2001 Acid Trip

A screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in Los Angeles on Friday night was interrupted by someone apparently having an acid trip during the climax.

Although it could be some kind of stunt, this video shot inside the Egyptian Theater makes for interesting viewing:

IndieWire’s Todd McCarthy was at the same screening and he reports the following:

The Ultimate Trip turned into a bad trip Friday night at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard when one member of the audience at a screening of the Academy’s 70mm vault print of “2001: A Space Odyssey” tried to recreate the late ‘60s a little too aggressively.

Toward the end of the film, when Keir Dullea’s Dr. Dave Bowman finds himself in an ornate bedroom after the trippy Stargate sequence, a voice started booming from the near-front center part of the nearly full house.

The words were disjointed and mostly incoherent but included phrases like “It’s time to sleep!” and “Stanely Kubrick!,” “Wait!,” “It’s time!” and so on. With the film continuing to unspool, there was enough light to see that the ranter was a big burly guy who had now stood up, was waving his arms abruptly and lurching about unpredictably.

Hoping the man would shut up and sit back down, the audience didn’t do much at first, but it was soon clear the guy was tripping big time and was not going to respond to polite admonitions.

Someone who seemed to know him tried to settle him but now the guy seemed provoked and was acting even more crazily.

After a couple of minutes the film was turned off, the lights came up and someone presumably connected to the Cinematheque came down and told the guy he had five seconds to clear out.

McCarthy’s opening line is referring to one of the posters from the original release, which had the tagline: “The Ultimate Trip”

> 2001: A Space Odyssey at the IMDb
> Video of Stanley Kubrick at the opening of 2001

One Reply to “2001 Acid Trip”

  1. I was there, and it wasn’t a stunt. The guy started hitting people and had one in a chokehold. According to a theater staffer, he was tazed five times by police in the lobby, and I saw four cops interviewing people after the film let out. The guy could have easily had a gun or knife. While we can laugh now and point out that vaudeville isn’t dead, at the time it was pretty scary.

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