Back before video rentals became big business with the opening of the first Blockbuster Video store in Dallas in 1985, people went out to theaters for much of their entertainment.
In my city, it wasn’t too far off the mark to see groups of people to going to late Friday night showings of either Talking Head’s ‘Stop Making Sense’ (“Once In A Lifetime”, above) or Frank Zappa’s ’200 Motels’ (excerpt, below) at the local repertory movie house, The Princess Theatre. However, excessive singing and dancing in the aisles, as well as excessive public inebriation, led these two films to be eventually permanently banned from the theatre.
Sure, now in the digital age we can all possess a copy of these films and watch them whenever we feel like it – yet there really is something missing about not experiencing, say, “200 Motels” communally. An experience I certainly do cherish. There is something awe inspiring to see so many freaks in one place, arm-in-arm, singing “Lonesome Cowboy Burt” in unison.