The Alamo Downtown Blog-a-Thon


­­­Alamo Drafthouse Downtown

Last updated at 8:00 am CST, July 2, with still more links about the Last Night at Alamo events (after the jump).


Jette Kernion of Slackerwood and Blake Ethridge of Cinema is Dope are hosting the Alamo Downtown Blog-a-Thon

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown on Colorado St. will be closing closed its doors after a final triple-feature on June 27. The movie theater will be moving to Sixth Street in the newly renovated Ritz Theater. While we're looking forward to the new digs, we want to remember and celebrate the old Alamo Drafthouse that we've been visiting for the past 10 years.

We're posting your favorite stories, memories, or links to ph­otos from Alamo Downtown. If you have a blog, post an entry about Alamo Downtown to your website today. Send the link to jette [at] celluloideyes [dot] com, or post the link in the comments­ section of this blog entry. (Please make sure the entry isn't password-protected or friends-only, so everyone who visits can read it.) The list of links to participating websites is at the end of this entry, and will be updated periodically today.

If you don't have a blog or website, post your favorite Alamo memory or story in the comments section of this entry. Comments are moderated but I will be reading and approving them all day long. If you have a Flickr account and pictures of Alamo you want to share, you can tag them "alamoblogathon".

News 8 Austin's report on the last night at Alamo included Tim League's reaction to our blog-a-thon.


Note: If you have any photos or video from Alamo Drafthouse or Rolling Roadshow that you'd like to share, drop a line to lastnight [at] originalalamo [dot] com. ­Alamo is putting together a time capsule/documentary and is looking for more material to include.

Here are the Alamo stories we've received so far:

Last Night at Alamo Entries

Here are all the links about Last Night at Alamo events that I copied from the Quick Snaps entry, found on the web, or that people have sent me. I thought it would be helpful to put them all in a single section, along with the "Last Night" farewell videos.

Remembering The Alamo

I've put together my photos and a few audio recordings from my various visits to the Alamo: My first experience with the Alamo was at QT5. I recorded all of QTs intros there, and you'll find them at my Remember The Alamo site there above.

A Match Made in Alamo Heaven!

I lost my Alamo virginity, appropriately as a freshmen in college at UT in 2001 at a sold out showing of Sinus Theater's rendition of "Crossroads"starting Brittany Spears. As a newbie to Austin, I was still adjusting to the city and quickly becoming acquainted with the slogan "Keep Austin Weird." Not quite old enough to participate in the drinking games during the movie, I was however, intrigued by the energy in the room full of enthusiastic (and need I say drunk) individuals raising a glass and taking a swig every time the pregnant, teenage supporting actress' name "MiMi" was mentioned. Slumped down with one leg tucked under my knee on a plush leather sofa, snacking on chicken fingers and relatively reasonably priced diet coke, I looked around, and noticed the laugher (and tears of laughter) that surrounded me as a result from the brouhaha of drinking debauchery. Innocent and ignorant I was impressed none the less.

My next Alamo encounter wasn't until a couple years later on a first date to a showing of short 3D animated films. Although the date was bad, the show was good (and the only thing ugly about it was having to wear the disposable red and blue eye glasses). Following that, now a senior at UT and currently of legal drinking age, I attended a Micky Mouse Club sing-a-long with my best friend-- jello shots, mouse ears and all! While advance ticket purchase was encouraged, it was unnecessary because it happened to be the night of the big ice storm of '05. No frozen over windshield, or below freezing weather was going to stop us from singing Backstreet Boys and NSYNC at the top of our lungs! We thawed out cars and our bodies and braved the cold, only to be among the other half a dozen crazies who thought that going to a mouse-kateer themed movie night was worth risking your life for. The theater was warm, and the beer was cold, and despite the sparse crowd (which was good for singing purposes), it turned out to be a successful show, as I should by now, come to expect nothing less.

Hired in a marketing job in Austin post-graduation, I was now a regular at the Drafthouse, attending everything from a private screening of Towns Van Sant's "Be Here to Love Me" (with his son in attendance), to a work-anniversary screening of "Between the Lines." The Alamo was now a place I became to know and love throughout the past 5 years. But it wasn't until a Thursday evening in August of this past year when I stepped foot into this particular movie theater when my life had changed forever.

