Hells Angels Movie Screening On Saturday has Tempe Police on Edge

Tempe police are on alert for possible trouble on Saturday at a theater where Hells Angels' members are scheduled to screen a movie about the club.

The 1983 film Hells Angels Forever will be shown at noon at Pollack Tempe Cinemas, theater representatives confirm.

Police have taken notice and will be watching for any "trouble" at the theater near Elliot Road and McClintock Drive, says Tempe police Lieutenant Michael Pooley.

"The theater is paying for some off-duty personnel to be there to help out with traffic control and security," Pooley says. "We will also let our officers in the area know. Our biggest concern is if other people who are not invited come to start trouble with anybody attending."

The Mesa Hells Angels tell New Times that the club rented the theater for an early-afternoon showing of the 1983 movie to help celebrate the group's 68th anniversary. (See full e-mail from the Hells Angels below.)

The club representative says the screening is no big deal and is the second time this has been done.

"Not only were there no issues or incidents at the first screening, there has never been a problem at any H.A. event in the state of Arizona," the Hells Angels state.

That's good. Because no one wants to see a Chino Valley-esque shootout in the hometown of Arizona State University.

Theater owner Michael Pollack, through a representative, confirmed the screening with his own statement.

"An organization identified as HAMC Mesa LLC contacted the theater in February for a private screening of a movie. A contract was signed and we are therefore going to honor that contract and show the movie on Saturday to the group’s members. The theater will be closed for the private screening from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m."

The club doesn't consider the screening totally "private," though, saying the event's "an opportunity for the public to see the film digitally mastered and on the big screen."

What follows is the full statement from the Mesa Hells Angels on the screening and a trailer of the film:

The movie event taking place at the Pollack Cinema's in Tempe on Saturday March 19 at 12:00 pm will be the second showing of its kind by the Mesa Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Not only were there no issues or incidents at the first screening, there has never been a problem at any H-A event in the state of Arizona. Most events are open to the public, some even at the Mesa Hells Angels clubhouse, and are prominently displayed on flyers and posters distributed throughout the valley. 

"The occasion for this event is in celebration of the Hells Angels birthday (3-17-1948) and will start with the showing of HELLS ANGELS FOREVER. An independent film by Hells Angels in 1983 covering previous decades including footage from the sixties through the seventies. An opportunity for the public to see the film digitally remastered and on the big screen."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern