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Back to the Future’s anniversary prompts a name-change for a Kansas city

back to the future anniversary hill valley kansas
Three decades ago today, theater audiences were first introduced to the story of Marty McFly, the teenager played by Michael J. Fox who accidentally traveled back in time in a super-charged DeLorean. Although there’s been no shortage of celebration surrounding the 30th anniversary of Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 film Back to the Future, one Kansas city is going all-in on commemorating the movie by renaming itself “Hill Valley” for a day in honor of McFly’s fictional hometown.

The city of Augusta officially changed its name to Hill Valley today (July 3), according to The Butler County Times-Gazette, making a strong case for the city of more than 9,200 residents to gain bona fide super-fan status.

“We have a clock tower at the end of our round-about and thought this would be a fun way to highlight our town, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the movie, and provide a little extra fun factor,” said Augusta Theatre manager Michelle Spainhower of the decision to change the city’s name, which took effect at 12:01am on Friday, July 3. The city’s name will revert back to Augusta at the stroke of midnight.

“[The Augusta Theatre] is celebrating its 80th anniversary and we all loved the Back to the Future movie franchise,” said Augusta mayor (and Hill Valley mayor-for-a-day) Matt Childers of the reason for the event. “This is just a really cool way to showcase one of our greatest community venues.”

Along with changing the town’s name, the city is hosting a variety of other events themed around Back to the Future, including a Marty McFly look-alike contest and photo opps with a DeLorean. The Augusta Theatre (which apparently isn’t being renamed for the day) is also hosting a Back to the Future marathon.

The setting of all three films in the franchise, Hill Valley evolved from frontier town to future-world filled with hoverboards and self-lacing sneakers over the course of the Back to the Future films, with Marty leaving the then-current 1985 version of the town for adventures in 1885 (in Back to the Future III), 1955 (in Back to the Future), and 2015 (in Back to the Future II).

Oh, and for everyone wondering exactly which day it was that Marty arrived in 2015 during Back to the Future II, it was October 21 — so we have a few months to go before everyone’s riding hoverboards and we finally get those fancy sneakers.

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