I have discovered the glory that is the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin. What began as a neighborhood theater founded by Tim and Karrie League has grown into a nationwide chain of artisan, community-based chain at 25 locations. Austin’s Drafthouse remains the flagship, hosting events for SXSW, Fantastic Fest, and dozens of unique programs every year.
Upon visiting the site, I thought I had died and gone to horror heaven! The lobby is carpeted in the iconic honeycomb pattern from The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining; the walls are adorned with vintage b-movie posters. The auditoriums are deluxe and include drink and food service. If you get hungry halfway through the film, a staff member will hook you up with some buffalo cauliflower and beer.
If there’s a film you want to see that’s playing in multiple theaters, I can’t recommend the Alamo enough. I saw Unfriended: Dark Web last night and am planning to see Hereditary, a film that terrified audiences at Sundance, tonight. If I could sleep there afterward, I probably would!
During the day, Jonathan Barkan was an interviewing machine, talking to some of the festival’s biggest actors and filmmakers. Simultaneously, I made my first excursion to the Trade Show floor at the Convention Center, aka Sensory Overload City. Imagine the lights, noise, and excitement of a popular Las Vegas casino, multiply it by 20, and you might get a semblance of the experience.
From dozens of opportunities to plug yourself into The Matrix via Virtual Reality to huge dancing robots, the Trade Show features Health, International, and Social Impact pavilions along with two separate stages for Keynote Speakers and product demos. You could easily grab enough free swag to fill a wagon!
Barkan scored a coveted ticket to the surprise world premiere of Ready Player One where Steven Spielberg himself was in attendance. I might have been green with envy if I wasn’t invited to the IFC party where Elijah Wood performed DJ duties. There were more recognizable celebrities in attendance than it’s polite to mention.
It’s pushing midnight, which means I’m about to head back to The Alamo for Hereditary. I definitely feel like I’ve found my bearings, calibrated my body and mind, and can truly get the most out of our next few days in Austin.
If you’re in town too, and you see me sporting my Dread Central t-shirt, come on over and say what’s up!
- One-Eye I had the game on the venerable Commodore64 and it was shit. I could just never figure out how to play it and I got killed every time.
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