Mix and mingle with ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ characters around Austin this weekend

“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” makes its way to theaters July 13, but Austinites can get a jump on the fun this weekend thanks to a variety of character appearances at popular spots around town.

The Drac pack is back in “Hotel Transylvania 3.” Contributed by Sony Pictures Animation

Here’s where you can catch three members of Drac’s pack — Drac, Mavis and Ericka Van Helsing — this weekend:

  • FRIDAY: Snag a photo with your favorite character in front of the “Hi, How Are You” mural at 2100 Guadalupe from 3:30-4 p.m., or ice cream socialize with the ghastly gang at Amy’s Ice Creams, 3500 Guadalupe, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., where a Monster’s Surprise Combo will be available just for the occasion.
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Amy’s Ice Creams at 3500 Guadalupe will offer a Monster’s Surprise Combo from 4:30-5:30 p.m. June 1.
  • SATURDAY: On Saturday, sip on “Drac’s Juice” and snap photos in front of the “I Love You So Much” mural at Jo’s Coffee, 1300 S. Congress, from 10-11:30 a.m., or drop by the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller, 1911 Aldrich St., Suite 120, from noon-2 p.m. for a variety of terrifyingly fun activities. The gang will also be hanging at Zilker Park near the train depot from 3-4 p.m.
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“Drac’s Juice” will be available at Jo’s Coffee on June 2. 
  • SUNDAY: Start your spooky morning off with Drac and co. at the ATX sign in front of Whole Foods at 525 N. Lamar from 9-9:30 a.m., or grab a photo with them at the “Greetings from Austin” mural, 1720 S. First, from 10-10:30 a.m. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with the crew at Big Top Candy Shop, 1706 S. Congress Ave., from 11 a.m.-noon or at Amy’s Ice Creams, 12420 Galleria Circle, from 1-2 p.m.

Harry Knowles ‘steps away’ from Ain’t It Cool News as sexual assault allegations escalate

Harry Knowles, an Austin movie blogger and founder of the long-running movie criticism/fandom site Ain’t It Cool News, is taking a leave of absence from the site after being accused of sexually assaulting or harassing several women.

Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN Harry Knowles, of Ain’t It Cool News, arrives at the 2008 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards in Austin, Texas on Friday, March 7, 2008. SXSW08

Knowles, who co-founded Fantastic Fest with Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League, allegedly groped and harassed multiple women over the years, according to a report that appeared yesterday on the IndieWire film site.

FROM SATURDAY: Fantastic Fest co-founder Harry Knowles accused of sexually assaulting Austin woman two decades ago

Knowles said his sister, Dannie Knowles, will take over AICN indefinitely. (Longtime Austinites may remember Dannie Knowles as the manager of the Pedazo Chunk video store.)

Knowles launched AICN in 1996 at a time when the idea of the “movie blog” was virtually unheard of. Having survived the economic collapse of “Internet 1.0” in the early 2000s, AICN stuck around as symbol of the sometimes blurry line between criticism, fandom and outright promotion that can exist in entertainment journalism.

Earlier this week, fellow Ain’t It Cool contributors Steve “Capone” Prokopy, Eric “Quint” Vespe and “Horrorella” all quit the site after the first round of allegations against Knowles.

The Alamo Drafthouse, reeling from its own harassment scandal, cut ties with Knowles earlier this week.

Our continuing coverage of the Drafthouse/Knowles situation

This is a developing story.

‘Princess Bride,’ ‘Galaxy Quest’ and A Giant Dog highlight Sound and Cinema 2017

These three are totally read for Sound and Cinema


Ever wanted to see “The Princess Bride” on the Long Center lawn preceded by a performance by a Cake cover band called Icing?

Boy, are you in luck.

The Alamo Drafthouse and Do512 announced the fifth season of their free summer event series, Sound & Cinema.  The series pairs great movies with hand-picked Texas bands, who perform a musical tribute to the movie prior to the outdoor screening.

As this is Austin, look for a plethora of food trucks including Garbo’s, Mama Fu’s, Moojo Ice Cream, Newk’s, Rosarito’s, Slab BBQ, The Peached Tortilla, and Uncle Louie G’s.

