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'Family Guy' hitting big screen for one night only (Updated with event review)

Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 4:43 PM Central
Last updated Friday, September 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM Central

by John Couture

It seems that the local megaplexes are at a crossroads. Ticket prices have exploded over the last few years. It seems that audiences are finally starting to push back from the 3D craze. And let's face it, the quality of movies being churned out by Hollywood is subpar at best.

Yes, I'm looking at you Bucky Larson.

So, it would seem logical for theater owners to devise some way (any way) to get the proverbial butts into the seats. From there, they'll continue to make a killing on their 1 million percent markup on the big o' tub of popcorn covered with butter flavored oil.

Today, Fox announced that tomorrow night (gotta love that lead time) they will be bringing Family Guy to the big screen for a one-night only midnight showing of an unaired episode and some other cool content. The best part? It's completely FREE!

The catch? They are only offering this special engagement in 10 cities. If you happen to live in one of them and go, please let us know what you thought of the event.

“Something, Something, Something Anniversary” Screening Cities and Theaters:
City Theater Address Tickets
Atlanta Regal Atlantic Station 261 19th Street NW, Atlanta
Boston Fenway Stadium 13 & RPX 201 Brookline Ave, Boston
Chicago Kerasotes Showplace ICON 150 W. Roosevelt Rd, Chicago
Dallas Studio Movie Grill 11170 N. Central Expressway, Dallas
Los Angeles AMC Century City 15 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles
Minneapolis AMC Rosedale 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville
New York Village 7 66 Third Avenue at 11th St, NYC
Philadelphia Rave University City 6 4012 Walnut St, Philadelphia
Phoenix Harkins Tempe Marketplace 2000 East Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe
Seattle AMC Pacific Place 600 Pine St, Seattle

According to the press release:

The screening events will feature an exclusive sneak peak at the first episode of the new season, “Lottery Fever,” in which the Griffin family wins the lottery and struggles to stay grounded. Additionally, fans can experience one of the most popular episodes in Family Guy history, “Road to the Multiverse,” as selected by fans on Facebook, as well as a not-yet-released 22-minute bonus feature from the upcoming Family Guy Volume 9 DVD slated to hit store shelves December 13 entitled “History of the World,” a telling of the creation of earth from a Family Guy perspective.

I don't really expect studios to start showing first run movies for free to generate audiences, but there are a few novel ideas out there and they are all trying to get people off the couch and in a theater. I'm sure everyone is familiar with "one off" special engagements that have been simulcast in theaters over the last year or so.

My wife and I went to one to see the Les Miserables: 25th Anniversary concert and it was spectacular. It offered us a chance to get content that we could get to otherwise and we both filled ourselves up with popcorn, candy and drinks. So, it was a win/win for everyone.

Smaller art house theaters are experimenting with late night cult classic showings or even Sunday afternoon showings of older movies at a discounted rate. I saw Casablanca on the big screen for the first time during such a screening.

Kevin Smith is experimenting with a value-added theatrical experience with Red State next month. At select theaters (you can get the whole list here) on September 25, Smith will show the film simultaneously and then lead a live Q&A after the movie that will be beamed into each theater via satellite.

He will solicit the questions via Twitter so that it will truly be interactive. If that wasn't enough, he will be joined by star Ralph Garman and the pair will beam a live broadcast of their podcast "Hollywood Babble-On" to the theaters following the Q&A.

If it's successful, Smith plans to continue to do events similar to this with other cast members or other podcasts.

One thing is certain, the times they are a changin' as the lyrics go and it seems that if movie theaters don't adapt, they'll go the way of Blockbuster.

Event Review

Faithful reader Harry attended the Family Guy event in Philadelphia and he was kind enough to share his experience with us. Without further ado, I'll turn it over to Harry. Be forewarned, there might spoilers for the upcoming season of Family Guy below. Enjoy!

