'Ready Player One' premiere gets cheers, despite technical difficulties

How Steven Spielberg stays inspired
How Steven Spielberg stays inspired


    How Steven Spielberg stays inspired


How Steven Spielberg stays inspired 03:40

(CNN)Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" had its world premiere Sunday night. Like the classic '80s arcade games the movie references, the premiere came with a few glitches.

The premiere, which took place at the South by Southwest conference and film festival in Austin, Texas, experienced technical difficulties when the theater's sound system went down during a climatic scene in the film's final act.
Some in Austin's packed Paramount Theatre at first thought the silence was part of the movie, but quickly began to laugh and murmur once the film came to a standstill on screen. The projectionist replayed the scene, but again the sound went out, leading to a delay of about 10 minutes while those holding the festival scrambled to get it up and running again.
    Though the delay meant a break in the moviegoing spell as audience members checked their phones, went to the bathroom and talked with one another wondering if they would be able to see the end of the movie, it also seemed to heighten the enthusiasm in the room. On the third try, when the sound system finally worked, there was a loud round of applause.
    Spielberg, who was in attendance along with the cast, joked after the screening that the technical problems were probably "the greatest anxiety attack" he's ever had.
    The movie, which tells the story of main character Wade Watts' adventures through a virtual reality world and includes many '80s callbacks, ultimately got a roaring standing ovation during the end credits, and a positive buzz outside the theater.
    Warner Bros. pulled out all the stops to promote the film at SXSW. The studio plastered downtown Austin with posters and advertisements, announced the premiere as a surprise and put together a massive activation space that included virtual reality and recreated sets from the film.
    It also held an after-party for the premiere, which was headlined by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and included '80s themed drinks such as Tab soda.
    "Ready Player One" hits theaters on March 29.
    (Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.)