July 1, 2007, 6:12 a.m. CST
Actually, I NEVER knew ye but, I know how you feel because the gym I've been going to for the past ten years finally closed its doors yesterday. Now I'll probably just get fat.
July 1, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
I told myself that I didn't mind missing it, that I didn't want to be there for the last show, that I wouldn't get upset, but Quint... this article just made it real, and now I'm feeling the loss acutely. Tim and Karrie, you guys created the single best theater I've ever been to, and considering I live in LA, it slays me that I have to go to another state to visit it. And now... now it's gone. Breaks my heart. I pray the Ritz is great, but for now, I'm going to soak in the sorrow as I raise a glass to the Downtown.
July 1, 2007, 6:28 a.m. CST
Transformers gets made, but the Drafthouse goes down? fucking stupid ass universe...
July 1, 2007, 6:33 a.m. CST
One of the most beautiful movie theatres in Madrid has passed away. I´m so sad.
July 1, 2007, 7:05 a.m. CST
...to be on the other side of the world from something that is so obviously an inspired place. I live in England and independant cinemas are extremely hard to come by and there will never be anything close to what Texas has.(although, if anyone is ever in Leicester, check out the Pheonix Cinema.) This site lets people all over the world have a taste of whats it'd be like to be in a place like that, a place that loves movies with every inch of the building.
July 1, 2007, 7:13 a.m. CST
July 1, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST
I didn't make it there for the final night (tickets were already sold out when I got home from work), but I finally made the Pilgrimage there a few weeks ago. We have two Alamos in Houston, but it never felt the same as the vibe from the original. I had traveled up to Austin twice and the OA (Original Alamo) was closed (but both times were on holidays - Labor Day and Christmas Eve). On my trip on Labor Day I did manage to get in (no one was there) and get some video of the place. When I found out the OA was closing I knew I had to get there before the final night. My best friend is in the Army and is stationed in San Antonio. He needed for me to bring him some documents, which I did on a Saturday afternoon. After dropping them off to him I decided it was time. I headed up I-35 and got in Austin by 7 pm on a Saturday night. I found a parking lot (I never ever have been any happier to pay $8 to park)and ran to the OA in a state of euphoria. The show for the night was Raiders: The Adaptation and when I went in and up the stairs the place was pretty vacant except for the guy sitting and selling tickets. The next show was until 9:15 so I went back downstairs to get a Tee Shirt (I've always wanted the "Badass Cinema" shirt, even asked my wife for it last X-Mas, but Santa gave me a lump of coal instead). I hung out looking for a shirt, but no one ever came to ask me about it and I didnt see anyone there to ask about it. As I headed back out onto the streets of Austin to kill some time I started to feel a little disillusioned. Had I put the OA up on pedestal only to be let down (the guy selling tickets didn't really sell me on the feature for the night telling me it was Raiders of the Lost Ark done by 12 year olds). So for the next hour I went in and out of a few bars on the surrounding block ordering Shiner Bock and Vodka Tonic. I started feeling like Charlie Brown during the Christmas after everyone laughed at his tree and called him a blockhead. I finally made it back to the OA and noticed the crowd had picked up. I went up stairs and grabbed a chair next to the video games, which were all old vintage games(Kung Fu, Centipede, and a Rolling Thunder almost completly faded out). There were a few little kids playing the games, which kind of reminded me of the age I was when they came out (I think I was about 11 or 12). This one kid was playing and he was there with his mom, dad, and grandfather and I remembered when I went to see the original Raiders with my dad and grandfather. Finally we went in and I started feeling excited again (maybe it was the booze). The preshow entertainment started with trailers from old serial films spliced in the making of Raiders. One thing I've always loved about the Alamo in Houston, which no other theatre in the city does, is provide a cool preshow with old trailers, commericals, videos, and not trying to sell me a car, a coke, and funeral arrangements. The show started and the drafthouse head honcho introduced the film and gave a little of its history. The film started and it was a BLAST!!! The audience was really into the film and you could hear all of the geeks (myself included)speaking all the dialouge with the film. These guys did a phenomenal job with their adaptation. It reminded me (last flashback/reflection, I swear)of the films my friends and I made with my parent's video camera back in the 80's (I wanted to bring my homemade double feature of Spring Creek Cannibals and Suburban Godfather to Open Screen Night, but will have to wait until the new location opens). There was a Q & A with the filmakers after the film which was very cool. As I left the OA and crossed Colorado St I looked back at the OA and said thought "Hell yeah, it was worth the trip." Goodnight Sweet Alamo Drafthouse and thanks for the memory.
