I saw Blue Velvet as a college assignment freshman year (1992) at the student union theater. It was supposed to be shocking us out of our conservative mindsets, creating new Weltaunshaungs, ways of seeing, blah blah blah. I loved being the only kid who had already seen it, probably 10 times or more by then, and watching everyone else get offended while I laughed at some of Frank's more outrageous statements. Fun to make the snotty professors (there were two of them) realize that all of us weren't bumpkins to whom they were bringing fire for the first time. My parents always let me watch whatever I wanted, so I didn't realize I was supposed to have been offended; it was just an awesome movie!
Seeing Argento's Suspiria in Berkeley sometime in the mid '90s was a pretty memorable experience because I just loved seeing it on a big screen, but the print wasn't that good and the audience was annoying. Another great experience for me was seeing the classic Jacques Tourneur film Night of the Demon. The print was terrific and there was practically no one in the audience but myself and the few friends who came with me. Everyone should experience Tourneur and Argento in a theatre.
Holger Haase (Hammer and Beyond)
The films didn't matter, but the company did so I have to say the fun filled weekend in Baltimore that I spent with the Eurotrash Paradise folks a few years ago (3?) in Baltimore.
Kingmob (Dear Bastards)
Bearing in mind that I live in a rather small town, exciting theatrical experiences are few and far between, but one in particular does stick out. I recall attending a midnight screening of Heavy Metal that was a lot of fun, as the crowd was composed of a nice cross section of fans, some who had been waiting to see the film again in a theater for a good long time, others who had seen it on its initial run in the early 80's; it was a great experience. I honestly can't recall the circumstances of the theatrical showing, perhaps in anticipation of the VHS release of the film? This would've been in the late 90's when it happened. It was a fun film to catch on the big screen, with an audience that was there to enjoy themselves.
Matthew (Double O Section)
Seeing The Wicker Man in a packed house at Los Angeles' Egyptian Theatre, I remember being awed that the movie was so unsettling, put people under such a spell, that there was Christopher Lee in a dress and a wig leading a crazy procession and no one was laughing! They were all too entranced or too creeped out. That's the power of cinema in action!
When in my youth I'd often sneak
Into a flea pit there to seek
A fantasy of creepy thrills
Designed to give the punter thrills.
Bela, Boris, Chaney all
Were welcome friends in the front stall
But as time flew - as needs it must
I found myself desiring just
A change of pace - a hint of colouTo satisfy my love of horror
And so it was, I must relate
I saw an X certificate.
Lee and Cushing made a mark
As I sat gibbering in the dark
Whilst watching with a rictus grin
My eyes devouring every sin.
Excired to a nervous stammer
I realised I'd witnessed Hammer.
And nothing was ever the same again.
Keith Brown (Giallo Fever)
Seeing the Grindhouse releasing print of The Beyond, complete with the trailer reel for Massacre Mafia Style, Cannibal Ferox and so on at Dead by Dawn horror film festival many years back.