Few places in the world embrace passion for anything the way The Alamo Drafthouse embraces the passion for all things film. This chain of movie theaters, the brainchild of loveable maniacs Tim and Karrie League, was founded in Austin, TX in the late 90s. Since then, it has garnered a reputation as one of the greatest movie houses on Earth; no hyperbole intended. For those unfamiliar, what sets The Alamo Drafthouse apart from so many paltry multiplexes is threefold. The Alamo boasts a full menu of tasty edibles from complex culinary triumphs to palate-pleasing comfort foods, and a wide array of beers and wines. These eats and drinks are delivered right to you as you watch the film. The Alamo has instituted an order-by-card system that ensures your movie experience will not be interrupted by the food delivery process. Furthermore, The Alamo has a strict no-talking policy stringently enforced by the management to further protect your film-going experience. But above all else, what drives hardcore movie geeks like me into the hallowed confines of The Drafthouse day after day is its plethora of signature film events and dedication to films of every conceivable ilk.
Introducing Fandango’s Brand-Spanking-New Alamo Guide!
With that in mind, I give you Fandango’s brand-spanking-new Alamo Guide! Every week we’ll break down all the incredible events and screenings taking place at The Drafthouse and include links to where you can buy your tickets to these cinematic extravaganzas.
Friday May 13th
Master Pancake: Cage-a-Thon
Alamo Lake Creek 7:00pm & 10:00pm
The Alamo’s resident comedy troupe, Master Pancake, provide an evening of laughs as they supply their own commentary track to some stinky Hollywood misfires. This week they offer a retrospective of some of Nicolas Cage’s most bizarre performances from across the span of his wildly uneven career.
Alamo South Lamar 2:05
Acclaimed director Takeshi Miike helms this epic actioner set in feudal Japan. When an evil lord finds himself poised to become the next emperor, a cadre of outcast samurai are given the assignment of plying their bloody trade in order to prevent such a catastrophic event.
Alamo Survivor’s Tip: 13 Assassins was among the biggest hits at last year’s Fantastic Fest, a week-long film festival hosted by The Alamo Drafthouse herself. The film will only be receiving a limited theatrical run so don’t miss your chance to see this spectacular martial arts/swordplay triumph on the big screen.
Saturday May 14th
National Theater Live: Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein.
Alamo South Lamar 7:05pm
Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) brings his vision of Mary Shelley’s classic horror story to the London stage. This big-screen broadcast of the theatrical event is a double whammy of performance as lead actors Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch trade off portraying Victor Frankenstein and his monster from evening to evening.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Alamo Village 11:55pm
Thrill to all the cheap laughs, cheap women, and cheap production values of one of the world’s premier bad movies. Watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show in-and-of-itself is an event, but it takes on a whole new life when witnessed within the walls of The Alamo Village with loads of audience participation, dressed-up patrons, and general wickedness that has become a vital component to the film’s meteoritic rise to cult film legend.
Alamo Survivor’s Tip: Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein is also playing Friday night, but having seen both versions of the play, it is my firm belief that Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the monster makes for a far superior evening. You definitely want to go Saturday night.
Sunday May 15th
w/Live Score by Graham Reynolds
Alamo Ritz 3:00pm
Sergei’s Eisenstein’s classic silent film is elevated and enhanced with a live, in-house score by musician Graham Reynolds. If you’ve not seen this historic ode to the working class and the spirit of revolution, this may be the optimal opportunity to witness Battleship Potemkin.
Cinema Club: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Alamo Ritz 7:00pm
Independent luminary John Cassavete’s directs this fascinating film noir about a strip club owner whose gambling problems land him in hot water with the local organized crime element. They come up with a deal under which they will forgive the man’s debts if he agrees to assassinate a bookie. The film will be shown in 35mm.
Alamo Survivor’s Tip: Order the Vodka and Red Bull at Battleship Potemkin. The Alamo Ritz is one of the only locations to carry a full liquor license and as such offer daddy drinks in addition to the requisite beer and wine. In honor of Sergei Eisenstein’s ode working-class Russian tenacity, enjoy a classic Russian liquor. The Red Bull represents a modern kick; much as Graham Reynolds score promises to provide to the film.
Monday May 16th
Music Monday: Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps
Alamo Ritz Austin 9:50pm
Concert footage from a seminal performance by Neil Young alone and then as a member of Crazy Horse. Memorable tunes will fill the theater, the screen will flicker with rare 35mm brilliance, and those pesky Jawas from Star Wars will inexplicably occupy the same stage as Neil Young.
Tuesday May 17th
Girly Night: Can’t Hardly Wait
Alamo Ritz 7:45pm
Several teens gather to celebrate their high school graduation. Popular kids deal with moving forward with their lives, long-term relationships end, and losers try desperately to get laid. The Alamo’s Girly Night series pays tribute to its female patronage with a film that is as romantic and heart-warming as it is…full of Seth Green and his terrible wardrobe. Bring your yearbooks for some preshow fun!
Terror Tuesday: Tourist Trap
Alamo Ritz 10:35pm
The Alamo’s weekly salute to all things horror brings us the tale of a group of wayward teens that cross paths with a wacked-out museum proprietor and his mannequin collection. Oh, did I mention psychic powers and Chuck Connors? The interesting thing about Tourist Trap is that the House of Wax remake from a few years ago feels much more like a remake of Tourist Trap than it does of Vincent Price’s House of Wax.
Alamo Survivor’s Tip: Terror Tuesday is no stranger to showcasing some decidedly terrible films, but every now and then we are treated to an unsung gem like Tourist Trap. Give this film a shot, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.
Wednesday May 18
Tough Guy Cinema: True Lies
Existing as the exact antithesis of Girly Night, Tough Guy cinema brings us the beefiest, sweatiest, most ass-kickin-est action movies. This week, we will be enjoying James Cameron’s action comedy of double lives and mistaken identity starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. If the antics of pre-Avatar Cameron aren’t enough to hold your attention, there will be plenty of live pyrotechnics and cap gun firing to make you fee like a real tough guy.
Weird Wednesday: Werewolves on Wheels
Alamo Ritz Midnight
If you love the strangest of cinematic fare from all over the world, Weird Wednesday is the perfect Alamo signature event for you. This week’s film is a particularly oddball bixersploitation flick about a group of biker’s who cross the wrong sect of Satanic monks and, as a result, have their best girl transformed into a werewolf. Yes, all those things I just said are contained within one film.
Alamo Survivor’s Tip: Get to Weird Wednesday early to enjoy the specially selected preshow trailer reel.
To learn more about The Alamo Drafthouse, check out their spiffy new website!