Shock Treatment Premiere in Houston

Alabama Theatre marquee
Photo by Becky
On August 22nd, 1981, Houston was the 2nd city treated to an advance premiere of Shock Treatment at the historic Alabama Theater, where Rocky Horror was already a regular phenomenon.

Richard O'brien was in town to promote his film and attend the premiere.  He was interviewed by Don Nelson on KHOU's Good Morning Houston (local CBS affiliate), the Houston Chronicle(1) and the Houston Post(2).

Good Morning Houston interview with Don Nelson
Photo by Becky
Mr. O'brien arrived at the theater in a '66 white convertible T-bird with red interior very much like the one in Shock Treatment (a '63 T-bird).

Prior to it's premiere in Houston, the film was first screened on August 7th to a private audience at 20th Century Fox studios in California, and on August 21st (the night before Houston's premiere) in Fresno, CA at the UA Cinema 4 theatre.

O'brien had originally scouted shooting locations in Dallas and Denton, TX for Shock Treatment, but the 1980 SAG strike forced the production back to England(1).

The Houston Chronicle(3) and Houston Post(4) followed up with reviews that were overall favorable, though the movie failed to make a lasting impression.

The film opened at Baybrook Mall General Cinema, Greenspoint Mall General Cinema, Northwest 4 AMC and Westchase 5 AMC the following weekend, August 28th.

Richard O'brien arriving at the Alabama Theatre
Photos by Becky
UA Cinema 4 ad
 Fresno, CA
Houston Post ad
August 21, 1981
Many thanks to Becky, Jonathan Caouette, and Mark Miller for making this article possible!

1. Millar, J. (1981, August 27). 'Shock' applies to more than just O'Brien's film. The Houston Chronicle. p. 8 weekend preview.
2. Gerber, E. (1981, August 29). From 'Rocky Horror' to 'Shock Treatment'. The Houston Post
3. Millar, J. (1981, August 28). 'Shock Treatment' proves less rocky than predecessor. The Houston Chronicle
4. Gerber, E. (1981, August 28). 'Shock Treatment'. The Houston Post