LONDON (Reuters) - When Marty McFly travelled to the future in the 1989 Back To The Future sequel - to Oct 21, 2015, to be precise - he was greeted by flying cars, self-tying sneakers and hovering skateboards. The futuristic items were from a distant world for the time-travelling teenager on a journey from 1985 to 2015 to save his children. But that day finally arrived on Wednesday, dubbed "Back to the Future Day" as fans of the blockbuster trilogy around the world celebrated the movie milestone.
Social media sites were ablaze with talk about the sci-fi adventure, cinemas held special screenings of the film and companies jumped in on the hype with savvy adverts.
United States President Barack Obama tweeted: "Happy Back to the Future Day, @realmikefox! Ever think about the fact that we live in the future we dreamed of then? That's heavy, man."
At the Houston, Texas headquarters of DeLorean cars, whose gull-winged DMC-12 model was adapted in the film into a time machine, crowds gathered to mark the anniversary. "A lot of people are getting their cameras out and taking pictures," DeLorean Motor Co CEO Stephen Wynne told reporters. "When we opened... at 8 o'clock this morning, a woman ran in and she was dressed as Marty McFly and everybody goes, 'whoa'!"
In Canada, a playful recall announcement on the official Health Canada website said that "a certain DMC-12 car converted into a time machine, a defect in the flux capacitor could lead to inability to travel through time. Doc Brown will affect repairs".
One short scene has US baseball fans abuzz. A holographic news board informs Marty McFly that the long-suffering Chicago Cubs have won the 2015 World Series. The Cubs actually made it to the Major League Baseball playoffs this year, and it seemed like the scene might be prescient. But now the Cubs are one loss away from being eliminated from contention by the New York Mets, which would continue the Cubs' 107-year championship drought.
In a commercial for Toyota, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, who played the much-loved McFly and Dr Emmett "Doc" Brown, reunite on screen to discuss which predictions Back To The Future Part II got right. While the so-called hoverboards have yet to make their commercial debut, other gadgets such as wearable eye glass screens and video calls have turned out closer to the mark. "We've got 3D movies," Lloyd says as the two actors sit in a diner. "We've got fingerprint technology," Fox answers.
Pepsi unveiled a limited run of Pepsi Perfect, the soda McFly drinks in the film, while Nike, whose power-laced shoes the character wore, tweeted Fox on Tuesday saying "See you tomorrow", leaving fans speculating over the message.
An article in Britain's Guardian newspaper, meanwhile, suggested that fans might be seeing the forest for the trees. "The world...is full of millions of idiots complaining about the lack of hoverboards via hand-held devices that are connected to the sum total of the history of human knowledge," it said.
Fox and Lloyd are due to make an appearance at a special New York screening of the film and a 30th anniversary Blu-ray and DVD of the trilogy is being released to mark the occasion. Some fans had hoped for a revival of the franchise at a time when others movies are getting reboots. But earlier this week, one of the films' executive producers said a fourth instalment was unlikely.