As a supporting media sponsor for Flicker Film Festival, my company needed a marketing representative to attend the festival. Everyone was conveniently unavailable that night and so I filled in to rep the Chron that night. I headed over to the Alamo, circling around 4th and Colorado several times looking for a metered parking spot, trying desperately not to hit one of the numerous cute, young valet boys running around like a swarm of bees. I finally gave up and settled for a $7 lot adjacent to the Drafthouse. I schlepped my stuff and climbed up the gauntlet of stairs as the familiar aroma of burnt popcorn and spilled beer filled the air, just out of breath, I looked up and saw cute guy who was standing at the top with a clip-board, just above the cashier's stand. Looking for someone who looked somewhat of significance to the festival, I proceeded to introduce myself to a girl who was also setting up her stuff. We chatted while placing items out on display on the table in the lobby, and she then suggested I talk to "Matthew" the go-to guy who I had been exchanging emails back and forth with for sometime now. Hands trembling, palms sweating, I shook his hand and then he proceeded to briefly explain what was going on in his surprising deep southern accent. Impressed by his well-spoken, polite demeanor, my first impression was, wondering what is this young, fratty looking, handsome guy wearing a button-up polo tucked in to khaki pants doing running a film festival? And the he went back to hiding his shy head into his checklist of to-do items, and I proceeded to head back to my table in the lobby.

After a majority of the patrons had settled in, I waited patiently in the lobby as a few stragglers snuck in a few minutes late. Wondering whether or not I should stay for the collection of short films shot on celluloid by local filmmakers or not, I thought I'd at least be polite and sit through a few minutes and then make my escape--but impressed what I saw after short introduction by this Matthew guy, I decided to stay. I don't know if it was the draft beer talking or the curiosity I had developed, but something inside of me was intrigued to sit and watch (both the festival, and Matthew's mini introductions in between each 5-10 minute film- both equally as entertaining.) Alone, I sat in the half-filled theater compiled of mostly the local filmmakers and their families, every once-in-awhile stealing a peek of Matt, perched on a tall bar char, sipping on a bottle of Stella at one of the side cocktail rounds. The festival concluded, the lights came on, and the tabs were paid, I shuffled my way through the crowd, making my way to the exit where Matt was thanking individuals, including myself, for coming. Nervous and lost for words, I too shuck his hand and blurted out as quickly as I could, "Nice to meet you, I gotta go to another event! See you here in November!" (as it was a quarterly film festival). I loaded up what was left of my belongings and darted out, banging myself on the forehead on the way out, repeating in my head 'See you in November?'--What? I'm such an Idiot!

The next morning at work, I sent Matt with a follow up email, apologizing for leaving in such a hurry, and asking him which film was voted the viewers best. Being the clever girl that I am, I was not only expressing genuine interest, I'm asking a question, which 99% guarantees a reply, therefore continuing the means of communication. His idea of keeping the communication going though was followed by a suggestion to take me out for a thank-you drink so he could "tell me more about what his organization does" (insert cheesy pick-up line). The "follow-up-drink" turned into an invitation to attend the my work's 25th anniversary party, which turned into....well, the rest is history! We've been dating and completely in love ever since. It was a match made in Alamo heaven!

As one theater closes, another one opens. To me, this isn't just another theater at 4th and Colorado. It's a place where I fell in love- with Austin, with film, and with my significant other. Two people who loved each other and loved the movies shared their passion and made an experience for thousands of Austinites. Together we laughed, cried, and some of us were so lucky to even fell in love there.

My top five memories of the

Waving Hands in the Air at the Alamo

I don't have a real blog post, Jette, but would like to share the sweet memory of a night when the Alamo Downtown showed the Theramin movie and then had a hoard of local Theramin artist play their instruments while arranged across the front of the theater... really screwy, and lots of fun.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Some Alamo memories

*I first heard about the Alamo while in line at the Paramount for SXSW. Somebody was talking about seeing some films in a totally unfinished theater. I was excited at the prospect.

*The Tingler! With some chairs promised to be electrified! I had to sign my life away! My chair regretfully was not electrified to give me a "tingle", but I swear I saw the ginger-haired local web-guy named Harry - he was tossing around a giant crawdad (purportedly the Tingler). Somebody got carried off (poorly) on a stretcher.

*Standing in line in the pouring rain for a SXSW movie: Napolean Dynamite.

*BNAT and QT = no lines for the ladies bathroom! What a lovely turnaround. Those poor guys had to wait FOREVER to pee while I just waltzed on in.

*Peter Jackson in PERSON for the ROTK. WOW. NOTHING can beat that.

*Dusk until Dawn Horror Movie Marathon at the Insane Asylum. That was major creepy and I saw just about the scariest film ever: Session 9.

I love the Alamo. I am looking forward with regret towards tomorrow night.

