QT Fest

Alamo Blog-a-Thon: The little church on Colorado



One of the best things about Alamo Drafthouse Downtown has been the audience's general respect and appreciation for the movies they are watching, whether it's a beloved classic or an obscure exploitation flick. People may laugh or applaud or even cheer, but they're rarely derisive. The respect has been built over time, with help from Alamo regulars and some gentle reminders from Alamo owner Tim League, programmer Lars Nilsen, and others. There are times when it's impossible not to laugh a little at a bad movie, and of course you have to deal with the occasional obnoxious audience member -- although Alamo really will take their asses out, I saw this happen to a drinky bunch during Forgotten Silver years ago -- but overall you will never find a better audience experience.

The ultimate audience experience at Alamo occurs during Butt-Numb-a-Thon. When I finally got into a BNAT on standby last year, I learned for myself what everyone had told me: A theater packed with 200 people all there to watch movies, eager to love the movies they were watching, with no cell phones or babies or people who wanted to be elsewhere -- is the best part of the event. If someone doesn't like a specific movie, they go out into the lobby, take a quick break outside, or even put their head on the table near them and take a nap. (There was a lot of napping around 4 am.) I probably would not have seen Rocky Balboa on my own since the trailers were so off-putting, and I am sure that if I had, I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did with the enthusiastic audience at BNAT. Even the movies I didn't like so much were a pleasure to watch in that environment.

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