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Star Trek: The Motion Picture beams into theaters 40 years later

Get ready to experience the belly warmers on the big screen once again.

William Shatner returned as Admiral Kirk in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The gray uniforms were a little goofy, but 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture kicked off a new era for Trek and revitalized the dormant franchise. That's an achievement worth celebrating 40 years later with a return to the big screen.

Paramount and Fathom Events are teaming up for US showings of the film on Sept. 15 and 18. This is the original theatrical cut starring the cast of the 1960s Star Trek television series. Tickets go on sale online on Aug. 2.

In case you haven't seen it in 40 years, The Motion Picture picks up with James T. Kirk (William Shatner) as an admiral. He takes command of the USS Enterprise to go investigate a mysterious alien entity. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the rest of the classic gang reunite for the adventure.

The Motion Picture stands out from the crowd of Trek movies thanks to its unique costuming and slower pacing. It's often overshadowed by the critically beloved follow-up, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it holds a special place in Trek history. This is where modern Star Trek started, and it's worth revisiting.