Musician Jason Mento. (Courtesy picture)

When The Hamilton Gazette debuted on July 2, 1997, the main entertainment story featured local guitarist Jason Mento, who was scheduled to perform at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia on July 4. Twenty-five years later, Mento, now a resident of Sicklerville, is still playing, enjoying gigs in and around the area.

This first edition also featured a review of a local restaurant which, although that particular establishment is no longer in operation, has been home to the Marquez Mexican Grill since October 2020.

In July 1997, when the internet was still in its infancy, two websites were vying for the attention of Hammonton internet users. Now Hammontonians have a multitude of choices of places to go online to receive news and updates about their hometown.

A lot has changed in the 25 years since The Hamilton Gazetteis the first. If so much has happened locally, what has changed nationally – or globally – and what hasn’t changed?

In 1997, LeAnn Rimes became the youngest person at 14 to win a Grammy. Now 39, Rimes recently announced the upcoming release of a new album, as well as a return to the stage in September.

The group Aqua released their hit earworm “Barbie Girl” in 1997. In 2022, filming began on Barbiestarring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, although there are no plans to use the song in the film.

The Backstreet Boys are on tour. (Courtesy picture)

The Backstreet Boys released their self-titled debut album in the United States in 1997 and continued their meteoric rise to global stardom. They are currently on a world tour to promote their 10th studio album, DNA.

Hanson was one of the most popular bands in the world thanks to the 1997 release of their single “MMMBop”. Today they are not, although they too are currently on tour.

Ewan McGregor in “Obi-Wan Kenobi”. (Courtesy picture)

the original star wars trilogy saw its remastered theatrical release in the early months of 1997, and filming began for The Phantom Menace on June 26 of this year. Twenty-five years later, the franchise is at the top of its game, especially with the recent addition of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which saw Ewan McGregor return to the title role for the first time in 17 years.

batman and robin, starring George Clooney as the Dark Knight, was released on June 20, 1997. It was critically acclaimed and marked the end of Tim Burton-era films. On March 4 of this year, The Batman– starring Robert Pattinson as the ninth live-action actor to portray the titular hero on the big screen – hit theaters to critical acclaim, returning the Caped Crusader to its detective roots. A sequel is currently in development.

Q and Picard in the second season of “Star Trek: Picard”. (Courtesy picture)

star trek saturated the airwaves in 1997, with both Deep Space Nine and Traveler vying for the attention of Trekkies everywhere. Improbably, the 56-year-old franchise now has even more small-screen exposure than ever before; this year saw the debut of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, as well as the fourth season of “Star Trek: Discovery”, the second season of “Star Trek: Picard”, the second half of the first season of “Star Trek: Prodigy;” the third season of “Star Trek: Lower Decks” is scheduled to air later in 2022.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in Britain in 1997 and, almost overnight, became a literary sensation. Today, the brand is worth over $25 billion and an 11th film is set in the wizarding world…Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets– opened in theaters on April 15.

“South Park” premiered in 1997 and was – for its time – the most controversial cartoon ever produced. It’s still on the air today, though changing sensibilities have softened its bite a bit.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park was released in theaters on May 19, 1997, ultimately grossing $618.6 million. Conversely, Jurassic World: Dominion opened on the big screen on June 10 of this year, and is not as well received.

In 1997, cell phones were a luxury for the wealthy, and everyone needed a camera to take pictures, a phone to make calls, a pager to receive rudimentary text messages, a a radio/cassette/CD player for listening to music. , a television to watch broadcast programs, a VHS and/or DVD player to watch pre-recorded films and a computer to access the Internet. Today, all of these things can be done from a single cell phone, and those who don’t have a cell phone are considered to be from the Jurassic era as well.

They say that everything old becomes new again, which makes one wonder what the next 25 years might hold. Hopefully it’s not more Hanson.