Written by Patti Pauley
One of my favorite past-times is heading down to my favorite local theater on a gloomy Saturday afternoon to catch whatever movie that had grabbed my very squirrel- like attention span at the moment. However, times have changed and so have the theaters. What once was a thoroughly enjoyable experience each time I stepped into the dimly lit sticky theater floors, is now more like a fight with the rest of the movie goers to keep the texting down to a minimal. Now, I’m not saying I don’t still enjoy going out to the movies; But some of the crowds of present sure could use some lessons in movie manners when it comes to their phones and an over abundance of chit chatting throughout the film. If you’re reading this and you may fall into one of those categories, please consider that you are probably annoying the hell the people around you that came to escape reality for two hours.
Now, let me be clear here, audience participation and talking about who so and so cheated on the other night are obviously two very different bag of dicks. Having an audience around you who is just as into the movie as you are, creates a bond between you and the strangers who occupy the seats beside you. Take in example this gorgeous recording below taken from YouTube uploader Jack O Skull, (who took a recording from another YouTuber DarkCastle2012, and fixed the audio/image settings) from an original movie screening of John Carpenter’s immortal classic Halloween in 1979.
The passion from the audio is music to my ears. The chilling screams from the terrified crowd are something almost like a unicorn these days. My father, Robert Butrico, (whom I credit for my horror passions) who had indeed seen the theatrical version in 1979, said the below audio is pretty spot on from what he had seen and witnessed from his theater experience. He recalled the scene where Myers is coming down the stairs, starting the infamous chase scene between him and Laurie from house to house, that people were so scared they ran out of the theater. “It was a much different time, and it was like nothing I, or anyone had ever seen. It was incredibly scary!”
The sheer terror from the crowds when Myers grabs Laurie one last time. The cheers when Loomis comes to the rescue. The guy in the background shouting, “He gonna get up again!!!” It’s all so magical and would love to have been apart of this crowd 37 years ago. Though at the time I was still a little sperm doodle swimming around. Still, it’s a nice thought. Check out the audio below!
If you, like me, get a kick out of retro audience reactions to horror films, head on over to this gem: Audience Reactions to the Original Screenings of The Exorcist. And remember folks, we love audience participation, not senseless babble over what you had for lunch. Be kind to your fellow movie goers and happy viewing!