This Town Is Big Enough for the Four of Us
There's a new place to get drunk, full, & filmically informed, but it's still the Alamo Drafthouse
Just in time for South by Southwest 2005, Tim and Karrie League are unveiling their newest offspring, the 800-seat Alamo South Lamar (1120 S. Lamar). Thoughtfully located just across the parking lot from theatrical outfitter Big Bertha's Bargain Basement and right next door to the South Austin Gym which is going to come in mighty handy after audiences gorge themselves on Alamo chef John Bullington's (late of Mars) updated menu the newest spawn-of-Alamo opens Friday, March 4, with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on the following Tuesday.
Designed by architect Richard Weiss, who also conceived the Alamo's Village, San Antonio, and Houston locations, the new venue sports six theatres with the largest, a 200-seater, boasting the single biggest (non-IMAX) screen in town at some 55 feet. There's also a mammoth parking lot perfectly suited to reformatting as a drive-in theatre via the Alamo's Rolling Road Show inflat-o-screen.
"The one thing we're really pleased about," says Tim "Too Big" League, "is the largest screen, which is not only big, but silver, too. That'll be our two-projector theatre so that we can do any kind of 3-D and make sure the image is really big and really bright."
Opening week is, not unexpectedly, a cavalcade of special screenings, including a must-see (trust us on this) showing of Brad Bird's The Iron Giant, with Iron scribe and Secondhand Lions director Tim McCanlies on hand; a brace of Richard Linklater's finest; and a screening of horror groundbreaker Phantasm, with newly arrived Austin resident and star Michael Baldwin on hand to comfort you if you freak out (evil interdimensional dwarves not included).
Next Stop Nowhere: Meanwhile, back at the Alamo's 409 Colorado downtown location, programmer Kier-La Janisse is bringing in Seattle-based film writer/curator Zack Carlson for I Was a Teenage Quincy Punk night, 9:45pm, Monday, March 7, which promises to be the wiggiest nostalgia trip since their Ramones-mania screening of Rock 'n' Roll High School. Die-hard punks (read: old) will recall with a mix of fondness and horror the infamous 1982 episode of Jack Klugman's medical-examiner show, Quincy, which posited death by punk rock and reveled in the sort of faux-hawk cheesery that made clueless Eighties television all but tolerable (remember GBH on MTV? ... yikes).
But wait, there's more: Curator Carlson is also bringing in the equally legendary (but nowhere near as Klugmanned) ChiPS punk episode, the 1987 ABC Afterschool Special The Day My Kid Went Punk, and gobs more. Check out www.drafthouse.com for all the specs.