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Fathom Events has scheduled a special encore presentation of 20th Century Fox’s Young Frankenstein, after the film’s director, Mel Brooks, hosted a special screening at the Darryl F. Zanuck Theatre on the studio lot.
Brooks’ anticipated appearance and live introduction of the 1974 classic horror comedy was supposed to be live-streamed into approximately 550 theaters across the country that were showing the film in its entirety; however, some of those theaters didn’t screen the introduction. The encore showing, scheduled for Oct. 18, will be presented along with the taped segment of Brooks’ Oct. 5 appearance, and that should be a relief to many of those who had hoped to catch him the first time around. (More information about the screening can be found here.)
Brooks spoke about working with his longtime friend and collaborator Gene Wilder during his live introduction. “I’ve had a few great memories in life, but I think honestly, I think making Young Frankenstein is probably the finest year of my life.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Fathom confirms that the company has received reports “that a small number of theaters experienced issues” in presenting Brooks’ live introduction from the Fox lot. Of the 550 theaters that showed the film across the U.S., Fathom indicates that only “a handful of locations” were affected. Plans for an encore screening were made before theatergoers complained of a missed Brooks introduction, however.
“We have reached out directly to each affected theater to ensure smooth execution of the Encore presentation of the event taking place in select cinemas on Oct. 18,” reads the statement from Fathom’s Jessica Nelson. “In the meantime, we will be responding to customer inquiries to offer alternate options for viewing the missed introduction. We are committed to a great customer experience and express our disappointment that anything would interfere with the enjoyment of this beloved film.”
According to social media, theaters that experienced issues in presenting the introduction included locations in Beaverton Ore., Lakewood, Colo., Richmond Heights, Ohio, Pinellas Park, Fla., Sun Prairie, Wis., and Livonia, Mich., among others. Locally, even those in Burbank — at the AMC Burbank 16 — missed Brooks’ introduction. One audience member, Anita York, called the experience a “rip-off,” adding that she had hoped to see the live introduction in a theater in Oceanside, Calif. “I own the DVD, I paid up for Mel. No explanation, no apology. Bummed,” she posted.
In an email to THR, Michael Forrest detailed that he attended the 5 p.m. showing in Burbank with his wife. “Problem is, no one at the movie theater knew about the feed. So, we didn’t see it. Don’t know if the ball was dropped at 20th Century Fox or with the AMC staff? But someone did,” he explained, adding that he had hoped to hear stories from Brooks about the film and its star, the late comedic legend Gene Wilder. “Theater management gave free passes to angry viewers, but we were all there to hear Mel Brooks and didn’t.”
That said, Forrest tells THR that he’s still happy he showed up. “My wife and I had a very nice time enjoying one of our all-time favorite comedies with roughly 400 other people who clearly feel the same way,” he said.
9:50 p.m.: Updated to clarify Fathom Events plan for encore screenings.
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