It’s Good to See You Again! It’s Also Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper!
10-9-74 – Four Suburban Detroit area cinemas get “Four-Walled” by Alice Cooper – or really Penthouse Productions’ Alice Cooper movie before the company went on the long journey that was the making of Caligula. The world of Rock and Roll Moves was about to have a Gross-Out if not a High Grossing film with It’s Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper. Released when Alice Cooper was putting the finishing touches to his first solo venture, Welcome to My Nightmare which would see release in Early 1975 following up on the last album by Alice Cooper as a band, Muscle of Love (with “Teenage Lament ’74”), most of this film offers a reminder of how great the Billion Dollar Babies tour was and how powerful Alice Cooper were in their prime although the full film was only a partial success and (hate to say it, but truth is truth) a box office flop. The nature of the business beast was booking it in Four Wall (Rent-a-Screen) fashion in small theaters and the occasional struggling cinema that would book these shows if the commercial value was right which at that time Alice was still standing strong with hit singles and consistent FM airplay although in the end even they would not help the film’s brief life in the cinema with two different edits.
The premiere Detroit area showing was in a few suburban theaters, most of them comparatively small and based in consumer-based areas. I think that the Detroit showing was the only one with the original version.
Kingswood – Located in Bloomfield Hills, this would feel the pain when the Showcase Cinemas stole it’s thunder. Closed: 1981. Today, it’s a piece of land as you drive on Woodward.
Parkway 1&2 – Located in Mt. Clemens (the city where WLBS had it’s roller coaster radio ride from Funk to New Wave and then a name and format change in 1984). Located in a Strip Mall the location is now a TJ Maxx.
Towne – in Oak Park near a K-Mart – Now an Aldi.
Fairlane – Not to be confused with the Movies at Fairlane or the 21 Screen theater, this was later known as the Ford-Tel in Dearborn Heights. Located in a Strip Mall area, it’s now a Step Thrift store and Donation Center.
“Mid-Way” Alice in interview mode at the time of the movie’s editing stages shows that the film was originally called Hard Hearted Alice, which turned into the title of a song from Muscle of Love.
10-31-75, Abilene – It’s Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper was a staple of the Midnight Show circuit through the Mid-Late 70’s offering a reminder of how great the Billion Dollar Babies tour was and how powerful the Alice Cooper band were in their prime. Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare was doing well at this time, and both this and the concert movie based on the singer’s TV special which toured the country to more success showed the macabre showmanship in good form although the more professional Nightmare remains the more solid choice to check out 70’s Cooper in visual feature form. While It’s Good to See You Again had brilliant concert moments that are definitive Alice Cooper at it’s shock rock peak, most of the dopey Comedy which resembled a low-level imitation of Magical Mystery Tour-style humor killed the effect of what could have been a full on classic that’s at least a good product of it’s time.
Still, there was one magic moment of Comedy that’s worth watching in a cinema late at night, with the possibility of some extra influence in the air (The 70’s was “Smokin’ in the Seats” time…and you know what I mean!). This sets the stage for the segments of the Director (an over-the-top Fred Smoot) to “find the Cooper Gang” in a series of short segments that could only be enjoyed with more “Midnight Movie Air”, or at least an appreciation of 70’s Rock and Roll movie hilarity which we might blame The Beatles’ MMT for..or even thank – you can’t take these things too seriously.
11-5-75, Abilene – second ad
11-14-75, Lincoln, Nebraska – This ad grouping captures three trends of the Mid-70’s at three theaters: Sharp Urban Comedies (Let’s Do It Again), Low Budget Four-Walled Family Films (Doty-Dayton’s Seven Alone – the company would go out of business by 1977), and Rock (Cooper). Rock films turned out to be more of a specialty genre in the end but some had serious commercial value like Pink Floyd at Pompeii (just known as Pink Floyd in it’s US theatrical run). Sadly, either version of It’s Good to See You Again – with the comedy or the vintage film clips that replaced the frolicking around – was to prove an uneven viewing experience to make it a contender.
12-5-75, Carbondale, Illinois
5-6-77, Toledo – All Malls at Midnight in the Glass City! The Greenwood was the smallest of the three that used to host Midnight Movies hosted by WTTO-AM months before it changed formats including HG Lewis’ Blood Feast!
In “Looking for the Cooper Gang” fashion through the web, I am on the lookout for more ads for It’s Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper…and it’s good to see you again!
While there’s not too much from the films ready to be posted (Shout Factory has the rights to It’s Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper, and the DVD is a great way to see it.), here’s a definitive Alice Cooper classic that captures the time perfectly…
Who could resist Alice on The Muppet Show? Here’s a classic performance!