Dear Alamo Drafthouse,
Hello again from Atlanta! It’s almost Valentine’s Day and time once again for me to regale you with a story of my struggle to find a movie theatre that I love here in Atlanta. It’s really a story about true love, but I promise, this isn’t a kissing story. Truth be told, going to movies theatres here I feel a lot like my true love has died, and I’m being forced into a mawwage against my will. But we’ll get into that later. So put down your classic NES controller and try to stay awake while I tell you what I miss most about seeing a movie at the Drafthouse.
It’s funny, you know…I ask locals if they’ve ever heard of a cinema that serves food, alcohol and has great original programming, marathons and events, and they look at me like I’ve just asked them if they have 6 fingers on their right hand. I guess it’s just difficult to imagine unless you’ve seen it yourself. To me going to the Alamo once or twice a week was almost a lifestyle. Here it’s just something you do every few months to get out of the house, or beat the humidity for a few hours. But I know that movie lover-culture is here, in the sweltering-swampy hills and insanely high skyrises.
I encountered one self-described movie nerd who claimed he had never been to a theatre in Atlanta, and had resorted to piracy; which to me is not inconceivable (I think that word means what I think it means). To me piracy is something that a growing number of people are forced into simply because going to the movies is no longer fun for the amount of money you have to fork over. But it has its risks. Every time I download a torrent I’m taking a gamble that it could very likely kill my computer the next morning. But it’s the only way I can even see some movies these days.
I mean, I understand that movie theatres need to be profitable, and people only come out in droves to see movies that have tv trailer spots starring Kevin Hart. I get that. I can basically walk into any theatre in Atlanta and the same 5 movies are playing. Compare that to the Drafthouse. On any given night I can see movies about fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love or even miracles.
And the food! My god I miss decent food served with a decent beer, in a glass (hint for next week’s letter?). There’s something to be said about watching a marathon and drinking so much beer that one of your friends comes to pick you up and you just stare at his hand for a minute before realizing who it is. By the way – why did you guys take the BLT off the menu? Damn that was good when the bacon was nice and lean and the tomato was ripe. They were so perky. I loved that.
Sidenote: Aren’t you kind of disappointed Billy Crystal hasn’t aged to look like Miracle Max?
But all of those wonderful things are gone and I’m stuck here, in the peach-pit of despair. It’s torture, knowing that my life is slowly being sucked away year after year in 21-theatre megaplexes while you all are watching fresh, original, independent movies. It’s enough to make me scream the scream of ultimate suffering. But who says life is fair? Where is that written? Maybe one day you’ll come storming into Atlanta in a holocaust cloak and throw open the gates of a new location, Maybe not. I know if you rush a miracle you get rotten miracles and it’s difficult to picture Alamo in Atlanta until you see it.
Anybody want a peanut?
Loyal Drafthouse Patron