I went to a lot of movies as a teenager, and engaged in a fair share of theater hijinks. Today I’ll briefly tell you about a few of the disgraceful episodes that jump immediately to mind, and turn it over to you guys. Hopefully you’ll have some similar stories to share, and we can have a little fun with the subject. You know… raising unholy hell in movie houses.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Bill and I, and another friend named Tim, attended a midnight movie in Charleston one Saturday night, where they featured a bunch of rare Three Stooges shorts. Supposedly they had never been shown on television, and had rarely been seen since their original run in theaters, during the 1940s.
It sounded cool, but alcohol entered the picture and everything went circling down the ol’ poop catcher.
We were out drinking beer during the evening of the Stooges, and stopped at a grocery store where Bill worked. Probably to buy more beer at the unofficial employee discount price of 90% off… And after our visit there, I learned that Bill now had his jacket pockets filled with all sorts of bizarre shit.
We continued drinking heavily, picked up Tim, and headed to Charleston. And as soon as the lights were dimmed in the theater, we started throwing the stuff that was harvested from the grocery store.
I remember Bill side-arming a handful of chocolate chips, like a German WWII soldier hurling a grenade from a trench. They rained down on a group of people seated several rows in front of us, and all of them howled in protest.
After we stopped laughing, we broke into a package of raw hot dogs, and began flinging them, end-over-end into the audience. One was lofted a little too high, and was briefly illuminated by the projector light, high above the crowd. This time we couldn’t stop laughing.
Bill also had bottles of beer in his pockets, and we drank those, then rolled them toward the front, underneath the seats. The noise the rolling bottles made was flat-out hilarious, and we just kept laughing and laughing.
We continued throwing chocolate chips (it sounded like one of those rain sticks when a handful would come crashing down), and uncooked wieners. Heh. Can you imagine being hit in the side of the face, inside a darkened movie theater, by a clammy, airborne hot dog?
Miraculously, we didn’t get thrown out of the place, and nobody tried to kick our asses. But at some point Tim had had enough, and got up and left. He was a Stooges fan, and also stone-cold sober. For some reason he didn’t share our enthusiasm for the comedy gold we were generating over and over again. It’s still puzzling to me… But he took off, and that effectively ended our evening of advanced film appreciation.
I’ll have to check with Bill or Tim on this, but I think there was a third item we hurled during the movie. Possibly baloney slices? I’m not sure about that, but I seem to remember throwing baloney like Frisbees. I’ll have to get back to you on it.
On a similar note, we went to several screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the first one was incredible. They were selling – actually selling! – throwables in the lobby. Man, this was a dream come true. We queued-up and purchased all sorts of stuff. Amazing.
And when we walked into the theater, it was pure pandemonium. Everybody was throwing handfuls of rice, and some people were standing on their chairs, taking big wind-ups like baseball pitchers. It looked like we were walking into a snowstorm, and as we made our way to the seats, I was hit in the side of the face with a load of rice (I guess) that was moving at such a high rate of speed, it felt like a shotgun blast.
“Shit!” I shouted, and we all hunkered down and continued.
Eventually some douche from the local rock radio station appeared, and asked everyone to be quiet. He finally started his little speech, and Steve jumped to his feet and threw a wadded-up soda cup or paper bag, and hit the guy in the center of the chest. The crowd roared, the dude gave us all the finger, and stormed out of the room.
During the movie people just continuously, without let-up, hurled handfuls of rice. I was afraid I might lose my eyesight before it was all over. And they were throwing slices of toast, pieces of theater seats, random trash from the floor… It was pure insanity.
At least a couple of people were taken out of there holding bloody napkins to the sides of their heads. And some unknown girl was hit in the face by a flashlight battery.
It was fantastic! One of the greatest things I’d ever experienced. But it would never be repeated, because the theater clamped-down hard the following week. We returned (of course), but they wouldn’t allow any nonsense. And what kind of boolshit is that?
I found grains of rice in my jacket for three months, and after I took a shower the next morning it looked like someone had dumped a side dish from Panda Express on the floor drain. I excitedly told my parents about it all, and they thought I was exaggerating. But it was as great as I described it.
