Variety‘s story about the April re-opening of Manhattan’s Quad Cinema (34 W. 13th Street) allows me to re-run “The Crowd Stops Watching and Turns The Showing Into Performance Art”, initially posted on 9.30.15:
“I’ll never forget my first and only viewing of Irwin Allen‘s The Swarm at the Quad Cinema on 13th Street. It was maybe a week or two after the 7.14.78 opening. By then it had tanked and word has gotten around it was mythically awful, so a few feisty types were seated in the smallish Quad theatre. The heckling started between the one-third and halfway mark, and then it got better and better.
“But the film was so impossibly square and tedious and ogygen-sucking that you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the mostly middle-aged or long-of-tooth cast — Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Jose Ferrer, Patty Duke, Bradford Dillman, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda. They were being humiliated, plain and simple.
“As it ended with a shot of Caine and Ross watching the killer bees burn to death at sea, I remember the guys sitting in the front going ‘aaauuughhhhh!,’ like they been gored by a bull.” — from a 4.6.14 post called “Shoulda Been There.”