I won’t go into my usual retrospective because everyone has seen it many times, but I will share my THE THING story: I saw it the day it opened (June 25th 1982). My mother’s friend Marilyn came over in the morning so she and mom could go shopping. She brought her 9-year old Grandson Michael with her and handed me a $10 bill and said “Go take Michael to see E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (which had opened two weeks earlier) so he’s out of my hair while your mother and I go to the mall”. I dutifully obliged and as soon as young Michael and I got in the car and headed to the theater to see E.T., the kid turns to me and says: “I don’t want to see E.T. – I want to see something rated R!” Well, there was no way I was going to deny this boy the opportunity to see his first R-rated movie. In the pre-VHS days, a first ‘R’ was a big deal – something of a rite of passage. My dad had taken me to see THE FRENCH CONNECTION, my first ‘R’, when I was exactly his age. Michael was being raised by a single mom so I knew it was both my duty and my fate to take him on his initial R-rated adventure and THE THING had just opened. So off we went to the Sunset Hills Cinema that Friday morning and saw THE THING.
I knew nothing about it except that it was directed by John Carpenter and was a remake of a ‘50s sci-fier that I liked. I was unprepared and I can only imagine what was going through the kid’s mind. We jumped and screamed at all the memorable moments: when Norris’ stomach implodes, when the Norwegian frantically digs in the snow and the grenade goes off, when Blair appears behind Garry, when they find Mac holding the dynamite and the flare. To this day, when I see Michael, now a 42-year old man, he never fails to tell me how much he appreciated me taking him to his first ‘R’ 33 years ago.
Now you’ll have the chance to take a 9-year old to see an R-rated movie this weekend when THE THING plays on the big screen at The Tivoli as part of The Tivoli’s Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight Series. I’ll be there with THE THING trivia and prizes….and maybe I’ll bring Michael along.
Admission is $8. Hope to see everyone this weekend at The Tivoli!
The Facebook invite for this event can be found HERE
The Tivoli is located at 6350 Delmar in The Loop. Visit Landmark’s The Tivoli’s website HERE
Here’s the newly –announced Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight schedule for June and July
May 29-30 KUNG FU KILLER – Premiere! Starring Donnie Yen
June 5-6 PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE
June 12-13 THE LAST STARFIGHTER
June 19-20 HOOK
June 26-27 COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE – Subtitled
July 3-4 WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
July 10-11 THE TERMINATOR (1984)
July 17-18 THE SHINING
The Midnight at the Tivoli Fans Facebook page can be found HERE