I vaguely remember seeing Funny Girl in the theater when it came out. I was there with my parents. I don't know why the brought me. As a child, it wasn't a movie that would hold my attention. My only memory was the tugboat scene.
I remember seeing it on network television a few years later. Again, too young to appreciate.
After I became a Barbra fan, I would hunt it down whenever it would show up on TV.
Way back when, the major cities in Texas had theaters screening double features of old movies. I'm sure this was true in all major cities back then, but I knew of a theater in San Antonio and Austin that would show double features of old movies. They would print a monthly calendar so you could plan ahead. They always screened Funny Girl with Funny Lady.
I was able to see such a screening in Austin. I believe it was the Varsity theater across the street from the University of Texas. It was definitely across the street from the University. This was my first screening on the big screen after becoming a Barbra fan.
I was amazed at the screening. I didn't understand Panavision or widescreen processes at that time. However, I could tell I was seeing images on the big screen that I didn't see on TV. The biggest shock was when she sang My Man at the end. During part of the song, she is on the right side of the screen- not dead center like on TV.
It was truly an eye-opening experience. Of course this was back before the videotape of Funny Girl was released. And even then, that was a pan and scan version. Years later, the widescreen laserdisc version was unavailable before I could buy one. Then years later, finally, the widescreen version on DVD was released.
But back in the early '80s, nothing could compare to the big screen.