October 11, 2013, both of the John Carpenter/ Debra Hill Halloween films played at The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA. I’d thought about buying tickets earlier in the day, but waited till showtime to buy them. To my surprise, when I arrived just before showtime to see the theater filled nearly to capacity. Even the balcony was maxed. During the introduction of Halloween, it we found out the Saturday night Rocky Horror Picture Show was already sold-out. The Colonial Theater is rapidly turning into the destination for hardcore cinemaphiles.
The theater was packed with horror movie fans of all ages and sizes. There was even heavy metal fans in their studded jackets. I’m guessing the Rob Zombie remake brought them out. Most of the crowd as below the age of 30. I’d say the most hadn’t been born in 1978.
Several vendors were selling their wares in the lobby. Ian Fetterman had an entire row of foam pumpkins with characters from the movies. Other people were selling lobby cards and monogrammed posters. And there was a line for the popcorn running to the entrance!
I managed to see the first Halloween movie on its initial run in Columbus, Ohio. I didn’t catch it right away, waiting a month to see it after all the positive things people told me. Friday night’s print was 35mm, but starting to fade to red and scratchy. I’m not complaining about the print condition. Eventually, any film print will be a historic item. Be grateful for what you have.
The sheer numbers at the Halloween showing were impressive by themselves. Thirty years ago I couldn’t pull enough people to pay for film rental at the film society I ran. Amazing how the Internet has changed “word of mouth” advertising.
Halloween was the début movie role of actress Jamie Lee Curtis. The daughter of Janet Lee, who was in Psycho, she’s gone on to bigger roles. Donald Pleasence played Dr. Loomis, the psychologist who realizes what the killer, Michael Meyers, represents. Actress P. J. Soles defined 70′s high school kids in the part of Lynda.
What could have been another slasher film, Halloween became a huge hit in the hands of John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Produced for a modest budget, the movie follows the escape of Michael Myers from a lunatic asylum back to his home town of Haddonfield, Illinois on All Hallows Eve. You never see much of his face as he steals a Halloween mask early in the film. The body count is low in this movie, but Michael Myers is one of the most memorable screen psycho’s as he appears slowly from the background.
The audience was appreciative and receptive. A big thanks to the promoters for the door prizes.