Drafthouse Staff Will Take Over the Screen in New Film Series


You know those shadowy figures in the dark who bring you your milkshakes and pizzas every time you go to the Drafthouse? They’re getting their chance to share their own film-geek tendencies with audiences in a new film series at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Titled Staff Picks, the monthly series will allow Drafthouse employees to showcase their favorite movies. The series kicks off Sunday night with a screening of the Patrick Swayze movie Road House (1989), with the 1990s baseball film The Sandlot planned for May.

The series is the brainchild of Nuclear Salad contributor Jason Dubinsky, who also works as a server at the Drafthouse. He felt the random film choices amongst fellow co-workers/cinephiles was ripe for prime Alamo viewing.

"When I was a much younger man I worked at an independent video store in Massachusetts. Some of the staff and I compiled a list of our 100 favorite movies, and dedicated some wall space to them," he said. "It was such a random list, it was probably the only time in history that The Thin Man (1934), Fight Club (1999) and That Thing You Do! (1996) were ever on a list together. I thought it'd be really great to do something similar at the Alamo."

Dubinsky approached fellow Drafthouse server Jake Isgar with the idea. The pair fine-tuned the series before pitching it to John Smith, the Drafthouse’s creative manager, who immediately jumped on board. Isgar picked Road House for the series' inaugural selection.

Drafthouse employees have always seemed to me a wildly mixed, fun-loving bunch, so naturally one of the delights of the series will be seeing the unpredictable collection of titles these folks will come up with. According to Dubinsky, expect to see plenty of titles that have resonated with the millennial generation throughout the years.

"I will say that most of the films we've discussed so far are late 80's, early 90's titles," he said. "That's sort of our wheelhouse just because of our age range, and it was the period that really shaped most of us into the movie geeks we are today. Think along the lines of 'TNT's New Classics' and you might have a general idea where we're going."

The series may not be the most well known yet, but its creator has solid reasoning behind its great potential.

"Tickets for Road House, and all films in this series are only $5. That's insanely cheap in today's marketplace. Where else can you find a solid night of entertainment for only $5?" Dubinsky said. "The Alamo Drafthouse has historically built some wonderful communities around its signature series and we're really hoping to keep that tradition alive."

The Alamo Drafthouse Staff Picks series kicks off with Road House, screening Sunday, April 26 at 10 pm and Wednesday, April 29 at 7 pm [tickets].