The Hateful Eight director made an unexpected appearance at last night's sold-out 6 and 10:30 pm screenings at the Hollywood Theatre, soaking up the glory of his blood-soaked eighth feature, in Ultra Panavision. The Hollywood, one of around 100 cinemas nationwide with the technology to show Hateful in the 70 mm format that Tarantino filmed in, screens the rare roadshow version.

"Don't you have anything better to do on a Tuesday night?" Tarantino goaded the audience, which exploded in a standing ovation when he took to the stage flashing a peace sign and sporting a fur-collared leather motorcycle jacket.

photo from the Hollywood Theatre
photo from the Hollywood Theatre

"It was nuts. And it was a total surprise," says Hollywood board member Greg Hamilton, who got to hang out in the Hollywood's green room with Tarantino after the director showed up halfway through the earlier screening. "He was really down to earth, a total geek, and he fit right in with the Hollywood vibe."

"A bunch of us chatted with Quentin about kung fu films, the evolution of the Hollywood, and counterculture cinema," Hamilton wrote on his Facebook page.

Photo by Dawn Smallman
Photo by Dawn Smallman

Tarantino lauded 70 mm projection and the multireel system that accounts for the intermission in his three-hour-plus roadshow version, the first Panavision release in almost 50 years (1966's Khartoum starring Charlton Heston was the last). "That's almost been lost for good—if you remember them talking about it in Fight Club—but that's how you're going to see it here tonight!" he yelled, to cheers.

photo from Dan Halsted
photo from Dan Halsted

Introducing the packed late show, he warned: "There's not a hero in the bunch. You might like someone more than another, but I don't make it easy."

"That was the loudest audience reaction I've ever heard," Dan Halsted posted.