The latest on 'Star Wars,' Drafthouse, and Kickstarter
› Violet Crown Cinema is expanding. No, the Second Street location is sticking to its original four screens, but owner Bill Banowsky is taking a second location to New Mexico as part of the Santa Fe Railyard development. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that a theatre planned for the Mueller development's Town Center will be a Violet Crown, but when we asked Banowsky about local plans, he said: "I don't know who is going in there. It is not VCC." Keep an eye out, Muellerites. And check out the VCC's new CineBrew series, which kicks off May 15 with local craft brew royalty, Jester King.
› Booze and movies just can't be kept apart. Another Austin favorite, the Alamo Drafthouse, celebrated its sixth annual Off-Centered Film Festival last weekend with Dogfish Head craft brew creations. And, never to be accused of kicking back, the Drafthouse also announced a new theatre planned for Lubbock – that's on top of the two under construction in town and the other two announced in El Paso and New Braunfels last month. Also, we can't be certain just yet, but keep an eye out for a very popular series to return to TV at the Alamo: Breaking Bad announced last week that the first of its final eight episodes will premiere Aug. 11 on AMC.
› We've been following Allison Orr's Trash Project from the very beginning, so it's nice to see the Forklift Danceworks project finally back on the big screen in its hometown. After a run at the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival, Trash Dance opens at the Violet Crown on Friday, May 3. Meanwhile, Orr hasn't been idle: On Thursday, April 18, her Kickstarter campaign for her next project officially closed, having raised $22,026 for forthcoming shows in September that turn the spotlight on Austin Energy.
› Speaking of Kickstarter and self-promotion, we've (that's the editorial "we" there, folks) started a new series on the blog called Kickstart Your Weekend. If you're involved in a local film project that's turning to the popular crowdfunding platform to get off the ground, send us a tip at email@example.com. And check out the first few featured projects at austinchronicle.com/pip. We don't expect anything to hit Veronica Mars proportions, but hey, we can dream, right?
› News filtered out from CinemaCon that Disney has firmer plans for those forthcoming Star Wars sequels. We'd already learned that Episode VII was slated for a 2015 release, but The Verge reported last week that Episode VIII is scheduled tentatively for the summer of 2017, with Episode IX to follow two years later. So long as Jar Jar Binks stays out of the frame, you'll hear no complaints here. Meanwhile, Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in the original trilogy, is promoting a literacy campaign with Austin Public Library.
For more film news and the latest on these projects, stay tuned to the Screens blog at austinchronicle.com/pip.