Short Cuts

The Alamo Drafthouse is feelin' alright, while the rest of Austin isn't feeling too good itself.

Recession-Proofing Your Business the Tim League Way Dept.: Asked what effect, if any, the ongoing economic slump might be having on the Alamo Drafthouse's two movie houses, owner Tim League simply notes: "The two businesses that thrived during the Depression were retailers of alcohol and retailers of movies, so we're doing great. A downturn in the economy doesn't mean anything to us." Since both the established downtown venue (409 Colorado) and the more recently opened Alamo North (2700 W. Anderson Ln.) manage to make a killing with both of those fine retail products, they've got nothing to worry about. League has, however, recently completed some fine-tuning of the programming for the original theatre after noticing that they were losing some of their first-run business to the North venue (which makes it sound like the Alamo is losing business to itself, confusingly enough). The changes are reflected on the new Alamo calendar, which -- for the micro-chain's downtown theatre, at least -- features far fewer first- and second-run features in favor of smaller and more obscure pictures. "With the opening of the North store," says League, "we've found that with us playing the new-release product up there it's taken away some of the audience from downtown. So we've made the decision to boost our specialty programming -- the silent film series and some really unique single-day screenings -- and then fill in some arthouse titles, but for a much shorter run, usually no more than a week." Longtime fans of the Alamo's already quirky programming should rejoice even more, since this retooling means more of the sorts of mini-fests the Alamo has become famous for (i.e. Savini Fest, Fulci Fest, and the like), as well as other additions to the lineup, including the Flicker Austin Film Fest, which has moved its quarterly screenings from the Blue Theater to the Alamo Downtown (for space considerations) and various "small, boutique-type films" that the American Cinemathique is distributing. All in all, it's boom times for the Alamo even as the rest of Austin wallows in a dot-com hangover... Flicker Austin has issued a call for entries for their upcoming quarterly small-gauge film fest, which will be held at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown on Sunday, Feb. 17, 7pm. As always, submitted films must originate on film (Super 8 or 16mm) and be under 15 minutes in length. For more info check their site at or e-mail ... Finally, a fond farvål to local filmmaker Gonzalo Gonzales (director of the "Beset" segment of Six in Austin and former executive director of the Cinemaker Co-op), who at press time is winging his way to Sweden to join his beloved and, presumably, make cinematic trouble of one sort or another for the unsuspecting Swedes. Hasta la vista, Gonzo.

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Alamo Drafthouse, Tim League, Flicker Austin, Gonzalo Gonzales, Beset, Six in Austin

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