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Stickman Cinema

Loud Theater Audiences

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At the end of the Blair Witch episode, Amy, Devin and Simon touched on loud audiences in the theater and how Simon was looking forward to watching Blair Witch with as rowdy a crowd as possible. I gotta say I'm in agreement, depending on the movie of course, that a rowdy crowd can sometimes really enhance the experience.

 

One of my favorite movie going experiences was for, of all things, Freddy vs Jason. I watched it Saturday night, opening weekend at Whitestone Cinemas in the Bronx (which is sadly now closed). It was like being at a title fight. The crowd was electric! Shouting stuff at the screen, hooting and hollering while cheering on their favorite. It was a hell of a time. Really added to the whole thing. There have been other times when this went down (mostly horror flicks, naturally) but that had to be the most memorable one for me.

 

Anyone else have a similar experience they can recall?

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One of my favorite theater going experiences was an event called All Freaking Night, part of the Olympia Film Festival. It was five or six horror films -- classics, gonzo b-movies, and franchise slashers -- in front of a sold out audience all night long. It was the best crowd I've ever seen, and probably my single favorite cinema moment ever was seeing Sleepaway Camp there. Most of the audience probably had never seen it (this was around 2002 or so) and they lost their minds at the ending reveal.

 

YouTube reaction videos are a poor replacement for the cinema experience.

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probably my single favorite cinema moment ever was seeing Sleepaway Camp there. Most of the audience probably had never seen it (this was around 2002 or so) and they lost their minds at the ending reveal.

Oh man, I would LOVE to see Sleepaway Camp with a theater full of people that know nothing about it! That must've been a next level reaction.

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Loud audiences aren't for every film, but for horror movies, they can be the BEST.

 

Personal favorite experience: EXORCIST III on opening night, 11pm showing, packed house. THAT hallway scene killed, it was the most amazing reaction I've been a part of in a cinema.

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I saw Jaws last year during its re-release. 700+ people at the Senator in Baltimore, about 1/3 of the crowd had never seen the movie before. That was a fantastic environment, I caught myself thinking ahead to the next scare and how the crowd would react.

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I saw Do The Right Thing with a crowd where people were talking to the screen. Saying actual phrases.

 

My only recent experience was last winter's Rocky movie. Packed theater and large pockets of people clearly rooting for the characters.

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Noisy audiences really aren't a thing over here in Scotland (or in the UK in general) unless you're at a horror festival or midnight screening etc. I've had a few great noisy audience experiences in the States though, my favourite being seeing Grindhouse (the full thing as originally intended) on opening night on 42nd Street in NYC. My girlfriend at the time and I were pretty smashed and it was a riot seeing it with a whooping crowd.

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Well this is only good if the audience is responding correctly. I think this is why I didn't like the Blair Witch Project. Anytime it was supposed to be scary, one guy in the back of the theater started laughing. It was a loud ridiculous laugh throughout the movie. Maybe with a different audience I would have had a different reaction. Still, when I tried watching it a second time on DVD, it just seemed like a badly made boring overhyped movie.

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