To reveal Mr. Wizard behind the curtain so to speak, my role as programmer for Alamo Drafthouse Richardson is to curate films that I think people want to see. Better yet, films that as a die hard movie nerd and lifelong Alamo fan myself, I would want to see on the big screen. So when it came time to select the titles for our soft opening - the films that would officially introduce Alamo Drafthouse to DFW movie lovers - let’s just say I lost more than a few winks of sleep.
I played around with a few different ideas...classic August releases from the ‘80s & ‘90s...best of Summer blockbusters from the past...before one word rocketed into my brain like a metalloid visitor from another planet: Robots!
You see, the lobby of every Alamo Drafthouse is themed around the area in which it sits. With Richardson Height’s midcentury modern architecture and the technology corridor we sit in the middle of (Texas Instruments HQ being our neighbor to the south), the theme of our lobby was as clear and shiny as 3PO. Atomic Age technology run amuck!
In the spirit of the Fleischer’s “The Mechanical Monsters,” Robby the Robot and even later classics directly influenced by these eras a la THE IRON GIANT, our lobby theme is so cool it’ll make you go nuts (and bolts).
And thus I ventured out across the vast universe of robot cinema, attempting to pick a few from each decade that represents its time and place in the genre.
METROPOLIS (1927) accompanied by a live score from legendary Dallas-based Improvisation Ensemble BL Lacerta, FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), the Dallas-filmed LOGAN’S RUN (1976), THE TERMINATOR (1984), THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE (1986) in 35MM, SHORT CIRCUIT (1986), *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED (1987) in 35MM, ROBOT JOX (1989) in 35MM, THE IRON GIANT (1999) in 35MM, Master Pancake presents TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991), the Dallas-produced JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS (2001) for the kiddos, and finally DISTRICT 9 (2009) in honor of our grand opening film - Neill Blomkamp’s sophmore effort ELYSIUM.
Sure, there’s a few in there that you might not see. They were either unfortunately unavailable for various reasons (*cough cough* BLADE RUNNER, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA) or we have them in our back pocket for the near future.*
That said, we’re super excited to present these films together in one robo-centric cinematic series to honor the grand opening of our theater, planting a giant robot foot down in DFW to say “We have arrived.” And we hope you are excited as well.
Now go buy tickets! Tickets are now on sale for August 8th. More dates/showtimes coming soon.
*I know what some of you are probably thinking to yourself right now as you scratch your head in confusion...”Hey, where the Weller is ROBOCOP?! You can’t do a robot series, in Dallas no less, and not show ROBOCOP!” And I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, it was the first film we booked. But because of a studio moratorium due to 2014’s ROBOCOP remake, we are now unable to show it. Hey, everything happens for a reason...this just means that when we are finally able to show it, we’re going to blow it out ED-209 style where it just don’t stop!