During that same era, Bill and I and a friend named Vincent, went to see Taxi Driver at a midnight movie. The place was almost empty, so we sat in the dead center, about halfway back. We’d been drinking (needless to say), and Vincent eventually fell asleep.
He was out cold, and leaning slightly forward and to the right. Bill and I were elbowing each other in a “check it out” sorta way. And one of us got an idea…
Nearby, on the floor, was a discarded popcorn bucket. We grabbed it, placed it gingerly on top of Vincent’s head – and left. As we exited the theater we turned and looked, and he was seated, all alone, tilted in that weird way, wearing a popcorn crown.
We waited outside, and within ten minutes he came tearing through the doors, completely and fully pissed-off. God, I’m laughing right now, just thinking about it. Funny stuff.
Rocky and I, and probably some other people, went to a midnight movie showing of The Warriors one Saturday night, and I went to the counter to order popcorn. But, in my compromised state, I unknowingly said the word “pizza” instead of “popcorn.” The cashier chuckled, and said, “What do you want on it?” The guy was practically smirking at me. What the hell?
“Butter!” I shouted, all exasperated, and the dude buckled over in laughter.
I realized what had happened, my face went red with embarrassment, and I said something along the lines of “Yeah, well fuck you and fuck your popcorn machine, too!” And as I walked away in a huff, I heard the laughter crank up yet another notch. Good god!
We also went to a lot of the softcore porn movies, with suggestive taglines like “Pinocchio: It’s not his nose that grows!” I remember a scene in one of those flicks, where a guy ripped a pair of underwear off some woman, like he was starting a lawn mower. For some reason that’s stuck with me through the years… And, incidentally, the woman had a bush like Billy Preston’s ‘fro, circa 1972.
I have a lot of other movie theater stories I could tell, but this one’s getting kinda lengthy. Like Pinocchio… So, I’m going to turn it over to you guys now. If you have any raising hell in a movie theater tales to tell, please do so in the comments section below.
And I’ll see you again on Tuesday.
Have a great day!
The Qweezy Mark says
Far to early to be first.
The Qweezy Mark says
“too” not “to”
Good Morning Surf Reporters……
A Sunday and an early Monday update!
looks like I get a double header of snark this morning.
The Qweezy Mark says
Love the memories of Miller High Life pony bottles rolling down the floor of movie theaters. We’d have tons of the things snuck in.
Joe T. says
That was one the reason I wore bib overalls…I think I snuck in 14 ponies.
The` Proctor Theatre charged teen-agers 25 cents for a double feature on Saturday afternoons. Within 15 minutes of the beginning of the first film, there was generally loud cheering and booing, a sort of instant review of the film, and by the half-hour mark the food and drink was flying. On several occasions I was part of a group of 50-100 kids tossed out en masse without refund.
The theater is still there, but I don’t think they offer cheap Saturday matinees to small scoundrels any more.
Sorry to leave you hanging yesterday re: your request for an opinion re: Willie’s predicament. Stuff got in the way.
My response: If the scales of justice were of the sliding variety, finding less than a kilo on Willie’s bus would result in a “sorry to disturb your stash” apology.
In Texas, I’m not sure the scales slide that way.
I’d advise Willie to get a medical free-pass card. They’re practically giving them away here in the People’s Republic of California.
Evil Twin's Wife says
The Evil Twin is my best friend who is a straight man, but my best friend who is a gay man and I spent many weekends getting into trouble during our high school years. We found that Fusions and the Grand Palace (both gay bars) would let almost anyone in, including our 16 and 17 year old selves. One night, after dancing and drinking, we went to the porn shop in downtown Charleston and decided to watch the cheesy porn in a boof. We kept flipping the switch from A (straight porn) to B (gay porn). The whole time, we were laughing our butts off. It was when the cheesy film ended and the lights came on that we realized there was an empty condom wrapper on the seat behind us. We squealed like girls and ran out quickly. Lord knows what else we sat on/in that night!
“And, incidentally, the woman had a bush like Billy Preston’s ‘fro, circa 1972.” LMFAO! I bet she went round in circles… and flew high like a bird up in the sky!
I saw that same Three Stooges midnight show circa 1979. It was my friend Diane and me the only 2 people in the theater.
