Dear Alamo Drafthouse,
Hello again from your friend in Atlanta. I apologize for the down to the wire entry this week. I’m trying to branch out and make friends in this scary new place called Atlanta, and you really have to seize the opportunities for social interaction they come up. In this instance I host a little get together every month or so for a select group of buddies. It’s usually a pretty good time; spirits soar, women swoon and gods are created. Ok, well one of those statements is true. Nonetheless, I’ve spent the better part of the weekend recovering, which for me involves reconciling my burgeoning sense of identity with what is expected of me by society on Monday morning. What I’m trying to say is I was busy this weekend sucking the marrow out of life and didn’t have enough time to write anything good.
But I must write something. This is a battle. A war. And the casualties could be the very hearts and souls of everyone in Atlanta. And the developments on the frontline have been troubling; I’ve been reading in the news about a few Drafthouse franchises that didn’t end up working out. I know a lot of work goes into selecting a location that would be truly great for a new theatre location. But I wonder if perhaps you all have been reading a little to literally from “Understanding Theatres” by J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. instead of listening to your hearts. I know what you’re thinking – one person writing letters week after week has nothing to do with the sound financial motivations that are deemed necessary for a new venture, and that you ought to simply go quietly about the business of pursuing other locations.
But I have a secret for you. People don’t pay to go see movies at the Drafthouse because of how much the tickets are, or because there is less than total market saturation, or because it’s cute. People go to see a movie at the Drafthouse because they are members of a community. A community of people who know the impact the dominant artform of the modern era has on their own lives and the lives of others around them. Law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But movies are what that community of movie geeks and cinephiles lives their life for. Being suspended into worlds of beauty, romance, action, fantasy, horror or suspense for just a couple of hours is how they mark their years. I should know. I’m one of them for fucksake.
So please, rip out that page of your business model and do something extraordinary. No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world. And remember, “the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.”
And so I shall continue to sound my barbaric yawp across the rooftops of the world. THE ALAMO BELONGS IN ATLANTA.
Loyal Drafthouse Patron