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Fantastic Fest Heads to Lakeline

Genre festival moving to newest, biggest Alamo

By Richard Whittaker, 11:00AM, Fri. May. 10, 2013

The new Alamo Lakeline, home to Fantastic Fest 2013
The new Alamo Lakeline, home to Fantastic Fest 2013

Attention fans of genre, gore and all-round odd cinema! The Alamo Drafthouse has just announced that Fantastic Fest, its annual celebration of all movies bizarre and unique, will be moving to the new Alamo Lakeline for 2013.

Lakeline is their newest venue – so new it's actually still under construction. Located at SH45 and US 183 (or the junction of Research and the toll road), it will be the largest Drafthouse to date, with 10 screens in total (including a 35mm projector for archive prints), plus a bar that the Drafthouse promises will highlight their beer selections.

The beloved festival has been held at the Alamo South Lamar since its inception in 2005, but with the renovation at that site far behind schedule, the Drafthouse team has been working hard on a replacement location for this year.

The hunt for a suitable fill-in stand-in for South Lamar has been a long and tough one. Many options were on the table, but none seemed to fit the Fantastic Fest demand for enough screens, enough party space and enough hotel rooms (Slaughter was the right size, but there's no hotels or bars nearby, while Village has lots of amenities but is only four screens.) Announcing the new location, the Drafthouse staff wrote, "At each stage we weighed impact on our in-town and out-of-town friends and guests of the festival, along with each option’s ability to adhere to the core values and spirit on which Fantastic Fest was built. In the end, we settled on a space that allows us to keep the Fantastic Fest family under one roof while still providing easy access for Austin residents and hotels for those traveling."

Regular FFers can breathe a sigh of relief that the gathering of the geek clans is happening. The trade-off is that, unlike Alamo South Lamar, Lake Creek is way out in the 'burbs. Good news for users of public transport: There is a Cap Metro bus that goes out the far, the 383. Bad news, it only runs until 11pm. Mind you, car drivers will be swapping the horrible traffic jams on South Lamar for the occasionally fast-moving Research.

And for anyone complaining that it's too far out, the fest staff have confirmed that they were considering New Braunfels.

Now the location is set, the festival is still working on hotel discounts and event locations, plus a site for indie gaming expo Fantastic Arcade. In the meantime, keep coming back to the Chronicle screens blog for more updates.

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