Wow, you guys sound like you were a bunch of assholes.
We were seventeen, in theaters filled with other seventeen year olds. Midnight movies were asshole jamborees, and two-thirds of the crowds were drunk. We didn’t invent the rules.
Yeah, the food is one thing but whoever threw the flashlight battery should have gotten punched in the face.
Yeah, we weren’t mean, just annoying. Aggressively annoying.
Bill in WV says
Lighten up Francis, I mean Valentin (!?!). BTW, we weren’t the ones who threw the flashlight battery, so I guess we wouldn’t have been subject to your face punch, although at that age I would have welcomed it and probably beaten you until you were unconscious.
you want to take this outside bill.
Bill in WV says
I’ll meet you either behind the monitor or the actual desktop itself. LOL
Weak defenses made by the perpetrators (see below) notwithstanding, I gotta second this motion.
I never claimed I wasn’t an asshole, especially when I was 16 or 17. But we didn’t throw anything that could hurt a person. Unless, I guess, someone happened to take a twirling wiener-end to the eye, or something. We had nothing to do with the bleeding.
Bill in WV says
I don’t know man, a piece of toast to the eye socket would probably hurt like hell. But, since the theater approved of the nonsense to begin with, I guess it all started with them.
Did you ever throw a whole instestine style weeny? You know, the ones linked to one another? That would be awesome. It would feel like brains raining down on some unsuspecting slob.
If connected link sausage reminds you of brains, you should probably proceed to the nearest doctor.
I actually run a sausage kitchen! LOL – intestines, brains, any organ will do.
Ok to clear things up I never said that I thought it was one of you who threw the battery. Whoever did throw the battery however, knowing how much harm could be done, should have been punched in the face. Hot dogs are one thing…
Bill in WV says
Clarification noted. Thanx.
Hey, its the fuck’in rocky horror picture show. You knew what would be occuring during that movie, so no whining about getting beaned with batteries, chairs, or potatoes.
Jerry in WV says
Bill, tell everyone the story of tearing down the wall in the bathroom at the drive in and almost maiming some old man. Classic!
Shhh Jerry!! Everybody’s going to think we were all a bunch of hoodlums! We just had good clean innocent fun.
I tried the old hole in the bottom of the popcorn bucket trick. It’s really impractical and I have to question the idea that it’s actually worked.
She went off to the bathroom and I cut a hole in the bottom of the popcorn bucket with my pocket knife. Popcorn came spilling out. I finally got my cock out and put it in the hole. The popcorn at the bottom was still quite hot.
By the time she got to the chewy center I’d lost my erection. Mostly because of the sheer terror that I’d be caught by someone else, but also because of the time involved, the salt and butter seeping into my piss hole, and the agonizing heat at the base of my dick.
When she finally saw my flaccid penis laying in a bed of popcorn she started laughing and pulled the bucket away. I quickly zipped up my pants, but not before about 2 cups of popcorn fell into my underwear.
That’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done in a theater. I never go to the movies anymore. I hate people.
Ian the Errolite says
Ha! Excellent stuff!
Not Oprah says
Yup ‘the old hole in the bottom of the bucket trick’, yah crazy fool.
My friends and I had some great times in movie theaters growing up. The best story goes as follows:
Near our house was one of those older theaters that got turned into a dollar a movie joint when a new theater was opened in the same part of town. We went to some movie that I can’t remember now, but it turned out we were the only people in there. After about 10 minutes we decided the movie was horrible, but we should go exploring. Ever wondered what was behind the screen? Well we did, so we found out. A bunch of speakers and space is the answer. There was a particularly large speaker box for the bass right in the center. For some reason it wasn’t hooked up, but it was huge! It was probably 5 feet tall and 2 or 3 feet wide. It had 2 15 inch speakers that we could see and a big ole amp on the back. We eventually thought we would try and take it with us. The exit door next to the screen didn’t set off any alarms and it led to an area in the back of the place with a well placed bush. We lugged it out the door and put it behind the bush. Then, we finished watching the movie. I had a jeep at the time, so after the movie we put that huge box in the backseat of the jeep. I kept thinking we were going to pulled over on the way home, because I couldn’t see anything behind me the thing was so big. Eventually the speakers were made into a speaker box for someones car. In hindsight I think we should have left it alone and used it for a home theater.. but back then there was no such thing!
