Will 225 People Watch ‘Predator’ With Us at the Byrd?


“You’re one ugly motherfucker.”  

— Major Dutch Schaefer, upon making first contact with an Alien species.

Since humanity has looked to the stars, a singular question has lingered over our non-terrestrial endeavors — are we alone up there in the night sky? Throughout the ages, many philosophers and cosmologists have attempted to untangle the enormity of this question. In 1950, the Italian American physicist Enrico Fermi challenged mankind with his now famous paradox, “Where is everybody?” 

That question was answered on June 12, 1987, almost 37 years to the day, when the cinematic masterpiece, Predator, starring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, landed in theaters nationwide — proving once and for all that indeed, we are not alone in the universe. Quite to the contrary, we share it with a species of formidable big-game hunters who stalk and eliminate Earth’s finest warriors.

For those who need a refresher, Predator follows a relatively straightforward plotline: Deep in the jungle a CIA team has vanished, and there is only one man who can spearhead their retrieval — Schwarzenegger. Joined by his team of highly skilled, yet equally beefcake special operators, they are ready to confront any threat lurking in the steamy cold-war jungles of Central America. 

Unfortunately for them it soon becomes painfully obvious that “there’s something in those trees” — and that something is not just the local communist guerillas. Fortunately for everyone else on planet Earth, this “predator” goes up against Schwarzenegger in his prime, and, spoiler, get’s fucked up in the process (the audacity of an alien species to think they could come to Earth and go toe-to-toe with 1987 Arnold). 

Beyond glistening abdominals and the sheen of well-oiled deltoids, Predator holds its own as one of cinema’s all time great action films and is a true masterclass in building tension and terror. The pacing is perfect, the sound design is unsettling, and the larger-than-life characters weave together a flawless blend of science fiction and horror in a way that had avoided action films up until this point. Not to mention the flex shake between Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers (RIP) has become celluloids greatest appreciation of biceps evert caught on camera. 

While on the surface, Predator positions itself as a genre defining action film, it is also a social critique of American military attitudes following the Vietnam War. There is a subtle narrative woven throughout the film mocking the overconfidence and bravado of muscle-bound heroes, especially when faced with a superior adversary like the Predator. The big takeaway: Brains, not braun, ultimately carries the day. 

Predator at the Byrd Theatre_RVA Magazine 2024
Let’s watch ‘Predator’ together.

Join RVA Mag on April 23rd at 7pm for a one-night only screening of Predator. Bring 225 of your friends, grab a beer, and help us preserve one of the last remaining Grand Cinema Palaces in the US. All ticket proceeds are going to support the ongoing preservation of the Byrd Theatre. If you would like to make an individual donation to the Byrd Theatre Foundation directly, you can find a link here

“Get to the choppa.” See you there.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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