Also very Austin: full bar service on the Long Center  terrace, offering a variety of cocktails, craft beers, and non-alcoholic drinks.

Sound & Cinema 2017 will take place on the lawn at The Long Center on select Wednesdays in June and July. Each event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

June 21: “Princess Bride” featuring ICING (covering Cake)

(“Bride” director Rob Reiner’s movie “LBJ” starring Woody Harrelson is due in the fall.)

June 28: “Raising Arizona” featuring The Quaker City Night Hawks

(The Coen Brothers wrote the script for “Suburbicon,” currently in production and directed by George Clooney)

July 19: “Galaxy Quest” featuring Special Guest (TBA)

(“Galaxy Quest” is simply one of the best Star Trek movies ever made. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. If not, go see it. You will love it.)

July 26: “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” featuring A Giant Dog

(“Scott Pilgrim” director Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” is due in theaters in late June. It is a lot of fun.)

The food trucks will open at 6pm each night, with the sunset concerts beginning around 7:30pm. The movies will begin shortly after dark (around 8:45pm).

Guests are welcome to bring personal water bottles, folding chairs, blankets, and pets (leashed, on the lawn only).

Alcoholic beverages of any type, coolers of any kind, glass bottles, illegal substances, weapons, boom boxes or amplified sound, marketing leaflets or other promotional items are not allowed.

Parking is available in the Long Center garage, and there will also be extra bike racks at the Long Center for each event.

Terrify yourself this summer by watching ‘Jaws’ in the water

You know what many might find terrifying? The idea of watching Jaws in a body of water.

You know what people really like to do? Be terrified.

Which is why the Alamo Drafthouse’s “JAWS On The Water” is back for summer 2017.

I always loved this image

The movies hit the shores of Volente Beach on Austin’s Lake Travis for a month-long run of weekend “dive-in” shows, including – for the first time – screenings of “Jaws 2,” “Jaws 3D” screened in 3D, and “Jaws: The Revenge” hosted by Master Pancake.

Tickets to these On the Water shows include full access to Volente Beach attractions including Lazy Lagoon, The Sidewinder, the water slides, a shark-ified inner tube, fireworks display and the experience of watching Jaws with your feet in the water.

The Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide are hosting screenings from June 30 through July 6, including interactive movie parties.

Also look for a Mondo-designed Jaws pint glass, featuring original artwork by acclaimed artist Kevin Tong available exclusively at our Movie Party screenings.

Check out dates and tickets here.


What movies to see this rainy Memorial Day weekend, including some that might be gone soon

So it looks like Memorial Day weekend is going to be wet, at least part of the time.

Fortunately, Austin is the best city of its size for cinephiles in the United States. (Yeah, I said it.) And a possibly rainy three-day weekend is a fantastic time to catch up on new releases, repertory screenings and second-run movies.

The big movies opening this week are “Baywatch,” the self-consciously parodic reboot of the insanely popular TV series, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” both of which are playing all over the place.

As for bigger movies from earlier in the year, I was not wild about “Alien:Covenant,” and I don’t see that changing any time … ever.


But in retrospect I was perhaps a little too hard on “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”

Over at the Alamo Drafthouses, a new restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s still-incredible “Stalker” plays 2 p.m. May 27 and 6 p.m. May 28 at Alamo Ritz. Also at the Ritz, check out Kurt Russell (currently in “Guardians”) when he was much younger in “Escape from New York,” which is playing a number of times.


The gang debs, they are teenaged


The Austin Film Society’s newly refurbished AFS Cinema is now open for business. This weekend’s screenings include the Italian comedy “Divorce, Italian Style” and the genre classic “Teenage Gang Debs.”

Then AFS goes into its “Texas Christening” with screenings of such films as “The Last Picture Show,” “Rio Bravo,” and “Tender Mercies,” as well as other films. Check out the full slate at www.austinfilm.org

LOOK: A sneak peak at the gorgeous new AFS Cinema

Over at the discounted Southwest Theaters Lake Creek 7 we have “Kong: Skull Island,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Get Out,”  “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Power Rangers,”  “Logan,” “The Shack,”  and “Ghost in the Shell.”