No Song Remains The Same or The Wall stories?
I recall doing such things at a showing of E.T. and The Outsiders. This would have been at the theater down from the mall in Fairmont.
Speaking of theaters, the one is downtown Fairmont is going to be torn down. I saw the first movie I ever saw there. I don’t recall what it was though. It must have been in the late 60s/early 1970s. The last film I saw there was Malcolm X. I believe me and two of my friends were the only white people in the place. It got a bit tense at times.
I’ve not experienced any such hilarity in movie theaters. I feel so cheated! I do recall a second hand story of some friends / associates / coworkers…….. I forget which, enjoying going to adult xxx theaters, thouroughly stoned / drunk or both, armed with squirt guns loaded with hand lotion, or somesuch gook…….. They’d sit in the back, and let the juices fly at appropriate times. Reportedly, there’d be fights breaking out when someone up front would take a “load” to the back of the head, and immediately turn around and slug the patron sitting behind them…….
Sounds like a fun way to while away an evening………
This story should appall me, but I’m laughing my ass off! That is so gross, it’s hilarious. Vaseline would have been friggin’ glorious.
That is just outstandingly, brilliantly awesome!
Not Oprah says
That’s priceless, laughing like peewee Herman after the shot would have added to the gigglest.
Not Oprah says
--- Steve says
Al – I believe those may have been friends of mine – I heard the EXACT same story (or there are more than one set of hooligans – what are the chances?) This was in New York State in the 70’s
northeastern Pennsylvania, early 1980’s…….. I guess someone was the “copycat”……..not sure who, though. Maybe it was a nationwide phenomenon, LOL!
I never went to a xxx theater, even though there was one in my area. “spurt to the back of the head phobia” I guess.
T. Farty McAppleass says
My wife took my 4 year old daughter to see “Tangled”, a Disney cartoon, the other day. They had to wait 30 minutes before they could go into the theater because some dick had come in during the last showing and shot several people (and the screen) with a paint ball gun.
They caught him when he started running away and shot some guy’s wife near the bathrooms. The guy tackled him and the cops showed up.
Mr. Hanky says
Dunbar of the 60’s used to have the Price Theater on Myers Ave. Eventually it became the Classic Shoe Store and then torn down to become what is now Rite Aid. Saturday matinees used to be a scream with eggs and whatever other objects pelting the screen from the teenage crowds. The manager as I recall was a guy named Mr. Tittle, which was easy to remember because he was little (which rhymed with Tittle), perhaps even a munchkin.
I remember Mr. Tittle standing on the front row chairs screaming at the crowd and then he would get pelting with various implements of teenage destruction.
I think he finally left his manager position and probably ended up the nearest mental facility.
Bill in WV says
I’m not quite old enough to remember the old Price, but do remember it being boarded up. I think they used to take Puh in there and do ungodly things to him.
Mr. Hanky says
It was still open when I was in grade school. It was mostly the older “kids” who did the annoying things. Our group was mostly observers of the craziness . . .but were big fans. I still can remember the smell the place had … sort of like remembering that of the Dunbar bowling alley (hot dogs, onions, beer and bowling shoes).
Still remember walking out of The Price after seeing the movie “The Birds” in the Fall and seeing the phone lines with hundreds of birds ready to pounce on us after the flick. Made it home OK.
Does Puh still exist?
Bill in WV says
Nope, he died about 15 years ago.
Can’t recall any shenanigans like that during the movies. But I do remember going on “movie” dates in Jr/Sr highschool. One asswipe I went with tried to shove his hand down the front of my jeans as soon as the movie began. Didn’t even get kissed. The fucking opening credits weren’t even finished rolling. I was pissed and embarrassed as the theater was packed. Wotta creep. I ended up walking out because he wouldn’t leave me alone.
Bill in WV says
Translucent #1 will be shoving his OWN hand down his OWN pants while the credits are rolling.
I bet you’d have been less appalled if he’d done something more subtle, such as the hole in the popcorn bucket trick. You’d have been half way through the movie before you reached the tip of his dick (depending on the size of the bucket and the length of his schlong).