July 1, 2007, 7:36 a.m. CST
did have the chance to see the place being as I've never spent more then 20 minutes in Texas.<br><br>Yet, I know how I'd feel if the small-timey theater I love here in Minneapolis closed it's doors...I'm sure the Alamo was well loved and will be sorely missed.
July 1, 2007, 8:19 a.m. CST
We lost the Uptown in Toronto a few years ago. During the Film Festival some chick confined to a wheelchair complained that there was no accessability so she couldn't see a film that was only playing there. Fair enough, but Famous Players was renting the place on long term lease and decided there was no way they were going to spend several million on upgrading a property they didn't own as the lease was expiring in 5 years. So they decided to shut down once the lease was up. The woman who complained was all "It's not my fault!" the concensus was actually "umm swettie? It pretty much is." During the demolition the building collapsed and some kid from South America who was studying english in a buliding next door actually got killed.
July 1, 2007, 8:22 a.m. CST
Why am I even reading this?
July 1, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST
I mean is it gentrification or what? the place is moving to the ritz? like, the hotel? why? isn't austin basically a college town? <p> and yeah quint is hella young huh indiephantom, here is to the dude for getting to where he is at such a whippersnapperish age.
July 1, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST
by Smokin Doc Cottle
I hate it when old cinemas bite the dust. I spent many, many a formative Friday & Saturday night at the Vogue Theater on Lexington Road (Lou. KY) and was there on the final night of it's operation (RHPS for the upteenth time). It still sits there, Vacant and "For Lease". I saw 2001 there, Romeo & Juliet (the good one) Notorious, Casablanca and one I forget on various field trips from school. The midnight movies were top notch...Harold & Maude, Heavy Metal, Holy Grail, The Wall, etctetra. I got laid like a madman out there, too. Especially the "Rocky Horror" girls..."Hey Baby, wanna do the Time Warp"? I've always wanted to take the place over and "Drafthouse" it myself. There is a wonderful Drafthouse near home in Alexandria called the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse that absolutley rules but could use some better midnight movies. And then there was the old Showcase Cinemas on Bardstown road...Louisville's first multiplex and where I saw all the movies that warped my little mind...from Star Wars to the last (awful) Star Trek Insurrection. I went in the last night and took three rolls of film. I was hoping that they might let me abscond with the Star Trek IV poster that hung in the "art gallery" but alas no. <p> Check out www.cinematreasures.org to revisit moviehouses from yesteryear!
July 1, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST
only went once for BNAT 5. Very glad i did. What a great theater and a great experience.
July 1, 2007, 11:39 a.m. CST
That is a very odd story indeed. That almost sounds like a South Park episode. <br> <br> I didn't believe it, so naturally I googled it. What do ya know, it really happened. Crazy. What a crazy dilemma that lady was left with. "I couldn't get up the stairs to see Transformers and now a boy is dead" Crazy. ( I made up the Transformers bit)
July 1, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST
by Cotton McKnight
I went there only a few times (usually to see that troupe do a running commentary on movies, like Karate Kid), but one of the things that CLEARLY stands out in my mind from those evenings was how dang hot and cramped the place was. Waiting to get into the auditorium was brutal- it was standing room only. I'm not claustrophobic usually but that was really uncomfortable. For their part, the staff provided people with water (I cant remember if we had to pay/tip- I dont think so) but they were just making the best out of a bad situation. If the Ritz has the same content and staff as the original, then I say good riddance.
