AKRON -- On July 9, 2011, actor/director Corbin Bernsen unveiled his Soap Box Derby movie at the Akron Civic Theatre after spending years creating it.
After its big debut, "25 Hill" was quickly unleashed at local Acme stores with a special local "Derby Edition" release. But this Tuesday, "25 Hill" is reaching a new level -- this time in the national spotlight because the DVD will be sold nationwide starting Tuesday, July 3.
Photos -- Looking back: '25 Hill' premieres at Akron Civic
"Tomorrow when I walk into a store and see it on a shelf, I'm gonna be thrilled," Bernsen said. "It's really the beginning of the journey in a weird way because now everybody's got to see it. Unlike a movie in movie theaters, I'm going to promote it all through the summer -- all the way through Christmas, quite frankly."
The film, which will be available at stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon.com, offers several new elements.
"First of all, what you're going to notice right away is the artwork. It's been totally redone," James Greilick, co-producer of the film, said. "It looks fantastic."
The film itself about a young boy saving the Soap Box Derby has not changed, but there are new bonus features on this national release.
"This is not a different movie, the bonus features aren't that extraordinarily different," Bernsen said. "But it is the official version of the movie."
Here's the complete list of bonus features on the new DVD release:
- 25-minute one-on-one interview with Corbin Bernsen titled "25 Hill: Inspiration Fueled by Faith"
- DVD featurette "Saving the Tradition"
- Trey's video "Save the Derby"
- "25 Hill" trailer
Greilick said he hopes the people of Akron will help with the continued success of "25 Hill" and the Soap Box Derby.
"If you already own the film and you've already seen it, tell friends, tell people, spread the word. Let them know what your community, what your town, what you guys have done and spread the word in blast e-mails and phone calls. Tell them the movie is available now."
The All-American Soap Box Derby is a 10 percent owner of the film.
Just a few weeks ago, the cast and crew celebrated the national release with a red carpet premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. After the movie was over, Greilick said they held their own Soap Box Derby races nearby.
"We had the local Soap Box Derby organization come, set up ramps and had a race down the road. Not only did we have the local Soap Box Derby racers race, we also had celebrities."
In addition to the national DVD release, Bernsen said "25 Hill" will premiere on the INSP television network on July 31.
Bernsen, who first came up with the concept for "25 Hill" after reading an article about the financially struggling Soap Box Derby, plans to return to Akron for this year's 75th race on Saturday, July 21.
Earlier this year, Bernsen made a holiday family comedy in Akron titled "3 Day Test," which is expected to be released on DVD nationwide this coming holiday season.
Photos: Corbin Bernsen films '3 Day Test' in Akron
As far as filming another movie in Akron, Bernsen said he has several more ideas already for movies to make in town -- even a potential sequel to "25 Hill."
"We have a couple (movies) in mind already," Bernsen said. "If we get a good response with '25 Hill,' we actually have a good story for '25 Hill 2.' So, if we get that going I would love to do that."
Bernsen, who portrayed Roger Dorn in the "Major League" movies, can currently be seen on USA's "Psych."