The Alamo Drafthouse, the ultimate cinematic power in the universe, is set to once again kick off its annual Rolling Roadshow this weekend. While past Rolling Roadshow tours have criss-crossed all over these United States, the programmers have decided to stage this year’s tour in their own backyard, namely the great state of Texas.
As always, the films selected have been paired up with locations pertinent to the production in some way. Past tours have seen Rocky shown on the steps in Philadelphia, Robocop shown in Detroit and Close Encounters of the Third Kind at Devil’s Tower. While this year will see things kept a little closer to home, the schedule is certainly no slouch.
First up is a triple feature this weekend kicking off with John Wayne’s The Searchers tonight at Fort Parker in Groesbeck, Texas. As always with the Rolling Roadshow, admission is free and first come, first served. If you’ve never been to a Rolling Roadshow event, the Alamo will drive a projection truck out to each location fitted with 35mm projectors and a print of the film. Typically, they will erect a large inflatable screen to project the film on, and the show will start around sunset. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Be sure to check each screening’s event page on the Drafthouse website for the food and drink situation and additional information.
Things really pick up tomorrow night with the screening of Tobe Hooper’s grindhouse classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre out at the Junction House in Kingsland, Texas. Junction House, of course, is the house that was used in the film. While it was originally located in Williamson County, it was moved to Kingsland in the 90s and rebuilt as it looked before. For this particular screening the Rolling Roadshow is offering two VIP ticket options, both of which include a camping chair from Roadshow sponsor Texas Monthly in a reserved seating area as well as an event t-shirt from Mondo and a raffle ticket for a chance to win the complete set of this year’s Mondo Roadshow posters. The first option for $50 also includes food tickets redeemable for BBQ on site. Sadly, those tickets have already sold out. The second option at $100 includes a full sit-down meal at the Junction House before the screening and there are still a few tickets left. Obviously you don’t have to go the VIP route, and you can have just as much fun seeing Texas Chainsaw at the house where Leatherface lived for free.
Some of the cast and crew will even be in attendance for this event, including star Marilyn Burns, who is slated to participate in a scream-off with a few audience members. In addition to the scream-off there will also be a headcheese eating contest before the movie plays. I’ll be attending the event myself, so look for a recap piece here on FSR next week. Come on out with a chair and a blanket and see Texas Chainsaw like never before!
Then to wrap things up, the Roadshow will make the short trip to north Austin to show the Coen brothers’ classic directorial debut Blood Simple at Dessau Hall where many scenes were shot. This will be a standard Roadshow screening but there will be an after-party at Dessau Hall featuring live music and, I’m sure, plenty of beer. Tickets for the after party are $5 and can be purchased in advance from the Drafthouse site (as linked above).
If you’ve never been to an Alamo Rolling Roadshow screening, you owe it yourself to go. The rest of the tour schedule is up now on the Drafthouse website and there are plenty of great films at Texas locations coming up in the next few weeks. It’s an incredible experience seeing a movie where it was filmed, especially for a film you love. Free movies out under the stars? Count me in!