It's been almost a month since our downtown theater closed and probably another couple of months until we have the new one open. I was a little skeptical about how downtown-type programming would go over in Lamar and Village but the good news is - it's great. Weird Wednesdays, which I always secretly feared would never feel as scuzzy in the scrupulously clean and well-ordered South Lamar theater, are actually hugely fun. The most hardcore regulars are still there, as well as some curious parties who are new to the scene and, now that they've figured out the bus schedule, even the students. So despite the lack of falling ceiling tiles, threadbare curtains and a makeshift sound system - it's still the most dogged-out, disreputable excuse for a good time in town. Last week we had our first full house of the South Lamar Weird Wednesday era, THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER: a sketchy CONAN THE BARBARIAN ripoff with extra sex and violence that thrilled the crowd. Afterwards, there was that electric kind of ripple through the crowd that I had been missing from the Downtown experience.
And it's not just Weird Wednesday. John Erler from Master Pancake and I had a conversation about the current "exiled from downtown" state of events and he agreed that it's not bad at all. In fact it's a blast. The Master Pancake CONAN shows have been wildly popular at both Village and South Lamar. John mentioned that he was seeing a lot of new faces, maybe people who didn't care to deal with downtown and its parking situation. Who knows? It's just good to know that the magic of downtown hasn't deserted us, that in fact it clings to the people and the events that have always made the Alamo special. Whew!