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  1. #1
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    Philly tourists still mimic 'Rocky Run'

    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Decades after the movie "Rocky" first aired in cinemas worldwide, tourists still flock to Philadelphia's Art Museum to charge up the steps like the fictional boxer played by Sylvester Stallone.

    With a wide smile and unabashed enthusiasm, Annie Rodriguez climbed to the building's 72nd step and, re-enacting the iconic scene, thrust her hands skyward and jumped up and down.

    The only thing missing was the "Rocky" theme song.

    The 38-year-old from Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, hadn't seen the movie in years, but during a recent visit to the city, she brought her family to the museum for the "Rocky Run."

    "You gotta do it. It's a must," she said. "You get the feeling of 'I did it. I made it."'

    Rodriguez's husband agreed: "Si, si, you feel like him. You feel like him in the movie," Oscar Barreto said.

    Decades after the 1976 debut of "Rocky," which won three Academy Awards, scores of tourists daily still seek out the Art Museum steps to emulate its iconic run.

    "Everybody wants to see it. We get calls from all over," said Shirley Blum of the city's Independence Visitor Center. "The other day I was on the main floor and a couple from Korea, all they wanted to see was the Rocky steps. It's very popular."

    In the first movie, which was followed by four sequels, an out-of-shape Rocky first runs up the steps in a gloomy pre-dawn light. At the top, he's exhausted, gasping for breath. But in his next session he bounds up the steps as the theme song, "Gonna Fly Now," trumpets in the background. He reaches the top, thrusts his white-taped hands in the air and jogs in place, gazing triumphantly over a sunrise-orange Philadelphia skyline.

    On a typical summer day, only a few moments pass between copycat runs made by lone tourists, families with kids, and even entire tour buses.

    In a span of five minutes on a recent evening, three 8-year-old boys struck the Rocky pose, throwing in an extra couple flexes. Then came the Rodriguez family. Then a father showed his son the two bronze shoe prints and the word Rocky stamped into the ground.

    'Moment of triumph'

    Research shows that people in movie settings are moved to re-enact scenes, said Susan Ohmer, a professor of film and American studies at Indiana's University of Notre Dame.

    Rocky is a particularly uplifting character for people to emulate, Ohmer said.

    "He sets himself a goal, he says, 'I'm going to do it,'" Ohmer said. "And when he's charging up those steps that's a moment of triumph, and I think people want to do it."

    On Sunday, the city hosted an outdoor screening of "Rocky," with about 600 viewers watching from the steps on a cool, moonlit night.

    The Independence Visitor Center is pleased the movie brings visitors to the museum, with many wanting a "Rocky pose" photo at the top of the climb.

    "We try to encourage people to actually go inside the Art Museum, too," the center's chief executive, Bill Moore, said. "But a lot of people just want to run up the steps."


    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TRAVEL/0....ap/index.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    26,910
    I watched Rocky IV last night!! LOVE that Dolph Lundgren!!! kiss kiss