‘Smokey and the Bandit’ returns to theaters today, honoring Burt Reynolds

Published September 12 2018
Updated September 12 2018

For the next nine days, AMC Theaters will take you east bound and down once more as the late Burt Reynolds’ iconic 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit returns to theaters in the Tampa Bay area.

The theater chain announced it will be bringing Bandit, Fred, Smokey and Snowman back to 240 locations starting today and running through Sept. 20 with ticket prices set at $5 or lower, depending on the location.

Reynolds, 82, who once called Tampa "my other hometown," died unexpectedly last week.

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Smokey and the Bandit follows Reynolds, as Bo "Bandit" Darville, as he races toward an $80,000 payday from Atlanta to Texarkana, Texas and back with one shiny new T-top Pontiac Trans Am, a runaway bride and a truck packed with 400 cases of Coors beer — which was, at the time, illegal to be sold east of the Mississippi River.

Directed by stuntman Hal Needham, the film is packed with as much hilarity as high-speed chases.

The film was one of many in the 1970s that cemented Reynolds’ stardom along with his mustachioed machismo and swagger. It also kick-started an infamous love affair with his co-star, Sally Field and was the second-highest grossing film of 1977.

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Smokey also stars country singer Jerry Reed as Reynolds’ partner, driving the truck while Bandit provides road-ripping distraction, and Jackie Gleason as vengeful Arkansas sheriff Buford T. Justice, hell bent on stopping Bandit at all costs.

Locally, AMC locations in Tampa and Bradenton have current listings for the film. Movie times and tickets can be found at AMC’s website.

The chain did not say whether a Diablo Sandwich and Dr. Pepper were included in the ticket price.

Daniel Figueroa IV can be reached at dfigueroa@tampabay.com. Follow @danuscripts