day off work to watch the trilogy at home, perhaps wearing his Doc Brown costume, which he got for 2014's ComicCon. 

And he has the films' timed out when to start so the second movie will hit 4:29 p.m. in real life when the clock on the time machine hits 4:29 p.m.

“This will be the only movie you can watch that it will be the time it is in real life when you watch the movie,” he says. “That will be pretty cool.”

While Smith is excited about the movie, he says he is dreading the day after. 

“On October 22, it will be like now everything about the movie is history,” he says. “So it’s a sad day for me, because it’s like the future is now the past.”  

Back to the Future II will be playing at 12 different Harkins Theaters across Arizona on October 21.

Local Cinemark Theaters will be showing the Back to the Future trilogy at local theaters on October 21.