think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the
entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends.
Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases
something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the
aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a
long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended
family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take
this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity
from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you
through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their
busy celluloid digesting day.
By Alan ‘Nordling’ Cerny (Reader Submission!)
What I’m Thankful For:
Alamo Drafthouse in 1999. I’m not from Austin, I’m from Houston, and so I
wasn’t privy to the greatness that was Tim and Karrie League’s Austin
creation until I started following the good people at Ain’t It Cool
News. I visited the Drafthous, the original on Colorado Street in
Austin, for the first time in 2000 when I attended Butt-Numb-A-Thon 2,
and it was love at first sight. You walk in and the smell from the
kitchen overwhelms you, and there’s this warm embrace of film love that
envelops you as you walk up those stairs. Tim and Karrie League are two
of the friendliest people I’ve met and their enthusiasm for film is
palpable and contagious.
I’m not any kind of professional when it comes to movies. You read
my reviews and they’re gushing and not very reasoned. I wish I was a
better critic when it comes to film. But a lot of it is just unabashed
love, and what I love most about the whole Alamo Drafthouse experience
is that it makes no judgments. They love film, period, whether it’s the
cheesy I COME IN PEACE or the magnificent THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Tim
League’s Rolling Roadshow helps bring some of that Drafthouse experience
around the country, and his and Harry Knowles’ Fantastic Fest brings
some of the craziest, beautiful, and amazing genre films to the masses
every September. If not for FF, we might have never heard of LET THE
RIGHT ONE IN, or THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, and even THERE WILL BE BLOOD had a
spectacularly successful screening there.
others as many posters for their screenings are beautiful pieces of
artwork on their own, and MondoTees has a shop out of Austin’s South
Lamar location where the movie geek/junkie/aficionado can gear himself
up in the best t-shirts, caps, and jackets. Wearing their passions on
their sleeves, so to speak.
All the Drafthouses have dedicated staff and services, the food is
really good, and the special events are amazing. Terror Tuesdays play
the crazy horror films, the classics, and the unusual. Weird Wednesdays
play the truly odd, films that most have never heard of, films that
once seen you can’t unsee, Zach Carlson, Lars Nielsen, and Tim League
manage some amazing programming with their special events, such as this
past week’s EXPENDABLES Cinemapocalypse, or when Quentin Tarantino’s
semi-semi-annual QT Fest has the famous director bringing in great films
from his extensive catalog, or when Harry Knowles’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon (a
personal favorite) puts premieres with vintage classics in a 24-hour
film festival/party to end out the year.
Now that the Drafthouse has opened in several places in Texas and
elsewhere, and now that Tim League is CEO of the organization he started
(and then sold the franchise rights, only to come back and run the
whole thing) I hope the film experience becomes richer and more
plentiful out there. I think movies are important, especially right now,
and the Alamo Drafthouse makes me feel like I’m important watching
them. I’ve never been to the New Beverly in Los Angeles, and I hope to
go there some day, but for now, I’m content with the Alamo Drafthouse.
Right now I hear there’s negotiations to open up a Drafthouse where my
beloved Alabama theater in Houston used to be. I saw THE EMPIRE STRIKES
BACK there and I think it’s wholly appropriate that the Drafthouse
franchise continues that tradition of great films at that location,
and I hope it happens. Yes, this is an unabashed love letter to the
Drafthouse. I am eternally grateful for those theaters and for how they
have brought me closer to this medium I love so much.