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Bryan^H

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So after the movie/"dr. appointment" we go to work. Our supervisor asked me how the doctor appointment went and I said fine. A bit later she asked Joe (my friend) how his doctor appointment went. He said, "Thom and I decided to see Return Of The Jedi instead!". Needless to say, she was furious at us and I was furious at Joe. Joe had a screw loose somewhere and eventually ended up in prison but that's a whole other story.
Wow, he had some stones to say that. Talk about potential situation to get you fired, or at least written up. Crazy.

When I saw the film it had been playing for a long time, so I guess at that point everyone had seen it because zero people in a SW matinee doesn't make sense. But it worked out great for my friends, and I.
 

Mike2001

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I saw Return of the Jedi on opening day too. We went to The Egyptian in Hollywood, lining up at about 11 pm the night before. We missed the midnight show and the 2:45 am show but we got into the 5:30 am show. Barely. We were in the first row, at the front left corner, right next to the huge curved screen. Needless to say, the picture was pretty distorted from there, and we got kinks in our necks, but we still enjoyed it anyway. Had to to see it again for a more normal view later.
 

Thomas T

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I saw Return of the Jedi on opening day too. We went to The Egyptian in Hollywood, lining up at about 11 pm the night before. We missed the midnight show and the 2:45 am show but we got into the 5:30 am show. Barely. We were in the first row, at the front left corner, right next to the huge curved screen. Needless to say, the picture was pretty distorted from there, and we got kinks in our necks, but still enjoyed it anyway. Had to to see it again for a more normal view later.
I had the exact same experience the very first time I saw Citizen Kane (no, not the original 1941 release, I'm not that old!). This was when I was in college in San Francisco and a revival art house was showing CK on the big screen. I had never seen it and its reputation preceded it so the small theater was jammed. Alas, the only seat available by the time I got in was the front row and I had to watch the whole movie looking way up. It took a few days before my neck felt right again.
 

EricSchulz

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My story is the flip side: I grew up loving and watching The Wizard of Oz on TV (every Easter, if I recall correctly). Seeing it in 1999 on the big screen for its 60th anniversary was like watching a new movie! The same for Psycho, where the audience was silent and mesmerized. Living in Chicago for the past five years I've been lucky enough to see SO MANY classics on the big screen, including Bride of Frankenstein (with Sara Karloff in attendance!), a Laurel & Hardy festival and Planet Of The Apes to name a few. The ONLY way to see them!
 

PMF

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Try “Willard”. 1971. 2:00 pm matinee. The theater was packed. It was an old theater that had become dilapidated. At one point a wave of screams were heard from the back of the auditorium and made way to the front. And it wasn’t from what was happening on the screen. Instead, as it turned out, there were two actual rats that were running all around on the warped wooden floor and beneath the feet of the audience.
 
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Thomas T

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Try “Willard”. 1971. 2:00 pm matinee. The theater was packed. It was an old theater that had become dilapidated. At one point a wave of screams were heard from the back of the auditorium and made way to the front. And it wasn’t from what was happening on the screen. Instead, as it turned out, there were two actual rats that were running all around on the warped wooden floor and beneath the feet of the audience.
If Willard had been a William Castle production I would have been suspicious ;)
 
Joined
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GaryWilliamWhitley
In another thread over at the blu ray and UHD section, I was disheartened to see posts where some said they were pretty much over the theatrical experience since the closing of cinemas because of the pandemic and had no intention of "going back" and that their home theater set ups were good enough for them. While I realize this is the home theater forum, cinema means going to a movie theatre and experiencing the film to me. There's just something about the cinematic experience that cannot be duplicated in your living room (or home theater if you prefer). It got me thinking of some of my film going memories and the experience of seeing a movie in a theater with others instead of watching a movie at home in my underwear and eating microwave popcorn. Please feel free to share some of your movie going memories. WARNING: spoilers ahead if you've not seen the films.