Of these, “Get Out” is absolutely essential viewing. Jordan Peele’s horror film about race and privilege is that rare bird: a smart film that is also one of the year’s most unexpected hits.

I am also in the tank for “Logan,”easily the strongest (and most adult — this one is NOT for kids) of Fox’s X-Men franchise. I also enjoyed “Kong: Skull Island,” which had a much stronger monster-to-screentime ration than the “Godzilla” reboot from 2014, while I can recommend “The Lego Batman Movie” with little reservation.

If you don’t feel like leaving the house, you really should do what you can to catch up on Showtime’s new season of “Twin Peaks.” All 18 episodes were co-written and directed by David Lynch; the first four are currently available for streaming on the Showtime site (subscription needed). It is very easily the weirdest thing on television, a showcase for Lynch’s tics, interests and singular vision.

Over on Netflix, David Michôd’s “War Machine” stars Brad Pitt as a general very obliviously based on NATO-forces-in-Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal. With Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Topher Grace and more.


On its birthday, Alamo Drafthouse delivered day’s sickest burn on Facebook

Happy birthday, Drafthouse! (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

So ever since the Drafthouse announced the ladies-only Wonder Woman screening, they have gotten more than a few trolls responding.


Trolls? She got this.

It also happens to be the 20th anniversary of the Drafthouse itself– the first one opened May 25, 1997.

Since then, the Drafthouse has become one of the most influential brands in American cinema. They’ve opened dozens of locations, thrown thousands of events, started Fantastic Fest and catered to movie nerds of all stripes while retaining a pro-active, progressive social stances.

More: It’s Alamo Drafthouse’s 20th birthday. Here are 20 times the theater told us to shut up.

So it seems fitting that, given their dexterity in changing with the times, their social media person delivered a burn so sick in re: the Wonder Woman screening that you could hear jaws drop all over the internet.

Are you sitting down? You should sit down:







Happy birthday, Alamo Drafthouse.

Alamo Drafthouse hosting women-only ‘Wonder Woman’ screening

Amazon sisters, this one is for you. Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse announced a women-only screening of “Wonder Woman” at the downtown Ritz theater on June 6.

GAL GADOT as Diana in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

“The most iconic superheroine in comic book history finally has her own movie, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-female screening?” the screening announcement on the Drafthouse website reads. The one-night-only event is for “Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,” and that includes the theater staff. According to the Drafthouse, the venue staff, projectionist and culinary team for the screening will also all be women.

RELATED READ: Some Austin movie fans’ screams might be in the next ‘Star Wars’

Unfortunately, the screening is now sold out. But stay tuned, Themyscirans, in case the theater decides to lengthen its lasso for additional dates. According to a comment from the Drafthouse on Facebook, more Amazons’ nights out are on the way.

Check out “Minions,” “Matilda” and more during 2017 Alamo Drafthouse Summer Kids Camp

The school year is almost over so it’s time for the Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Summer Kids Camp.

All summer long families can escape on cinematic adventures in to the wonderful world of movies with air-conditioning.

No, they’re not showing THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. But this gif rules

Each Kids Camp title is selected by the Alamo Drafthouse programming team with film fans aged 3 to 12 in mind, with an eye towards offering alternatives to the summer’s PG-13 heavy slate of new releases.

Kids Camp screenings take place at nearly every Alamo Drafthouse location every day (with some exceptions) from the beginning of June through August in matinee time-slots.

Screenings are open to either All Ages or 3 and Up. Normal Alamo Drafthouse No Talking/ No Texting rules apply to Kids Camp screenings. Families can buy tickets — choosing from $1, $3, or $5  — online to reserve their seats in advance.

Kids Camp benefits local nonprofits that are selected by the Alamo Drafthouse team in each city. This year, Alamo Drafthouse expects to donate $100,000 to approximately 35 nonprofits nationwide during Summer 2017.

