Watch this 1979 Texas local news network report on the premiere of ALIEN

Originally published at: Watch this 1979 Texas local news network report on the premiere of ALIEN | Boing Boing


Hey! I’ve been there!. it was one of the first theaters in Ft. Worth to get Dolby Sound. I saw Star Wars in the Ridglea. More recently, it was remodeled to become a place to see live bands. I think it was there I first saw the Reverend Horton Heat.


Four dollars! In 1979?! That seems really high. OK, maybe I’m comparing it to when I saw a lot of pictures in college nearly a decade later, but then on bargain Tuesday, or college appreciation Wednesday, $4 would get two people in.

On the other hand, Alien in 70 mm projection would have been pretty cool.

Knowing what I do about the movie now, there is no way that I would encourage someone under 18 to go see it. Some quite disturbing imagery in there. (Did you hear how the chestburster scene is, to an extent, enforced method acting? The actors did not know just how bursty it was going to be beforehand.) But, the movie poster is classically minimalist, and newspaper summaries/reviews of it at the time probably did not offer that much guidance.


“Are you glad you saw it?”


And that second dad, you know he’s a QAnon follower if he’s still alive today. You just never know, there could be chest-bursting aliens out there and we might have to deal with it.

As for the reporter, nothing like a little parent shaming and unsourced facts to get people’s dander up.


“Are you sorry you brought your son to see Alien?”

“No ma’am. It’s something that, you know, he needs to know if, things like that could happen in life. That could be a true story. Based on, you know, the science, the science. We never know what’s going on in the outside world.”

True that.




I was hosting a dinner party for two couples I know. One of the gentlemen started convulsing and collapsed back on the table. Before I could check for an obstructed airway an alien nymph burst out of his chest.

I was mortified!

I mean, I hadn’t set a place for the little bugger and didn’t prepare enough portions. I came off as an inconsiderate host.

That couple hasn’t spoken to me since.


“At $4 a ticket, perhaps they feel that have too much invested…(to walk out)” :rofl:

I find that most horror movies from the 70’s/80’s don’t hold up. When I watch them now the special effects are just too hokey and ruin my suspension of disbelief too much for the movie to still be scary (or even particularly enjoyable). That is not true for Alien. It’s one of the few horror movies of that era that is still as intense today as the day it was released (The Exorcist is the other movie on that list).

My 13 year old son is currently “Alien curious”. I’m not rushing him into it, but I don’t think I’ll ask him wait until he’s 18 either. I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw it, but it was definitely younger than 18.

The last time I watched it was probably 15 years ago…in a theater…with Tom Skerritt in attendance.


I’m not surprised these parents took their children to this movie. When this came out I was 10 years old and a huge science-fiction fan. I hated horror and was deeply affected by anything scary, but the advertising for this movie was so convincing that it was a “real science fiction story,” that I convinced my father to take me to see it. I remember really pleading with him to go (the only other movie I ever saw with my dad was the Muppet Movie).

I was terrified from the moment it started. We also did not walk out - not sure why. It was a somewhat traumatizing event for me (but not as bad as when I went to see the Elephant Man).


17 bucks in 2023 dollars, so fairly high for a regular movie theater. The closest theater to me charges 12 bucks. And you can have beer. And they have Oppenheimer in 70mm.

I used to work with this guy who was talking about when they had a family party and they were going to watch Gladiator (this was around the time it came out on DVD) but they didn’t let the kids watch.
My ASSUMPTION was that it was because it’s pretty violent. Nope.
It was because of the implied incest. Which I’m fairly certain would fly right over the head of any kid.

There were actual toys released for the movie! The 1970s/1980s were weird in that way. Although maybe this time they went too far and the toy was recalled due to public pressure.


Similar situation in my house. My 9yo is starting to form curiosity on it. Understandable due to myself being a large-ish Alien fan. I have some figures about, a plush 'Burster and 'Hugger (from the old think-geek days), various figures and books (RPG etc).

I had coded up a passable replica of the opening title and showed my family. The opening title itself was enough to cause some distress. Our boys are both super sensitive to video born anxiety from scenes of peril or anxiety.

I personally strongly remember when I first encountered the Alien franchise. I was about 7 and being looked after by my paternal grandmother. She was… hands off? I was up late watching the TV movie that was Aliens. I remember the scene when the marines were entering the reactor and encountering aliens for the first time. The scene with the colonist spit-welded to the wall while the 'burster explodes out of her chest.

I was temporarily (or maybe not temporarily) traumatized. I didn’t talk to anyone about it for years as I knew I shouldn’t have been watching that movie at that age. But it left an imprint for sure. At one point during my bachelor days, I would put on Alien in the evening and fall asleep to it.

After growing up and discovering the background to the production, development and symbology in Alien (both intended and later read into it) My enjoyment of it expands.

I want to share that with my kids, but… on their time.


baby hello GIF


Around 1980, a family friend had a top-loading VCR and bootlegs of all these great films (we were still a few years away from VHS rental stores)… it was maybe a 6th generation copy, soft and smeared as all heck.,. but didn’t I watch the scene where the alien pops out of the egg like a million times.

It being R-rated, still lots of buzz and me only 10, felt like I had access to dark alchemy, things no mere mortal should have. It was glorious. It was inspiration.

  • Had a chuckle when reporter was mentioning all these fantastic films off the top, true classics… then ‘Love Story’ … omg what a stinker.

Funny you should post that since it’s this exact scene that lets me date my first experience watching Alien to “some time after I was 11” as I distinctly remember not getting this joke when I saw Spaceballs in the theatre as a new release.

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Alien came out a few months before I was born, and Spaceballs was one of the first videos we rented after my family finally got a VCR, so I didn’t understand the joke initially either.

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I saw this in the theater, at 9, at a point when my parents were too poor to pay for a babysitter instead of taking me to the movies. (The Wicker Man was another one I saw at 9.) Great movie.

The interviewer in that clip is alive and kicking at 96!


I saw Jacob’s Ladder at my neighborhood theater when it came out

in the middle of the night

by myself :grimacing:

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I suspect when the public pressure appeared, they dropped all work on the Kane / spring-loaded baby-alien action figure.

Assuming they were ever working on one. Which I (unrealistically) hope they were.

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