Alamo Memories

I think the first film I saw at the Downtown Drafthouse was Tron -- possibly that was second. But I became a regular with the 10-week set of Mondo Trivia nights, which drew me into Open Screen Night, which brought me downtown for lots of other events: singalongs, previews, and the odd assortment of weird movies that came in. Plus all the Roadshow events: the Dazed and Confused 10th anniversary, the Harold and Kumar road rally, and the all-night Romerothon at Pioneer Farms.

All that, and I've barely scratched the surface of why I love the Drafthouse: because they love movies and they care about making movies fun for everyone else. I look forward to seeing everyone tonight, and then in September at the Ritz!

My favorite Downtown memory...

I should start by saying that I almost dumped my fiance because I didn't want to leave Austin and the Drafthouse. I ended up marrying the guy which is awesome, but now I live in London and I am an ocean and more away from paradise. I have lots of great memories of the Downtown Dratfthouse, including four sing-a-longs (ABBA, 'the fish girl', Michael Jackson and the Beastie Boys), two wonderful Weird Wednesday viewings of 'TNT Jackson' and 'Chained Heat', the QT Roller Derby mini-fest, and a 20th anniversary screening of my favorite film 'Blue Velvet'. These are memories that will remain with me, and cheer me up on rainy London days. But there is one memory that will always stand out the furthest: My first BNAT.

My first Butt-Numb-A-Thon was last year. I remember sitting next to Harry and Patricia and feeling like the luckiest duck in the whole place. I hadn't even heard about it until about a month before, but Patricia knew I would love it and that I was moving away soon, so she clued me in.

The night before, Patricia let me borrow her phone so that they could call me in the morning to make double sure I woke up.The morning of, I got a call, right on time, and it was Harry telling me to get up. I made my way down to the Drafthouse with no idea what to expect. I took my seat and the first film, BLACK SNAKE MOAN, came on. By the end i was in tears, but not because the film (which I loved) moved me so but because i just felt so happy to take part in smething so *magical* with two of the best people I've ever met.

The rest of the fest was a blat of course, but another especially happy memory for me was Harry challenging me to a chug-off of the 'COCAINE' drink that the David Cross look-a-like brought. I sipped and he chugged and we both regretted it. I spent the better half of SMOKIN'ACES pacing around the parking garage thinking my car had been stolen. It jut wasn't where i thought I'd put it.

And now I live in London and I'm happy, but there is a big part of happiness that is missing becuase Austin, the Drafthouse, BNAT and Harry and Patricia are some of the best things and people I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I can't wait to go back, even if it will be on crazy ol' 6th street this year.

The Alamo Gang - We'll Miss You

Since I moved to Austin, the ultimate landmark filled with the most beautifully awkward rejects, emos, mods, punks, geeks and suits would fill the theatre of the Alamo Drafthouse. I don't even drink beer, but one of my best friends' Ryan, and I would go to the 3-D screenings (remember that hilarious Friday The 13th) and then by 2006, I had moved back to Austin and met some of my best friends. Sarah, Marian, Heath, Brandy and new friends like Patrick, Izzy, Monica.... we've had so many good times and hilarious photos. Some of my favorite memories are Girls Sing A Long night, Crunk night where we got conservative Brandy to wear a humpty dance nose, how can we forget "The Invisible Child" heckler's screening -- one of the funniest dramas ever.... Terror Thursdays were our night though. Midnight, free, parking in the you know.... our little secret. Popcorn to die for, Cherry cokes, Mozzarella sticks, watching those cheesy vintage commercials and horrible horror films!!! I felt like I was part of a family there. Last event I saw was Hard Day's Night - and it was awesome, got to see great musicians performing Beatles hits. If anyone wants links to some fun photos, email me at lisahtobin [at] yahoo [dot] com! Bye Alamo, we'll all miss you!

John from Mr. Sinus shoved his balls in my face

and I'll never forget it.

Mr. Sinus wasn't my first trip to the Alamo, but it was probably my first significant Alamo memory to date. I must have only been to relatively "normal" Alamo screenings before this and I had no idea what I was getting into. My then 18-year-old sister and I had heard a lot about the show, so being underaged and without much to do one Saturday night, we snapped up some tickets to the show and took one of the drunk UT fratboy buses downtown to catch the 10:00 performance.

Well, we just barely made it on time, and the only seats left in the house were two right in the front row, a few seats away from the Sinus guys themselves without much table. We didn't understand at this point that Drafthousers get there early. Still, we resolved to settle in and tough it out.

The show was "Dirty Dancing." I'm sure many have seen this particular Sinus Show and may remember that the "stop the movie" skit involved Owen and John changing into some horrific costumes to perform a straight-up sexual dance number as Baby and Johnny.

