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'Karate Kid' returning to theaters for 35th anniversary 

Ralph Macchio as Daniel and Pat Morita as

Ralph Macchio as Daniel and Pat Morita as Miyagi in the 1984 film "The Karate Kid." Credit: Columbia Pictures

“The Karate Kid,” featuring Huntington’s Ralph Macchio in his best-loved role, returns to theaters this spring to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

The film will screen Mar. 31 and Apr. 2 in a digital 4K restoration from the original camera negative. Theaters have yet to be announced. Tickets go on sale Feb. 15 at fathomevents.com.

Released in the summer of 1984, “The Karate Kid” introduced America to Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), a skinny kid from New Jersey who moves to Southern California and gets a chilly reception from the local bullies. With the help of a Japanese-American sensei, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita, earning an Oscar nod for his performance), Daniel learns not only self-defense but wisdom and confidence. A young Elisabeth Shue plays Daniel's love interest, Ali. Directed by John G. Avildsen (“Rocky”) and written by Robert Mark Kamen (later of “Gladiator” and “Taken”), "The Karate Kid" became a box-office smash and lodged itself into the public consciousness with such quotable lines as “Wax on, wax off,” “Sweep the leg” and “No mercy.”

“The Karate Kid” also became a franchise, spawning three sequels (the last, in 1994, starred Hilary Swank in the title role) and a 2010 remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Macchio’s screen roles became infrequent after he left the film series, but in 2018 he reprised his role in the YouTube series “Cobra Kai,” which found a middle-aged LaRusso once again squaring off against his old foe, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka, also reprising his role). The series was a critical hit and, according to YouTube, its first episode earned 50 million views.

On Apr. 16, “The Karate Kid” will be released on 4K Ultra HD home video with an all-new featurette of interviews with Macchio, Zabka and co-star Martin Kove.

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