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129 BR – “Remember the Alamo”

As you might imagine, things are a little strange in Drafthouse-land right now. It is a rather weird place to be in watching a new Alamo being built while the one that started it all is slowly being taken apart. Last week I spent some time boxing up non-essentials in the booth. That wasn’t a big deal. But when I got to the Master Pancake show on Friday night I noticed that the big “The Alamo” poster that hung over the front stairs was gone. That right there was a big slap in the face. I mean, that poster shouted out to us every day ("NOW! AGAIN!"), but to see that blank wall, well, it was a really strange feeling; Of all the changes I have seen take place in that lobby over the last 4 years, that big ass poster has ALWAYS been there. In no small way it is almost as if a part of the theater’s soul has been prematurely taken away.

Meanwhile, five blocks away I’m watching a new theater being built. No matter how exciting it is, and no matter how cool this new place is going to be, it is going to take a little while to get used to; Every time I set foot in the Ritz I get a little excited, and every time I set foot in Downtown I get a little depressed. Rectifying those two feelings is becoming an exercise in frustration. If this is what I’m going through, I can barely imagine what Tim must be dealing with. In fact, the other day I asked for his thoughts on the situation the Drafthouse is in right now. He said he is so overwhelmed with everything that's going on he doesn’t even have time to think about how he is feeling. “I’m feeling like a plow moving forward,” is how he finally expressed it.

But I do have to say that Tim seems to be handling it all in stride. I ran into him while leaving the Ritz on Friday and we talked about the Alamo Downtown remembrances that had just been published in the Onion. He was positively beaming with pride, grinning from ear to ear.

Shit, Wednesday night is going to suck.

Damn. Now I’m too depressed to write about the new place. Any news about progress at the Ritz (and there’s plenty of it) seems to pale in comparison to what is happening at the Downtown theater right now. All of us Downtown have been labeling everything as “last” this and “last” that, any other news seems trivial. Hell, go back a few months and, after the last show of the evening, everyone at work would be chomping at the bit to get the hell out of there. Now we linger, soaking up as much of the nostalgia as we can. As I was making my way down the stairs after the Joss Whedon Birthday event early Sunday morning, Josh K. was trying to convince me to hang around with everyone else. “But it’s the last Saturday!” he reminded me. If I hadn’t been so exhausted, I’d have felt guilty for leaving.

"Remember the Alamo." For me, that phrase will no longer be just an empty cliché.

Check out the Flickr set for information on progress at the Ritz.

News Categories: Austin

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