Right click the program icon and select WinXP compatibility mode from the popup
If you have Win7 64bit PRO or higher, try Microsoft's Virtual XP
This is only ONE example of using Virtual XP http://forums.adobe.com/thread/702693
Also note that version 8 was one of the most troublesome versions of the program ever released. In fact, it's one of the few that Adobe released a patch packet for shortly after its release.
Have you ensured your running version 8.01?
And may I be so bold as to recommend upgrading to pretty much any version since? Particularly versions 10 and 11, which are designed to run on 64-bit operating system?
Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 works great on my Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit computer. It even works great on Windows 8 64 bit.
Do you have the automatic Background Rendering and AutoAnalzyer features turned Off? Please check the Elements Organizer interface associated with Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 to make sure that the AutoAnalyzer options are turned Off. In Elements Organizer, Edit Menu/Preferences/AutoAnalayzer Options. Check the Premiere Elements workspace Edit Menu/Preferences/General to make sure that there is no check mark next to the Background Rendering option.
If you think it will tell us more than you already wrote,
Every time I try to open a project I get the error message; adobe premiere pro and adobe premiere elements are not compatible
please post a screenshot of the error message.