@Google Presents Tim League: Alamo Drafthouse




Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 02.02.2012

Transcript:
>>Male Presenter: Thanks for comin' today. Appreciate it. This is, again, another, I
think, very powerful session in terms of our inaugural At Google Talks speaking series.
It's a perfect movie day. So it seems highly appropriate to have a man who revolutionized
the theater experience join us this morning.
From my seat at least, the Alamo Drafthouse took a concept that we all accepted as good
enough and reinvented it so that it made everything else at that point seem obsolete. Sound familiar?
Maybe like Apple or Google? Gmail or Maps or Offers or Apps? So if a good movie starts
with a good script, then let me offer the following scene.
The desert spit a dry wind. The sun set. A star fell. Somewhere in the hills, a curtain
rose, and on the screen it read "Once upon a time, a movie palace died. And decayed into
a square, stale and routine annoyance devoid of the joy your parents felt. Mesmerized under
a flickering light. With sweaty palms and the sticky sweetness of fountain soda through
a squeaking straw. Then a stranger appeared. He looked at the audience and said 'No. no
more compromises. No interference. Just purity of essence. And maybe some beer. Nachos. T-shirts
in the lobby.'"
I welcome that man to the house today. The man who dreamt, drafted, and directed, a rebirth
in the theater experience. Tim League. The Alamo Drafthouse.
>>Tim: Hey!
[cheers and applause]
>>Tim: I'm sorry if I slouch. I have kind of bad posture. My dad has bad posture. It's
genetic. So just pretend like I'm standing straight. 'Cause eventually I'm gonna slump
forward a little bit.
So anyway, I think, one of, I'm feeding back a little bit. Should I?
[microphone noises]
>>Male Presenter: Volume a little bit?
>>Tim: There. Is that OK? Hey, that's me. That's me and my wife. So, I guess I'm gonna
start just by talking a bit about the origin of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. And actually,
so it starts a few years before this picture. This picture was taken during Week one of
construction in 1996 when we were building our first theater on Colorado Street here
in town. We were 26 years old and we had just moved to town.
But I wanna back up a little bit and talk about what brought me to the path of opening
up a movie theater with my wife. And not wearing a shirt. I should probably have a more respectable
slide to start things off.
[laughter]
But, I think it starts off when I was actually in high school. I think a lot of people that
are probably in this room had the same situation. Where you're good in math, or you're good
in science, and then you take a certain career path. And it puts you into an engineering,
comp sci, technical background. Without any really forethought. And what it did for me
was that, it set me on a career path that I hadn't thought about it. It set me the first
step of moving into a career that I could have possibly retired from without any forethought
whatsoever.
So go ahead and cue the next slide. I ended up taking a job with Shell Oil. Out of college.
I got a mechanical engineering degree at Rice University. Again, just, high school math.
Yeah. Hey. Go Owls.
[laughter]
And so I worked as a facilities engineer which meant I was three days out in the field doing
maximization, optimization of oil field equipment from pump to pipeline. That was my role for
an oil field in Los Angeles. Southern Los Angeles. In Yorba Linda actually. Home of
Richard Milhous Nixon. For those who are fans of the man.
[one audience member claps]
And the first day that I got onto the job at Shell, I went through my employee training.
They gave me the handbook. And they said "OK, you're about ready to work. But one more thing.
You gotta go down to the basement and pick up your art." And I said "Oh, OK. I don't
even know what that statement means." So I went to the basement and they had this vast
warehouse of about 5,000 oil paintings of either landscapes or oil derricks. I think
that way, or flowers. Flowers, oil derricks, or landscapes. And so you're supposed to pick
out the three that you liked best for the three walls that didn't have a window. And
that was how you decorated your office. And that's how everybody decorated their office.
And that was such a alien and disturbing concept to me that I knew right there that I somehow,
when I was back in high school and scored well in math that I had made some sort of
catastrophic error in judgment. To land me at this spot. So I opted for an exit strategy.
I worked at Shell for a couple years. Never stopped living like a student. So I just amassed
every dime that I made and I knew that I was gonna do something else. I wasn't exactly
sure what I was gonna do. So go to the next slide.
