Hearne: How ‘Expendables’ Screening @ Alamo Mainstreet Changed My Life

Hard as it is imagine, I had an epiphany while watching Expendables 2

It came to me at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet downtown during the theater’s Van Dammage promotion. The Alamo gang wheeled out four cheesy Jean-Claude Van Damme action films as foreplay for the new Expendables.

Suffice it to say, it was a total dude fest.

A late night dude fest no less, which is not exactly a lot of dude’s ideal idea of a good time.

Yet it worked…totally.

Geeky as it had the makings to be, there was something actually hip that transcended the underlying product. I was having a hard time putting my finger on it, but here’s what I finally came up with.

When you attend a movie at a “regular” theater it’s like riding public transportation. The melting pot of theatergoers is generic at best (to be kind) – from anybody to everybody.

However the Alamo crowd – even for something as potentially low brow as Van Dammage and the Expendables – is a cut above the typical moviegoer melting pot. More refined if you will. The audience has or takes on a personality of its own somehow, with a comparatively deft sense of humor. The bar is higher and you can feel it, sense it.

And I’m not talking Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque audiences.

Oh sure, the Alamo loves nothing more than threatening folks about texting but at least they give you a warning before they cast you asunder and I’m not fully convinced it’s not a bit of a marketing ploy.

Whatever, it works.

Especially with the kickass before and in between movie shorts that Alamo shows.

They’re often tailored to the movie being presented, which in the case of the Expendables included some hilarious and amusing bits featuring Dolph Lundgren and other action stars featured in the movie like Bruce Willis, Arnold and Stallone.

They’re totally worth arriving early for and they’re totally still being shown if you decide to catch the Expendables this weekend…but only at the Alamo.

The food is slightly better than what AMC offered at the Mainstreet with a far wider variety and a much better bar (but it can close early on the late shows so buyer beware).

I’m betting that in time, when Alamo gets things sorted out, the cuisine quality will rise. Meanwhile, don’t miss the French fried pickles my daughter Liza advises.

So there you have it, I guess I’ve been converted.

Now will I be at Alamo’s Arena Rock song-along this Thursday?

Maybe not, unless it’s to document the absurdity for KC Confidential. Truth is, my daughters and I are still recuperating from the Sound of Music sing-along I kidnapped them to at Butch Rigby‘s former digs in KCK a handful of years back.

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4 Responses to Hearne: How ‘Expendables’ Screening @ Alamo Mainstreet Changed My Life

  1. smartman says:

    Cliff notes version, Totally Kick-Ass Dude Fest

  2. the dude says:

    At events like these you are dealing with real movie fans, they are a different breed than your average Barry Woods or Olathe 30 movie goer.

  3. Kyle Rohde says:

    I agree on the no text thing being more of a marketing ploy then anything. I can’t remember the last time I was at a movie where someone talking or using their phone actually disturbed my movie-going experience.

  4. tiad says:

    Well, 4 old + 1 new J-C. V. D. movies are 4 + 1 more than I ever need to see.

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