Alien (1979). I saw this opening weekend in a packed theater before anyone knew about the notorious chest buster scene. When it happened, there was literally pandemonium in the theatre. A woman behind me stood up and screamed, "I don't need this sh*t!" before running up the aisle never to return. It took a minute before the audience calmed down.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977). I saw this in 70 millimeter at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles opening weekend. When the first wide shot of the mother ship was displayed, there was a loud audible collective gasp from the entire audience, held briefly and just as audibly exhaled. It was a true moment of cinematic wonder.

Carrie (1976). Yes, we thought the movie was over as Amy Irving moved toward Sissy Spacek's grave with flowers in her hand. But suddenly that hand reached out from the grave and the person behind literally kicked my seat hard enough to thrust me forward making contact with the person sitting in front of me, who screamed even harder after that. I apologized to her but the person behind didn't apologize to me.

The War At Home (1996). Unlike the three previous films mentioned, the theater was near empty. There were about 7 of us in the audience. By the film's powerful conclusion, we were all audibly sobbing and we were all male.

North By Northwest (1959). This was at a rather run down revival house in the early 1980s. The theater was pretty crowded and I had an aisle seat. The film was about to start when I heard a female voice saying, "Excuse me please" and I moved my legs in so she and her young companions could get to their seats. When I looked up, I recognized the film's star, Eva Marie Saint. She later did a spontaneous Q&A with the audience after the film. She said her children had never seen the film and she wanted their first experience watching the film to be in a theatre and not on television.
 
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GaryWilliamWhitley
I remember seeing hello dolly in its first run Todd Ao huge curved screen a sat. Eve showing the song before the intermission before the parade passes by at the end of the song the audience went crazy applauding for about 10 seconds after the song ended. I thought I was at a live theater presentation.
 

Martino

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Martin O.
I was in a second run (cheap) theater watching Reservoir Dogs. In the part where Mr Blond is trying to get information from a tied up police officer and it starts getting very graphic, this guy in front of me stands up and starts shouting and jumping up and down, cursing at the screen as loud as he could. "F.... Yea, F... Yea, F... him up, F... him up,...."

It was so bad I snuck out the back of the place, as I was actually a little afraid of this guy and how he was acting, and then asked if I could watch the next showing...

The usher went in their and came out.....then he gave me free run on the food (have a hot dog, soda and a popcorn on the house) - you can stay for the next showing....no problem.....
 

cinemiracle

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Peter
My best movie cinema experience was working for many years in a cinema that had a curved 59ft wide TODD-AO screen. Best film experience in 70mm was CLEOPATRA'S entry into Rome. Was there ever a more spectacular sequence in a 70mm film? I should know as I saw 175 features projected in 70mm.
 

midvalleyguy

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Robert
I still vividly remember seeing "How The West Was Won" in Cinerama when it first came out (Plaza Theatre, Melbourne Australia). During the train wreck sequence everyone including me was either holding onto their seats or covering part of their eyes. It was so spectacular! When this "RailRoad" sequence finished, the whole audience gave a long round of excited applause and took several minutes to calm down. I knew one of the three projectionists and he said it happened all the time after this sequence. I have the BluRay with Smilebox, but there's just NOTHING like a live experience like this on the big Cinerama screen. (Pics from original program attached).
 

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TravisR

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My friend and I went to a midnight show of 'Operation Condor' when it came out. Two other people in the theater...smoking crack.
As far as I know, I haven't been in a theater with anyone smoking crack but when I saw Blade Runner 2049, a dude brazenly started smoking pot like it was Amsterdam. Even if he had a medical marijuana card, you can't smoke in a movie theater.


People clapping, and cheering at the end of 'Inglorious Basterds' in a packed theater.
One of the times I saw that, it's quiet right after a couple minutes of graphic violence, gunfire, screaming, fire, and bombs exploding in the onscreen movie theater and a guy broke the silence by yelling out, "JESUS CHRIST!" I cracked up laughing.
 

