We would always drive the long way so we could go over the scary bridge; not the quick drive on the four lane. It was about 30 miles to the cinerama theater. When you sat right down front, your whole field of vision was encompassed by the curved screen.
I guess we did this every weekend for 3 months. We'd take whatever (acid, usually) and go see 2001.
When the monkey throws the bone in the air and it turns into a spaceship, the folks we took for the first time would jump so far out of their chairs that there were actually dents on the ceiling. Well, OK; that's an exaggeration. But there was more than one strong soul who had to go sit in the car 'cause it was just too damn much to take.
Imagine that now while your kids watch Scream III or The Haunting. Also think about the difference in the overall message.
Kubrick really knew what Arthur C. Clarke was trying to say in his story, and I doubt if anyone else in that time could have made this movie.
Of course, when you watch it now, it seems rather slow and droll, doesn't it? Here we are in the year 2000.
ADDENDUM: As for Yossarian's claim about which came first, this is from the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"In the 1960’s, Clarke collaborated with motion-picture director Stanley Kubrick in making the innovative and highly praised science-fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), based on Clarke's short story The Sentinel (1951) and subsequently developed into a novel (1968)."
So, I suppose he's partly correct. The point is that Kubrick could have never written this story himself.