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Actor Sylvester Stallone was back in the City of Brotherly Love Sunday to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the original premiere of his famed feature film, “Rocky.”
From a stage near the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Stallone was awarded a Key to the City and Dec. 3 was officially declared “Rocky Day,” in Philadelphia. The event also served as a grand opening event for the Rocky Shop, which sells licensed merchandise from Stallone’s brand.
In 1976, the world was introduced to the ultimate underdog, Rocky Balboa, portrayed by Stallone, a character from South Philly who takes on Apollo Creed for the world heavyweight title.
During the film, Rocky took the now-famed journey up the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 72 steps, something Stallone admits altered the course of his life forever.
“You get to the top, you feel inspired, you feel special, hopeful, happy, and most of all, proud of yourself,” Stallone said.
He said once one reaches the top of the steps, that person could become the “champion of their dreams.”
“Life is a fight,” Stallone said while addressing Sunday’s crowd. “It’s a tough fight and get ready. You’re going to win some and you’re gonna lose a lot. But the real victory is in never giving up and going the distance for yourself, your loved ones, and standing at the top of these steps you’re reminded that all things are possible. Keep punching.”
The Rocky Shop is located inside the Parkway Visitor Center Outpost, next to the base of the “Rocky Steps” and near the famous Rocky Statue.
Rocky was made on a budget of only $1 million and shot in 28 days. It became the highest-grossing film of the year, earning $117 million at the North American box office and another $107 million overseas, according to the Associated Press.