I'm (very) late to the party on this, but I stumbled across this thread while searching for information on the "premier" screening in January 1983 in Glasgow. (The cinema had "world premiere" plastered across the posters, but it was actually the second public screening after Detroit in 1981).
My mate and I were in the front row that night, having lined up for an hour in the freezing depths of the Scottish winter with only a bag of lager cans to help fend off the cold.
I tracked down a local paper ad for the showing...
In the book, it says:
The place was packed with 700 drunk Glaswegians, Raimi, an assistant and Webster.
As the advert mentions, it was actually make-up and effects guy Tom Sullivan who performed the effects demonstration on someone sitting in a rigged chair. I remember Sullivan being introduced but have no recollection of Raimi being involved. Presumably Webster was the person in the chair.
The estimate of "700 drunk Glaswegians" is way off. The largest of the two screens at the Grosvenor only sat 285 people.
This quote, however...
Everyone in the cinema was absolutely smashed.
...is absolutely true. You don't put on a midnight screening on a Friday night in Glasgow and expect sobriety. The two of us had certainly been down the pub all evening.
It wasn't only the audience that was boozed up though. At one point before the effects demo started, the cinema manager appeared and launched into an extended inebriated rant about being denied access to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
(at that point the major U.K. cinema circuits got first dibs on new films). To audience cheers, I got up and offered him one of my lagers, which he promptly opened and started slugging.
Many thanks to EvilDeadChainsaws for posting the pages from the book. Nice trip down memory lane that was!