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Fans Of All Ages Flock To Rocky Marathon At Alamo Drafthouse

James Kalogridis, a Yonkers resident, attends the Rocky marathon at Alamo. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Justin LaLiberty and Nicole Testa helped run the Rocky marathon, giving out prints and action figures. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The final fight in "Rocky II" brought the crowd to their feet. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Linda and Tommy Ford sat through all seven Rocky movies. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

YONKERS, N.Y. -- In order to sit through a 14-hour seven movie marathon of the Rocky movies, you'd need the eye of the tiger.

Almost 200 people were willing to go the distance at Alamo Drafthouse's celebration of 40 years of "Rocky" Saturday. 

The first film follows Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a down on his luck fighter in Philadelphia, who unexpectedly gets a chance to face Apollo Creed for the heavyweight title. A longshot, Rocky has one goal: to go the distance. The film won Best Picture in 1976.

The rest of the films follow Rocky on his Cinderella journey from the bottom to the top to the bottom and then back to the top again, culminating with him training Apollo Creed's son in "Creed", which was released last year to critical acclaim.

Alamo got into the spirit with a special menu offering yes, Philly Cheese Steaks and giving away action figures and prints to winners of trivia contests. 

"It's been a pretty good turnout," Justin LaLiberty, creative manager at Alamo who helped organize the series, said. "This is what I was hoping to see. It's great to see all the families coming out."

LaLiberty, whose favorite Rocky movie is "Rocky IV", helped run the proceedings with his fiancee Nicole Testa.  LaLiberty is such a big Rocky fan, he proposed to Testa in Philadelphia.

Linda Ford brought her 12-year-old son Tommy to the marathon. The Eastchester residents are big Rocky fans.

"My mom introduced me to the series when I was 6," Tommy said. "I love them, especially when Rocky fights Drago."

The elder Ford said she was a fan of the older Rocky movies, especially the first one.

"Sylvester Stallone was really like Rocky Balboa in that movie," Linda said.

The marathon almost didn't happen. It was looking like Alamo would be KOed in their attempt to find a 35 mm print for "Rocky II" until director Quentin Tarantino stepped up and sent the theater his own print.  "Creed" was also shown with a 35 mm print for only the second time.

During the movies, the audience cheered whenever they heard iconic theme "Gonna Fly Now" and they knew Rocky was training for the big fight. The fight scenes also had audience members on the edge of their seats, as they went crazy whenever it looked like Rocky was going to pull off the upset.

Not everyone was able to stay until the end, with the much maligned "Rocky V" causing some to flee to the exits, but at 1:20 a.m. when the final bell rang, the Fords were still in their seats enjoying Rocky's one in a million journey.

"It was very inspiring," Linda Ford said, while Tommy said he had a good time and was glad he stayed. 

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