The Decline of Western Civilization opening night, 1980

Director Penelope Spheeris writes, “In 1980 when I made The Decline of Western Civilization, it was impossible to get distribution. The theater owners said no one cared about punk rock, no one would come to theaters to see a documentary. I finally convinced one unsuspecting Hollywood Boulevard theater owner to give us a single midnight showing. So many punks showed up that the LAPD sent out what appeared to be the entire force. Edward Colver, a brilliant photographer that had himself documented the scene in still frames, captured the moment as proof. Had he not no one would have believed it — hundreds of cops… astounded and bewildered by the sea of Mohawks, leathers and studs. I soon received a letter from Police Chief, Daryl Gates, requesting that I not show the film ever again in Los Angeles.” Source: This Long Century.

Added by:
Stacey on November 3, 2010