Paramount had to hire security to protect the Starship Enterprise
The studio struggled to keep the movie under wraps.
What would you do to get your hands on your favorite piece of entertainment history? Would you risk it all to nab one of Gilligan's red sweaters? What about Sherriff Andy Taylor's guitar? Are you willing to put yourself in jeopardy to get your hands on one of Svengoolie's rubber chickens?
Now, try to put yourself in the shoes of an avid Trekkie in 1978. It's been about ten years since you saw a new episode of your favorite show. Sure, there was Star Trek: The Animated Series, but that just wasn't the same. You want Spock and Kirk and Uhura in the flesh. Then, there are rumblings of an imminent Star Trek movie. Suddenly, you're thrust back into space and filled with hope and wonder once again.
For fans of Stark Trek in 1978, Paramount Picture became the center of the universe, and some would stop at nothing to touch a piece of history. According to then-Paramount executive (and future Disney CEO) Michael Eisner, Paramount needed to take specific measures to ensure none of the movie's props or costumes were jeopardized.
"We have fans climbing our walls even now trying to snatch a piece of the costumes or props used on the series. The other day [fellow executives] Barry Diller, Charles Bluhdorn and I wandered over where we keep all this stuff and almost got arrested.
"We forgot the fan interest was so high that we had to hire special security guards to safeguard the costumes and the Starship Enterprise."
The movie's $15 million budget exceeded the total production costs of all 79 episodes of the original television program. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was successful enough to spawn an entire movie franchise.