To celebrate (read: promote the shit out of) the long-sought release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray in their Extended Edition forms, New Line has partnered with AMC to bring these versions of the films to the screen. Counting down to June 28th, when the the Blu-rays hit shelves, each film of the trilogy will play on one of the three Tuesdays leading up to and falling on release day. Mark your calandar…

Fellowship of the Ring hits on June 14th, 2011

The Two Towers hits on June 21st, 2011

Return of the King hits on June 28th, 2011 (also the Blu-ray drop date)

The happy messenger of this news, TheOneRing.net, also promises another exciting announcement in the weeks to come. Perhaps a special introduction from PJ with a sneak peak of The Hobbit to air before the shows? That would be “exciting” and the kind of delightful synergy one would expect.

I’m a huge fan of the Extended Editions- they complement the profoundly large-scale nature of the trilogy and frankly, if you’re going to commit to watching these films, what’s another two hours spread across three films? Besides, you don’t get the contribution of Bruce Spence (behind a healthy heaping of WETA’s most disturbing digital creation for the film) and his contribution to the trilogy any other way! Can’t wait to see and hear the Mouth of Sauron on the big screen.

There are few films about which I feel as confident we’ll still be watching in 100 years as Lord of the Rings- in this way it joins the likes of the Wizard of Oz and Casablanca in the pantheon of films that are simply a part of the fabric of cinema now. They are not perfect, they are not beyond criticism, but they have definitively reached a plateau that puts them in a place that will remain timeless. The difference between them and other classics though, is that they are a logistical challenge to schedule and screen, so theatrical exhibitions of them (especially in Extended form) are precious- if you’re a fan, I would encourage you not to miss this opportunity. As the lights go down in your first Hobbit screening, you’ll probably thank yourself.

ALSO, if you’re thinking of grabbing those Blu-rays, please pre-order them from us!

The AMC information pages for the films have not been fully put together, but you can bookmark them:

Fellowship of the Ring (June 14th)
Two Towers (June 21st)
Return of the King (June 28th)

Will we see you at these AMC screenings? I’m going to do my best to be there- perhaps its time for some big chewer meet ups in different cities!

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(via First Showing)