July 1, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST
by Don Lockwood
...Hercules the Strong....coincidence?
July 1, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST
by Cotton McKnight
I fully understand and appreciate the nostalgic factor and everything the theater represented. I'm totally spoiled- the lake creek location is literally one mile away from my house. Kudos to everyone here who is stopping for a moment to acknowledge the original. I'm still looking forward to the new one though- better location, better venue, you name it. I'm really excited about it.
July 1, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST
by Cotton McKnight
You mean 1998? less than 9 years ago?
July 1, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST
by Kevin Bosch
That area used to be a warehouse district, but over the years spill over fro 6th St made the block a trendy restaurant and club spot. The Leagues were not willing/could not afford to pay the upped lease, so they're moving. The good news about all of this is that The Alamo isn't closing because it's going out of business (imagine that news). There are lots of other locations all over town and around Texas, and the South Lamar is second to only the original downtown. The downtown facility is relocating to The Ritz, which in Austin, as I understand, was an old palace type cinema that's been closed for a while. It's larger and they will have two screens. So it's not tragic, unjust, wave your fist type stuff, but it's still kinda sad. Like when your family moves out of your first home into bigger house, I'd surmise.
July 1, 2007, 12:31 p.m. CST
although the noise level on 6th street has to be more of an issue (maybe not?). But I'm sure the Leagues are dealing with all those issues. Really wish I could have been there the last night though...damn.
July 1, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST
I wouldn't call it a "palace" by any means. That's the Paramount (in austin). Originally it was a theater, but it's just been a bar since I've lived in Austin, until this summer. Saw Daniel Johnston there at SXSW. It will be cool.
July 1, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST
Unfortunately, I'm stuck with sterile cookie cutter theaters here in Nashua, NH. Sure, we know have a Chunky's Theater Pub, but the screens are small and people talk all over the movie. I'd love to have a place where you could see old movies on the big screen but I guess it's just not profitable. At least I have my memories as a child of going to the old style theaters with the balconies, crushed red velour seats, huge marquee and curtain that would open as the film started.
July 1, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST
thanks for the info guys. i'm glad it's not moving to the hotel, that would probably suck.
July 1, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST
...if it only had one screen? Your choice of film every night would be limited to, oh, let's see, ONE. How can that compete with today's 25-screen palaces which allow the parents to see the edgy new R-rated Ben Stiller comedy while their tween-aged sons see the PG-13 rated Ben Stiller slapstick adventure and the toddlers take in the G-rated Dreamworks animated flick with Ben Stiller as the voice of a downtrodden lobster? This is wherefore the Alamo Drafthouse collapses, people... NOT ENOUGH BEN STILLER. And don't even get me *started* on the thoughtless shunning of JoJo's cinematic ouvre. I'll just be sitting at home with the Aquamarine DVD and its fascinating bonus footage (of Emma Roberts explaining in detail how Aunt Julia had nothing to do with her employment) since that heartrending movie was nowhere to be seen at the Drafthouse last year. Sheesh.
July 1, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST
Anybody hear about that yet?
July 1, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST
God, how I miss that place!
July 1, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST
by John Maddening
Some friends from Minneapolis went to the Half-Ass-a-Thon, and while I'm sorry I missed it, I'm glad I didn't have to say goodbye to the place. I'll be down in Austin in September for the WFTDA Roller Derby Nationals, and in December for the Butt-Numb-a-Thon, and I'll see the new Alamo Ritz, and I am so optimistic that it will be fabulous. I trust Tim and Karrie to do the best that's possible with the space they're given.
July 1, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST
i was never going to visit that cinema. maybe we can get back to cool news!
July 1, 2007, 4:04 p.m. CST
YOU BOZOS save it??? All your rich celebrity friends and Harry couldn't save the damn thing? Come on. That is just lame. So stop your damn whining and move on already. If you REALLY loved it that much, you would have saved it. Hell...Quintin Tarantino alone could have saved it with his pocket change. Not to mention Robert Rodriguez. So SHUT UP ALREADY!!!! Its gone because you didn't REALLY care. If you did...it wouldn't be closing. :-)
July 1, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST
down the street to some nicer digs actually. everyone loves the alamo they got three theaters in austin. it'll never close.
