I wasn't quite old enough to watch the first one at the flicks but did watch empire a couple of years later (and Jedi). NOTHING else was talked about at school, playground was full of jedi, sith and tie vs xwing battles.
Even nowadays my kids are into star wars (through none of my fault honestly, it is just their friends etc). We have tickets for Friday when they finish school (as do almost all the class). Not many films (or series) can garner such interest across generations.
But it isn't just the films, there have been some epic computer games from XWing vs Tie fighter (and of course, xwing and tie fighter before that) - XWing alliance is still played to this day. Knight of the Old republic was a fantastic piece of work (HK-47 being a legendary part of the game). Kyle Katarn (cant remember the game name) was my first foray into FPS star wars (I wasn't bothered about dark forces), there were a couple of other FPS jedi games but their names escape me.
edit: I did watch the EP1,2 &3 at the cinema but haven't watched them more than once since, they were OK but in a way that "im thirsty and don't like Dr Pepper but there wasn't anything else in the shop" way.