Last night I went to the “Something, Something, Something Anniversary” Screening in Philadelphia. After emailing the FamGuy email address I got an email back saying that seating was first come first serve and that I should try to get there by 10. Well My girlfriend and I got there around 10:30 and to my suprise there was not a very large turnout. Whether it was that the announcment was so last minute or that everyone just realized that they could watch the season premeire when it comes on next week, I'm not sure, but I think it was worth it and fun to go anyway.

Soon after we got there two guys from a local radio statin WMMR walked around and gave out Conan The Barbarian keychains/ bottle cap openers to keep us entertained while we wait. As you stated in your article, popcorn and sodas were flowing while we waited in line for an hour and a half. We got a large soda for a reasonable price (the theater was in collegeville so I expect their snacks are more moderatley priced) After waiting a little longer they started shuffling us all to the front where they took our cellphones.(laptops, cameras, etc...)

We all lined up again to wait a little longer. Sometime after that, around 11:30 or so we all got to go into the theater they gave us family guy one night stand shirts and wanded us down to make sure we were not sneaking in our cellphones. There were a few good seats taped off for the radio station winners (did the winners know this was a free event? what a rip?) and the two guys from radio station asked us Family Guy trivia question and gave out new Family guy merchandise that is not yet on the market. Dvd sets and action figures, family guy themes board games, monopoly, yahtzee, etc... and shirts. The first question was a medium one, "What was the name of Chris' evil zit?" I think everyone was shy but finally one guy raised his hand and yelled "DOUG!" He won a prize and the radio guy made fun of us all and started asking easier question which were so easy that they were jokes. (Although I was suprised how many people got some of them wrong.)

After they gave out all the prizes it was coming on midnight and the theater got dark. A commercial came on for Seth MacFarlane's new cd, Music Is Better Than Words, its him singing random non Family Guy related crap. And as I was thinking just that and the commercial was ending, Stewie came on the the screen and said, "Are you fu@#cking serious?" HAHA! Touche Stewie! Anyway so the show began. Now, I am tempted to say Spoiler Alert here, although the whole "History of the World" feature was just a long clip show of Family Guy's take on the history of the world. Seth MacFarlane doing an old wise narrarator voice narrarated a bunch of different clips from all different Family Guy episodes starting with God and the frat boy having an arm wrestle and God lighting his fart on fire to cause the big bang to a bunch of Jesus clips, Hitler clips, and when they were all black and slave clips. Then in "the modern era" it was just a bunch of random funny clips. It was cute and still funny, but still just a clip show.

After that came a commerical or two for some new FOX shows. One of which being Napolean Dynamite the animated series. With the entire original cast voicing it. Which I had not heard about yet and thought was pretty interesting. Then "Road to the Multiverse" I of course had seen this episode multiple times but I have to tell you, it was fun to see it up on the big screen and to hear Stewie say, "One poop removal, please." Booming in surround sound. After that came another commercial or two for FOX and the new Family Guy dvd set 9 coming out soon. And then the fun really began. Let me tell you I hope that this season of Family Guy keeps up the momentum that this first episode had. "Lottery Fever" was pretty damn funny. I'm not sure if it was becuase I was jonesing for some new Family Guy or whether it was because I was delerious that late at night, but I thought that the episode was really funny.

SPOILER ALERT! It started off with a bang with the theme some interupted by one of the chorus line girl tapping Peter on the shoulder and telling him she was pregnant and that she's sorry she had to do this in the middle of a song but Peter wouldn't answer her texts or calls. Lois gets mad and comfused just before Peter tells the girl she is crazy and that there is a crazy person on set and security should remove her. After security quickly escorts her off, Peter by himself hums or "Hehs" the last bar or two of the theme song while kicking his legs like the can can and then sings himself, Family Guuuuuy! where it then cuts to the beginning of the episode.

And the laughs just keep on coming. The whole event ended at around 1:15 so that wasn't too late. I had a really good time and was glad I went. I think this season of Family as always will be a blast!