July 1, 2007, 4:22 p.m. CST
I didnt go to the last night. I was there for Joysticks, QT Fest and a few other screenings in these last few months and there was no way I was going to miss the last night at the Alamo Downtown. Then i found out the price of the tickets. I love the Drafthouse and the people involved but for 3 movies it was WAY overpriced. Period. Frankly, I was a little disappointed that they would charge so much and it left a bad taste in my mouth...Now, Im relieved in a way because seeing those pics really shoked me up. I think I might have shed a few tears if I would have been there drinking it all in as it were. I wouldnt have expected to get THAT emotional and when you're not planning on it those kind of moments hit you all the harder. In any case, for what its worth, here's my heartfelt thank you to Tim and Karrie and all the people who have passed through the threshold at 409 Colorado St. Austin, TX
July 1, 2007, 4:54 p.m. CST
by George Newman
But it wasn't the downtown establishment. I wish I could have gone. I would have loved to attend any of the BNAT of the past four years, but Harry's birthday celebration has always fallen during Final exams. I can't travel halfway across the country when I got tests the next day. Jerks! Lets get some better scheduling for BNAT!! After final exams!! Dag, yo
July 1, 2007, 5:16 p.m. CST
How can i take his reviews seriously now?
July 1, 2007, 6:10 p.m. CST
.bt I fell all of ya in spirit.here in Canda, within the last 2-4 years, we lost both the Eglinton (the last genuine silver screen in toronto) and the Uptown (the LAST BEST HUGE downtown theatre), and I felt both of those losses acutely.......I'm glad to hear that I may eventually get to A draftouse, but I truly do bemoan the wave of mega-cinemas that have started to infringe on the smaller guys just trying to LOVE movies, not make money from them all the time......Kudos to the management for going out on their own terms and own two feet...I'll raise my beer to all of you.
July 1, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST
because at 26, his job, for the last 10 years has been to read scripts, watch movies (on big screen and small), visit sets and talk to innumerable filmmakers for hours on end. Because I started this site when I was 24, two years younger than Quint is now. <BR><BR>He's been to multiple film festivals a year, watched countless screeners and has actually made his own short film with make-up by KNB. Quint is one of the most honestly dedicated and passionate writers on film that you'll ever find - and he's grown up with AICN - with his writing, interviewing and reviewing skills maturing with every passing year. <BR><BR>How many of you can claim tenure in a paid position with a global readership at the age of 26? and two years before he started on AICN, he'd interviewed George Carlin!
July 1, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST
by Mr. Winston
I had never been to the Alamo Draft House, don't know anything about it save for a few tidbits that I've read here on the site, and I have no clue about the people that owned it. So THAT, my friend, is how you write a love letter - you got me emotional about a place I've never been and that I couldn't have cared less about until today. I wish I had a place that does for me what it did for you.
July 1, 2007, 9:06 p.m. CST
he's only 26, im only 23, but theres no doubt he knows a hell of a lot more about cinema than most people around here. it doesnt matter how much time you've spent wandering the earth, its where you've been thats important. so for the people who consider 26 to be too young, grow up.
July 1, 2007, 9:19 p.m. CST
I wish I lived in a town that cared about film like that. Kelowna BC Canada is basically a mall town full of idiots like in the clip shown. I hope I get to someday go to a theater like that and have a cool experience like that.
July 1, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST
(Although parking will be even more difficult and I can't imagine the headache of lining up on 6th street.)
July 2, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST
Cut him some slack. His work around here has been excellent.
July 2, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST
point well taken...however, there are many film school students even younger than Quint who act like they know everything there is to know about film....just makes it kinda hard when someone isnt even old enough to appreciate certain genres when they actually orginally occurred.