while i don't know how accurate these details are, i remember being in the theater with my mom and my sister (who would've just turned 1) and the faux-balcony/box seat to the left of the theater proscenium that was lit by an eery blue light.
but these are just blurry vestiges surrounding the moment that has been vividly burned into my mind for literally as long as i can remember anything: elliott walking through the cornfield, looking for the mysterious creature and suddenly finding him. the startled motions and unearthly screams of e.t. scared me for years. it wasn't until i was in my mid-teens that i was able to watch that scene and not be wracked with anticipation and still jump when he popped out. i could say that it's because i've always been a jumpy kid, but maybe this is why.
(here's a link if you want to see the scene in question)
once i conquered that fear, i would try watching the movie when it was on tv (remember when movies being on tv was actually kind of a big deal?) and would get creeped out by either him lying pale and dying by the river or else those faceless government astronaut guys breaking into the house to kidnap them. (staring at the space suits at the nasa museum earlier this summer, i got that same feeling after a few moments and had to walk away....)
at any rate, i still don't care for E.T.
- post script 1: the last time i watched the movie was apparently ten years ago when it was back in theaters for it's 20th anniversary release and when, thanks to simple arithmetic, i first realized just how young i was when i first saw that traumatic movie. i had toughened up enough that i actually enjoyed it then.
- post script 2: incidentally, the other memory i have that may be earlier than that is being sealed to my parents in the jordan river temple, which is really the emotional opposite; warmth, white, and peace.