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My Last Night at the Downtown Alamo
pokemon
unwiredben
Since I won't be in town next week, I decided to make last night my last visit to the soon-to-be-gone Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. They're shutting down next Wednesday, and while they will open a new location at the historic Ritz theater on Sixth Street later this summer, it won't be the same. The downtown location has lots of good memories for me -- it's where we did our Show With No Name live shows, it's where I saw the first friends-and-family screening of "Dear Pillow", and it's where I saw through many great SXSW films and Q&As.

It was a good evening, starting with the AV Geeks show "Why We're Fat", a collection of industrial films made by food marketing groups featuring everything from industrial baking of white bread to recipes for potato chips courtesy of some very stereotypical leprechauns. It was a fun show, especially the audience-participation bit at the start where we all got to read a frame from an old filmstrip.

After that was the last downtown Open Screen Night. I'd not been to one before, but I liked what I saw. Basically, anyone can bring something to show, but the audience can gong it off-screen after two minutes. The selections ranged from senior film projects to music videos to a bunch of prank videos that started off one way, then cut into some sort of scene with lots of wee people dancing. There was a submission called "Thar She Blows" then ended up being a scene from a particularly adult movie; it was removed after the two minute mark, but a particularly loud and drunk woman kept requesting it over and over from the back of the room. Ultimately the winner of the evening was a production called "Choose Your Own Death" which was a DVD about a psycho killer where you kept having to choose what would happen next in the scene. If you got to the end of a set of choices and were killed, a floating "DEAD" would appear up on the screen. I preferred the "Pipe World Parables" film where a guy used techniques learned from old Nintendo games to save the day; the production values were low, but it was pretty creative.

I decided not to stay for the Weird Wednesday; 270 minutes of film programming was enough for one night. As I left, I said goodbye to the old place, but I look forward to more interesting Alamo programming this fall.
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