The Austin non-profit partners include:

Austin Pets Alive

Con Mi Madre

E4 Youth

Forklift Danceworks

Literacy Coalition of Central Texas

Multicultural Refugee Coalition

People’s Community Clinic

SAFE Alliance

And now, the slate:

= Kids Camp Summer 2017 Lineup = 
















For tickets and more info, visit drafthouse.com/series/alamo-kids-camp.


Tim League isn’t worried about streaming services, and 4 other things we learned from his clapback at Netflix


Alamo Drafthouse co-founder and CEO Tim League is no stranger to making strong statements about the movie theater industry. League has famously used the written word to advocate for gender-neutral restrooms in at least one of his Alamo theaters and to decry AMC Theatres’ brief flirtation with allowing texting during movies.

Tim League is the founder of Alamo Drafthouse. The Austin-based chain is expanding via franchisees. (Photo by Annie Ray.)

And now, on the heels of a Q&A session with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last week where Hastings declared that distribution in the movie business hadn’t innovated in the last 30 years (“Well, the popcorn tastes better, but that’s about it”), League is taking another stand to defend the “business of cinema” in an editorial for IndieWire.

More: Mueller’s new Alamo Drafthouse location will have family focus

Here are five things we learned from League’s editorial:

  1. Netflix’s business model doesn’t concern League one bit.
    “It seems like every other interview I give asks me about the “threat” of Netflix. I’ll be blunt. Netflix doesn’t concern me, and I think it is obvious after last week that the cinema industry is of no concern to Netflix either. We are in very different businesses…Netflix is in the business of growing a global customer base by being the best value proposition subscription content platform…But here’s my business: Cinema.”
  2. But he still respects Netflix’s ability to innovate.
    “They are doing a great job. Their portal is stable, intuitive, cheap and delivers plenty of great, new content every month. They also provide a fantastic financial opportunity for both emerging and veteran storytellers. I stand in awe of the audience they have built and the wealth they have amassed in such a short time.”
  3. He doesn’t think films should be viewed on phones, but rather, in a theater, where they belong.
    “Our best and most talented, passionate filmmakers vehemently do not want their films to be viewed first and foremost on a phone, on the train to work, while checking email, while chopping vegetables for the evening meal, on mute with subtitles while rocking a baby to sleep, or while dozing off before bed…Great filmmakers create content to share their fully realized creations in a cinema with full, rich sound; bright, crisp picture and a respectful audience whose full attention is on the screen.”
  4. He does think that Netflix should follow the example of other streaming services who distribute films in theaters, like Amazon Studios did with “Manchester by the Sea”:
    “When courting filmmakers young and old to create content for their platform, I wish Netflix would consider the relationship with cinemas built by Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Showtime and Epix…They believe in the promotional partnership that successful theatrical engagements can give to word of mouth, awards consideration, brand loyalty and ultimately maximized financial returns.”
  5. Finally, he does believe in innovation in movie theaters, but not at the expense of the movies themselves.
    “I will acknowledge some underlying truth to Reed Hastings’ words. We do, as an industry, need to invest in innovation. Cinema’s primary threat today is not Netflix; it is ourselves. We must continue to maintain high exhibition standards, invest in new sound and picture technology, improve the digital experience for our guests, develop innovative ways to delight our guests and ensure that we live up to our one job – make going to the cinema an amazing experience.”

Read the full interview here.


Alamo Drafthouse introduces ‘Alamo For All’ sensory-friendly screenings

Alamo Drafthouse vs. Apple? If iPhone function rumors are true, maybe so


Alamo Drafthouse’s newest bartender at SXSW: Jason Sudeikis

With his latest movie premiering at the Alamo Drafthouse on Lamar during South by Southwest, actor Jason Sudeikis did what all hilarious guys dream of one day doing: tending bar.

That’s right, the “Saturday Night Live” alum and star of “Colossal” jumped behind the Highball Bar at the Alamo Drafthouse this weekend to serve up some drinks at the film’s after party.

Here’s the proof:

Jason Sudeikis bartends the SXSW after party for Colossal at the Alamo Lamar Drafthouse Photo Credit: Getty Wireimage

Sudeikis stars in “Colossal” along side Anne Hathaway. Here’s the trailer for the film that opens  worldwide on April 7. Here’s the review.