Thursday, June 28, 2007

Movie love in Austin - Hasta La Vista Alamo D

Had a great Austin film time last night. Started off watching McCabe and Mrs. Miller at the glorious Paramount during the Summer Film Classics series. Film friends all around. After that powerful immersion, nostalgic but still mesmerizing, we walk over to bid farewell to the beloved Alamo Downtown. As we enter, our hearts skip a beat spying the empty Mondo Tee wall. Then upstairs, a few folks milling around are wearing yellow hard hats. Walking into the theatre to catch the Earthquake rumble in Sensurround, we realize EVERYONE is wearing yellow hard hats. It's hilarious. The Sensurround roars. I jump everytime they up the ampage. I also surprisingly engage in the movie, a suspenseful prototypical 70's disaster flick, now of course viewed differently through the Post 911 and Katrina lens.

But mostly it's an exhilaratingly happy night as we hang amongst the Alamo faithful. The mood is high and fun. Tim & Karrie, Lars (of course since it's Weird Wednesday), all the Alamo staff, putting on a great show. It's the place to be for movie love and film community in Austin.

We were there opening night, for the sxsw premiere of Company of Men. I loved that film intensely, though my memory is hazy on the half-finished soon-to-be-open theatre we were watching in. There were other, clearer, sxsw highlights, in those years as out-of-towners. How's Your News, first as a work-in-progress, then finished film quickly comes to mind. When we moved here three years ago it was easy to succumb to the gravitational pull. Our first private dinner with Tim & Karrie as a blast - because it was only too clear that Tim and John were peas in a pod, obsessional guys who shared an innate, deep love of movie exhibition and showmanship. And that Karrie and I, as their work and life partners, shared a unique skew and bond as well. I'm too old to be a regular for all the crazy experiential film happenings, but love them in theory, and love the moments I have imbibed. I'm particularly grateful for all the collaborations with the Austin Film Society.

As a still die hard movie goer, thanks Alamo D. for the good times! Looking forward to the next incarnation at the Ritz.

For more on the Alamo Downtown closing, check out the Alamo Downtown Blog-A-Thon initiated by Jette Kernion.

1 comment:

Jake said...

I remember that screening of In The Company of Men. The theater seats hadn't been installed yet so we were sitting in rows of ordinary chairs. The short that Bryan and I made in '96 screened before the feature, and Karrie introduced it. There were still some people in the community who had there doubts about a the Alamo at that point -- whether or not waiters taking orders in the middle of a movie would be too distracting.

Can't wait to see the new place continue the legacy.