Like my grandmother used to say, “If you ever find a penis in your popcorn bucket you should grab it and try to pull it from the crotch it’s planted to!” MeMaw pulled off a lot of dicks in her day.
Midnight Movie Madness. I remember it well, or most of it. The local movie theater used to play midnight movies, usually rock and roll movies, cartoons, science fiction, or anything else that would appeal to the drunks and stoners.
The theater was right next to our Junior High School, our long-time hangout. We’d get into a sorry state amd then hit the movies. Good thing a friend of ours was the manager. We’d come in clinking from all the bottles of alcohol we’d secreted in our clothing. I too remember the sound of bottles skittering down the aisles.
Joey Jo Jo says
The worst thing I ever done — I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, I made a noise like hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa — and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.
That must have been some recipe!
That is awesome!
Dave's not here, man says
Did you do the truffle shuffle, too?
I searched the comments for this one, I knew someone had to do it.
… and the worst thing i ever done….
i’m NOTORIOUS for sneaking beers into movie theaters. once a friend of mine and i stopped off at a deli for our “supplies”. between the two of us we had 3 backpacks filled with 2 sixers of blue moon and some meatloaf sandwiches. and of course chips and salsa…. nobody ever stopped us.
one time we even brought in one of those electric cigarettes (so you can smoke w/o an open flame) and some weed. and a bottle of jack. it was insanity. considering that we were in our late 20s…. and i wonder why my gf thinks i’m perpetually 12.
The theater in downtown Morgantown, also now closed, was actually serving beer for a while a few years ago.
WB in OH says
Buttless Bob ran our local movie theater with an iron fist, shit like this did not happen. He would show you the door for talking to loud, toss popcorn and he’d probably call the police, so we just watched movies when we went to the movies.
The closest movie theater to me while growing up was about 2 hours away. I went to probably 3 movies in theater before I was 17 and moved off into the world. After that I was to busy to go to movies.
I still don’t think i have been to a movie theater more than 25 or 30 times.
“pulled her underwear off like he was starting a lawn mower” LMAO love it, too funny!
What I lament is the loss of the Drive-In. I graduated high school in 1981, and the drive-in was where the highjinks occurred.
Mainly though, said antisocial behavior was confined to either (a) your very own personal vehicle or (b) the back row!
I never quite understood. The back row was behind (and thereby actually quite close to) the concession stand… which was where the manager was sure to be.
I would “visit” the back row but never parked there; even when I was a dumbass I wasn’t a dumbass.
But my fondest memory is of taking a date, parking inconspicuously in the middle, then getting a large cup of crushed ice at the concession stand. Said cup of ice was the perfect size to hold a fifth of Heublein pre-mixed daquiri.
It may have been the most sublime marriage of alcohol and setting, ever. That crushed ice got that stuff so cold, the inferior rum didn’t matter. For two high school kids, it was exactly enough to cop a pleasant buzz without being too impaired to drive or face the parents.
It also seemed to last as long as the movie — make-out sessions excepted, of course. And in the heat of the summer, it was so wonderfully cold.
That manager wasn’t an idiot. If he could have got a liquor license, he would have. He knew perfectly well what was going on when a high school kid bought a large cup of crushed ice, and he would only break up the back row if things got loud enough to affect his hot dog buyers.
Ah, the simple pleasures of the past.
Ian the Errolite says
A mate of mine was at the Dutch premier of Trainspotting. Before the showing waitresses came round with free magic mushrooms for the audience. I kid you not!
I think the film received mixed reviews!
I once went to see a movie at ‘The Movies’ on Haarlemmerdijk in Amsterdam. You could drink beer and smoke while watching a film. The seats were big couches too. It wa pretty cool ( J Travolta talks about the place in Pulp Fiction.)
I didn’t throw any hot-dogs!
The mall in Steubenville had just opened about the time I got my driver’s license. We would stop at a local McCrory’s and buy live white mice. Yes, they sold mice to people to feed their pet snakes or whatever.
Wear a jacket with zippered pockets and unleash about a dozen mice in the theater, talk about pandemonium, screaming teenage girls, old ladies running for the exits.
I think I was drunk more often than I was sober at movies when I was a teen.
