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“Presented in Amazing AlamoScope” returns! 70mm classics and rarities shown exclusively at The Ritz!

"Presented in Amazing AlamoScope" returns with classic screenings at The Ritz!

“Presented in Amazing AlamoScope” returns! 70mm classics and rarities shown exclusively at The Ritz!

Back in early August, we announced our inaugural “Presented in Amazing AlamoScope” series alongside the installation of permanent 70mm projectors in our downtown location, The Ritz. Audiences walked out snapping their fingers at WEST SIDE STORY, cracked their whips with INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, saw the world in a new light with BARAKA, and busted ghosts with the best of ‘em at GHOSTBUSTERS. Following these cinema classics and genre favorites, we warmly welcomed the newest film shot in and for the 70mm format, Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER. As one of a very few theaters nationwide hosting a 70mm engagement of the title, Austinites far and wide flocked to The Ritz to see this stunning picture the way it was meant to be seen. Breathtaking, beautiful, complex, and not easily digested, THE MASTER is a film we find ourselves still thinking and talking about weeks after our initial viewing. THE MASTER is the type of film that inspires deep, considered conversations and enlivens the minds of the audience. In short, it is exactly the type of film we love to celebrate here at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Now that we have concluded our 70mm theatrical run of THE MASTER, though we are sad to see it go, we are pleased to welcome the triumphant return of classic 70mm titles at The Ritz. Because our recent 70mm installation is a permanent fixture, AlamoScope will continue as a monthly program, where we bring you at least one title every month. Here’s what we have in store for this November and December!

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CLEOPATRA: 11/03 and 11/04
Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963, 248 min, 70mm

This astonishingly grandiose, lavish historical epic broke box-office records. It was a TITANIC-sized success.  But the budget and cost overruns were so high that it still did not break even.  Heads rolled in Hollywood over CLEOPATRA and it became a catchphrase for bloated filmic spectacles, but all these years later, it's still magnificent to see.  Like the pyramids, it is a gaudy monument to extreme wealth, and also like the pyramids, it will fill you with wonder at its immense scale.  Elizabeth Taylor, who naturally plays the title character, and Richard Burton, who plays her tragic lover Marc Antony, were the two greatest stars of their age.  They could have acted against a painted backdrop and created a box-office sensation, but producer Walter Wanger surrounded his two shining jewels with millions of dollars in settings, locations, props and dancing elephants.  It's huge, and hugely vulgar - fortunately, it's also fabulously colorful and entertaining on just as grand a scale.  Taylor and Burton are magnetic, and their chemistry is intoxicating.  Their famous eyes almost outshine the tens of millions of dollars of fineries and sets brought in to support them.  It is gigantic, grand and monstrous all at once. If you love Hollywood, do not miss it. (Zack)

PLAYTIME: 11/24, 11/25, and 12/01
Dir. Jacques Tati, 1967, 115 min, 70mm

Writer/Director Jacques Tati expertly transforms the screen into a manic comedic typhoon of outrageous inventions and blaring colors in his single greatest, grandest and most earthshakingly hilarious foray into fearless filmmaking.  In PLAYTIME, Monsieur Hulot (played by the director) stumbles through the terrifyingly modernized streets of Paris, where ludicrous architecture and zany Rube Goldberg-esque mantraps cause increasingly complex goofball crises.  It's very truly one of the most stunning accomplishments in the history of movies; an impossible spectacle that'll unravel your brain while you laugh yourself inside out.  PLAYTIME was shot in 70mm, and we'll be experiencing it in a big, big, bright, recently restored 70mm print, where Tati's visionary madcappery will explode into your senses! (Zack)

LIFEFORCE: 12/08 and 12/09
Dir. Tobe Hooper, 1985, R, 116 min, 70mm

Sure, Naked Space Vampire movies are a dime a dozen, but this big-budget 70mm career-wrecker from the TEXAS CHAINSAW director tears through all competition and stands tall as the ultimate example of the form. An astronaut crew investigating Halley's Comet run across a pile of batmonster corpses and three apparent humans encased in giant glass shards. When the Crystal Nudie Trio are brought back to our planet, their diabolical nature is revealed in a world-shattering bloodsucking shitstorm. These creatures devour life straight through your face, level entire cities in seconds and spread like Country Crock. LIFEFORCE's script possesses a manic ferocity matched only by the eye-bulging, vein-throbbing lead performance from perpetual screen maniac Steve Railsback, whose unhealthy dating relationship with Interstellar Evil Incarnate sends our feeble species down the road to absolute annihilation. So do what you like, but skip this show and you'll be missing a telepathically possessed Patrick Stewart declare himself "the perfect woman" before kissing a dude right smack dab on the lips. (Zack)

APOCALYPSE NOW: 12/09, 12/10, and 12/12
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1979, R, 153 min, 70mm

Hey! What’s that smell? You better believe it’s napalm, buster! As part of our ongoing commitment to presenting the rarest of rare titles on 70mm at The Ritz, this December we’re bringing you one of the rarest 70mm blow-up prints known to man: Francis Ford Coppola’s journey into the pitch black heart of darkness itself, APOCALYPSE NOW. We’ve had to virtually mortgage our theater to make this once-in-a-lifetime event happen, as this 70mm print may very well be the only copy in all of existence. Nowhere else in Austin or the galaxy will you see this rarity shown! You know the world-weary war story, the Oscar-winning cinematography by the great Vittorio Storaro, the Oscar-winning sound design by the masters Walter Murch and Richard Beggs, and all the rest that goes with it, so see APOCALYPSE NOW in 70mm!!! (Sam Prime)

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Loyal AlamoScope badgeholders are guaranteed access to the Saturday screenings of both CLEOPATRA and PLAYTIME, but must purchase individual tickets for all AlamoScope events beginning with our December line-up.

Are you as excited as we are for this next installment of the AlamoScope series? We cannot wait to see you at the Drafthouse this November and December as “Presented in Amazing AlamoScope” continues! Tickets for both CLEOPATRA and PLAYTIME will be on sale shortly, with our December screenings soon to follow.

Follow Alamo Drafthouse Film Programmer Sam Prime on Twitter.

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