B-ROLL

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Bryan
Alien (1979). I saw this opening weekend in a packed theater before anyone knew about the notorious chest buster scene. When it happened, there was literally pandemonium in the theatre. A woman behind me stood up and screamed, "I don't need this sh*t!" before running up the aisle never to return. It took a minute before the audience calmed down.
I've never seen Alien - mostly because when I was a cook at Pizza the Hut the server who had just seen the movie refused to "rotate the crock" for the salad bar (mung) bean sprouts after she swore one jumped out at her ...

1615608035655.png
 
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Thomas T

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Sep 30, 2001
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I still vividly remember seeing "How The West Was Won" in Cinerama when it first came out (Plaza Theatre, Melbourne Australia). During the train wreck sequence everyone including me was either holding onto their seats or covering part of their eyes. It was so spectacular! When this "RailRoad" sequence finished, the whole audience gave a long round of excited applause and took several minutes to calm down. I knew one of the three projectionists and he said it happened all the time after this sequence. I have the BluRay with Smilebox, but there's just NOTHING like a live experience like this on the big Cinerama screen. (Pics from original program attached).
Seeing How The West Was Won in Cinerama in a theatre is one of my Holy Grails. It's shown every now and then at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles but it always sells out almost immediately. One of these days :(
 

Bryan^H

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As far as I know, I haven't been in a theater with anyone smoking crack but when I saw Blade Runner 2049, a dude brazenly started smoking pot like it was Amsterdam. Even if he had a medical marijuana card, you can't smoke in a movie theater.
When we saw the two people pull out glass pipe, and lighter my friend and I just quietly chuckled...I said "are they, is that...?" my friend was like "yeah, crazy".
 

TravisR

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When we saw the two people pull out glass pipe, and lighter my friend and I just quietly chuckled...I said "are they, is that...?" my friend was like "yeah, crazy".
That's pretty wild. I know someone who was working in a movie theater a few years ago and a person came out and said a guy was jerking off in there. She had to go in and tell him to get the hell out.

The movie?...
BlacKkKlansman. I'm guessing/hoping he just felt the need rather than getting worked up by the movie.
 

JoeStemme

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Sep 2, 2019
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Joseph
Hard to believe in this world of 24-7 Internet availability -- Some rain-coater taking out his phone and snapping pictures of a Nude Scene! In a movie theater. Just a couple of years ago!*

And, this wasn't some holdover grindhouse, 3rd run theater or old school revival house - It was a tony West L.A. Laemmle Theater! (one of the most revered arthouse chains)! And, it wasn't some schlock pic, either. It was LET THE SUNSHINE IN by respected French Director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Chocolat). The actress was the still lovely, Juliette Binoche.

It was hard to believe. Some lady sitting next to him just shot him a stare from hell, and the petrified guy never uttered a word or made a move for his phone/camera again.

*Tip: If you're going to snap pictures in a movie theater - turn off the "Click" sound effect! ;)
 

SIBIE

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Alfredo
1982, I was 14. The line to see E.T. went around the block. There was no way I was getting in to see it, so my alternative was to see POLTERGEIST instead, which opened almost side by side. I still remember sitting a few rows from the screen, the smell of popcorn, a full theater and the now famous first scene of the US Anthem kicking in to a massive closeup of a SONY console television as the transmission is about to go off for the night. And we all know what came after... I had no idea what I was about to experience...a Spielberg film that to this day remains among my favorites. I loved it! I also did not sleep a wink that night, because it scared me out of my wits. I was 14 after all, and in 1982 we were all a bit more impressionable. So, of course I went back to see the movie twice after that, and when I finally did get in to see E.T. it did not come close.

That said, back in 1982 there were not cellphones that went off constantly with people texting through a movie, and people generally kept their mouths shut...something lacking these days.
 

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