One time in particular my friend Chad started smoking during the film. We moved away from him because we didn’t want to get thrown out, but to the contrary… Other people started smoking too! The guy next to him, a beefy Boss Hogg type said “Well hell, if he can do it…” and then he lit up. Soon the whole theater was smoking, and not just cigarettes either! It was hilarious.
The manager eventually came in and stopped the film and threatened to throw us all out, but by then it was too hard to sort out who was doing it and who wasn’t so they just restarted the film.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
Why can’t we all just BEHAVE in the movie theater?
hot fuzz says
I think we may be in the minority here. Live mice, batteries, tearing down walls, meats, fluids, “barfing” on people? What’s not to be proud of?
Sounds like a typical Saturday night to me.
Rocky Horror Picture Show, early 80’s. We went armed with: Rice, Toast, Water, Hot Dogs, Newspaper(put over head for protection) and other stuff I can’t remember. Guy I was with brought some Calcium Carbonate which he put between toast slices and tossed, It smells like rotten eggs when mixed with water. My buddy then pissed in a cup and winged it, that’s when we were thrown out with a third guy sitting with us that we did not know. Once tossed the guy we didn’t know produced raw eggs and said “Let’s egg the theatre”. I’m not innocent but was drving and took the hell off once my buddy and the unknown guy did the egging. I punched out the interior overhead light of my car and we snuck out of the mall parking lot with cops milling about. Fucked up but a great time as well.
Not much from an actual sit down theatre from me. Our theatre owner in Redmond, WA back in the 1960s was probably a not too distant relative of the Soup Nazi. Man, he was strict. The dude would give you a month’s suspension from the theatre just for chewing your Milk Duds too noisily.
My best is a drive in movie theatre story. Back in the day when they had those metal speakers on a cord hanging from a post by your car…driving off and ripping them from the cord was high fun! I had a friend who had stolen four of them, then hooked them up to the AM radio in his 1964 Plymouth Valiant for that budget “Quadraphonic Sound!”
Anyway, September 3rd, 1975, the night before I went into the Air Force. Me and some friends were at the Puget Park Drive In in Everett, Washington. “Blazing Saddles” was the feature.
As the movies ended at about 2AM, one of our “not so bright” friends wrapped the speaker cord around the door post of his Mom’s Dodge Charger, and sped toward the exit. Unfortuanately, the cord didn’t break, and he sped out the exit with not only the speaker, but also the metal post, and about a 50 hunk of concrete that the post was anchored to. Fun times!
I can’t believe what I’ve been reading here. Total disregard of other people. Uninvited groping, use of popcorn in lewd manners and indiscriminate spurtting. I would never have thought to do such things and quite frankly…I’m jealous. I now realize I wasted my golden years of being able to get away with that stuff. I mean…what the fuck man?…If I now took a girl to the movies and immediatly honked her horn and shoved my hand down into her grab my ass jeans she’d most likely…ok…bad example. If I was to now pull the popcorn trick, when she got to her surprise she’d most likely give me a wide eyed glare which would turn to complete astonishment when she realized someone had finally given her the surprise she’d been waiting for all these years. Ok…another bad example. So..I guess I must commit myself to futher research and file my report at a later date.
the only halfassery i was ever witness to was when i took two of my secrets to a local theater and my son dropped a box of lemonheads on the floor which rolled down to the front, scaring everyone, who thought they were insects of some kind. this was a very long time ago when my secrets were in grade school. my secret was young enough that it embarrassed him deeply. if any is interested, the profiles of my two secrets, mark and sara are on this page, liking the wvsr. also, my secret’s best friend, steve is there too. mark doesn’t look like that anymore; he’s quite the professional now and neatly grppmed.
make that groomed. i hate this keyboard.
That’s why you get the big bucks. I was trying to argue, rather unsuccessfully, that the Founding Fathers had Willie in mind as a special case with regard to the 4th amendment. Obviously, your advice is considerably more practical.
Seriously, I never do anything really important without consulting my attorney.
Not so seriously, we got the lawyer. Now for the guns and money….
I once did the ol’ dick through the bottom of the popcorn bucket trick but it was actually through an anyhill at the anteater farm I co-opped at in college. Worst idea ever.