Perhaps John had put his spandex on a little hastily that night, but from up in the front row I got an eyeful. He was sporting some serious male camel toe. A manel toe, if you will. As he danced, I was transfixed, until the moment came that I will never forget when John launched himself toward me, off the stage, and I had but a split second to think, "Oh crap, this guy is gonna hump my face." He mounted the arms of my theatre seat and went at it, the seam of his leotard perfectly dividing his scrotum, which was flapping right up into my personal zone. I was young and vulnerable, not even old enough to drown a few beers to recover, so it was all I could do to sink down in my chair as low as possible and cover my eyes.

For me, Alamo will always be about the night I got my face humped by John as Patrick Swayze at Mr. Sinus. Yeah. I came back. I saw a few more Sinus shows too. I just remembered very vividly after that day to come early and (once my time came) down a few beers first.


Its hard to remember what reality was like before THE SIX THOUSAND DOLLAR N****R broke my skull and mopped the Drafthouse floor with my brains. I laughed tears, I sneezed beer, I peed my pants a little bit. It was baptismal. I was completely thunderstruck and swore on my unborn children's graves that I would never miss another Weird Wednesday again.

Since that night (September 2002), I estimate I've spent about 3572 hours in that long black box on Colorado Street. I've been dumped by at least one girlfriend for being a "goddamn alamo crackwhore." Too bad, she missed SIMON KING OF THE WITCHES, CANDY TANGERINE MAN, FREEZE BOMB, ANGUISH, SON OF BLOB, RACE WITH THE DEVIL, JOHNNY FIRECLOUD, CONFESSIONS OF A YOUNG AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, THE BEES, TEEN LUST, STAR CRASH, VICE SQUAD, THE VISITOR... especially THE VISITOR...

The Alamo runs laps around the concept of a movie theater, there's not a word for what it is now, but it's closer to a space station or the Olympics than it is to a movie theater.

What's that? Your mall cinema is bringing SHREK back to the big screen? That's nice, but are they flying Paul Williams in to sing-a-long with THE MUPPET MOVIE with your kids in a park and launch Gonzo into the sky with a bouqet of balloons?

Where else is the pizza guy from FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH going to deliver you a pizza while you watch FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH?


What other theater demands its audience create films? BLOODSHOTS, BEATS PER MINUTE, DRUNKEN FILM FESTIVAL.

Who's gonna give you a rubber before locking you in a room with R. Kelly for the evening? God?

Who else is gonna to say...

You're not watching HEAD until you build a bong out of a bag full of broken toys in 3 minutes.

We're not just gonna to premiere FREDDY VS. JASON, we're gonna throw an all-day dodge-balling, t-shirt wetting slasher camp where your uniform is your ticket to watch children and camp counselors die until dawn.

We're not just gonna roll 16mm School Bus Safety Films on a moving bus, we're gonna demand that you break every rule dictated on screen. And we're gonna get loaded.

We're not just gonna watch DEATH RACE 2000, we're gonna watch DEATH RACE 2000 in our cars in front of a bumper-car circuit after you spend the day burning rubber through Travis County in full post-apocalyptic costume completing your Kill List.

Have you ever seen a duck in a hot air balloon?

If I had to pick a favorite night at the Alamo Downtown, it'd have to be the time they flew in the Police Academy Sound Effects Guy to foleyvision LADY TERMINATOR. He'd never seen it before. Neither had my parents, who I drug to the 9:45 show. After Michael Winslow's 18 sets of vocal chords sang the lyrics to "Hey You" while simultaneously humming the music to "Another Brick in the Wall" and topped it off with crowd banter during some Phillipino pop star's nightclub performance, my dad fell pass out.

Then he started moaning in his sleep.

Then he started moaning loudly in his sleep.

I nudged him awake when Lars started scowling in our direction. My dad muttered, "Long-haired Bitch" and went back to sleep. My mom covered my eyes during the naked parts.

Earlier that morning, I injured my hand and wrapped in medical tape against a plastic encased X-Man trading card, to keep it immobile. Michael Winslow signed the bandage and made crazy noises like his circuits were overloading. I put my hand, including the trading card and the autograph, up for sale on Ebay.

Thanks for the good times and live snakes Alamo!

The Alamo crowd

I get pissed off at other groups of people who don't react the same to a film as the crowd at the Alamo. I remember Chicago vividly, how after every song the crowd screamed and raised the roof. I got so pissed off when I watched it a 2nd time and had no response from the crowd at all (back in my home state of Seattle). Value what you have, people from Austin. You've got something very, very special. I want every crowd to be a Alamo crowd.

Some pics of the last night