The movie that screened that day is the same low-budget wonder that we know today, but in its earliest form, "Clerks" ended on a much different note, one that may have changed the film's reception if it had ever reached wide audiences.
Smith admits now that he only decided to kill Dante in the movie's final scene because he didn't know how to end it otherwise. After seeing this ending for the first time, Bob Hawk and John Pierson - Smith's mentors - approached the writer-director about the end and convinced him to cut it.
Who knows what would have happened if Smith had decided to keep the ending? It certainly wouldn't have garner the warm reception it received early on, and perhaps today, we wouldn't be celebrating the two decades since its release.