Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in 'Alien'

‘Alien’ Is Returning to Theaters This Month

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Alien, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece. To celebrate, Disney is re-releasing the 1979 classic the way it was meant to be seen: in a cold, dark movie theater.

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Alien is returning to the big screen on April 26—Alien Day—in honor of the film’s 45th anniversary, and in anticipation of the August release of Alien: Romulus. Released in 1979, Alien stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the lone voice of reason on a commercial starship whose mission is interrupted by a distress signal from an alien vessel. The film also stars Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and a very good cat. Disney also dropped a new trailer for Alien to promote the re-release:

Tickets are on sale now for the re-release of Alien, which looks like it’ll be screening in most chain theaters nationwide for at least a week. Accompanying the film will be a special bonus feature: an interview between Ridley Scott and Fede Álvarez, the director of Alien: Romulus, about the classic film and its legendary status. Disney and Fandango teased the interview in a short preview:

When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, repertory screenings became a major point of concern among film fans: Disney’s policy prevents first-run theaters (those that show new movie releases) from booking classic films if those theaters also show new Disney releases. When Disney bought 20th Century Fox, that policy grew to include the entire Fox catalog—including repertory favorites like Alien, making it harder for theaters that screen both new and older films to book the latter.

One of my fondest moviegoing memories is seeing Alien at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin on New Year’s Day several years ago. Watching Alien on New Year’s Day has long been an annual tradition, and getting to enjoy that tradition in a theater with other film nerds, including some who had never seen it before, felt magical. Disney’s decision to re-release Alien doesn’t make me entirely optimistic about the studio’s repertory policy—Alien is only being re-released because this year happens to be an anniversary and there’s a new sequel coming out—but it’s a positive development nonetheless.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.