So on my way to work, was this 1947 single screen art deco theater. And one day I saw
a "for lease" sign, and I was on my way to work. So, "For Lease" sign and then over the
weekend had a casual conversation with a couple friends over some beers at a bar. And then
on Monday I went ahead and signed the lease to open up the Tejon Theater. With really,
it's a completely, it's a decisions that I made, I was 23 years old at the time. And
it was a decision of a 23 year old. I was stupid. And I completely inexperienced and
way, way, way out of my depth to try to do something like this. But, you know, I think
about it now and I don't think it's actually that much of a mistake, in a way. Because
I did go through the analysis of OK, worst case scenario, what's going to happen. Worst
case scenario is, I can go back to my job. I can find another job with another oil company
or another engineering form. I'll lose the 50,000 dollars or so that I had amassed at
that point. So no harm, no foul. I was completely unencumbered. Didn't have any family. Just
had a girlfriend who thought the idea was absolutely stupid.
[laughter]
So, go ahead and go to the next slide. Arrogance and ignorance. Yes. So that's sort of how
I define those days in Bakersfield. So not only was that, it was actually a beautiful
theater on the inside, but it had been abandoned for a number of years. It was in Bakersfield.
Is anybody from Bakersfield? Or driven? Filled up gas in Bakersfield? That's right, we had
talked about that.
>>Male Presenter: Yes.
>>Tim: So let's talk about, top 20 markets that you would open up your first movie theater
in. Would Bakersfield come to mind?
>>Male Presenter: Bakersfield sucks.
>>Tim: Yeah.
[laughter]
>>Male Presenter: That's where I was born and raised.
[laughter]
>>Tim: we did actually reminisce about some of our favorite things about Bakersfield.
I think both of us could show everybody in this room a tremendous weekend in Bakersfield.
But then, we would have shot it. There's no, that's what you got. Bakersfield's a good
weekend time. But. But it was on the wrong side of the tracks in Bakersfield also. There
were literally railroad tracks that divided the affluent and the poor side of Bakersfield.
And being 23 years old at the time. And having a lot more hair. That's me on the whatever
that is, the right. I said it doesn't matter if we put on a great show, then the people
are going to come and they're going to overcome their prejudices and not worry about where
they're going. That was a complete, that was a fallacy. It just didn't work out that way.
So we opened up as a, it was a 1,000 seat theater. So we took out half of the seats
and opened up as a art house theater. And most days we were hoping that nobody would
show up so that we could have a night off. But ultimately, like one or two people. One
conscious decision would come and buy the five dollar, seven dollar movie ticket, would
come and sort of screw up our plans to get out of the theater.
So we ran this place for two years. And it was a tremendous struggle. And, it was actually
kind of depressing, too. Because we never left the building. We didn't have enough money
to live anywhere else. So we just built pretty much the most depressing and squalid bedroom
[laughter]
Behind the screen of the movie theater. So there's no windows.
And then sort of [laughs]. Yeah. It was terrible.
And then insult to injury, the only thing that ever worked for us is we did live music
as well. 'Cause it was a very big facility. But the only room that was suitable for a
"Green Room" for the band was our bedroom.
[laughter]
So, you now, we'd have mostly punk and metal shows come through town. And you know, they
wanna just live up to the lifestyle somehow. So the thing that they do is sort of just
semi trash our bedroom.
[laughter]
So we'd, you know, spend the night, 'cause we didn't really have any staff. We'd spend
the night cleaning the theater. And we'd come back. We'd come back to this "Green Room"
that smelled like, I don't know what. Hookers, and drugs and certainly alcohol. So that was
our life for a couple of years. The way we ran it was, it was just the two of us. It
was, well, it was eventually my wife. My girlfriend was working in San Francisco. She was a molecular
biology researcher. And also followed the science path. And so I started this theater.
And after a month it was plain and simple that I was so over my head that I needed help.
So I begged her to quit her job and come down and salvage what we could out of this enterprise.
And you know, my parents were sort of pissed off about my decision to do what I had done.
And her parents were I think, exponentially pissed off about her decision.
[laughter]
So we had both thrown away an expensive Rice University education and decided to do a completely
trivial and possibly hopeless exercise. But she did it. She quit her job. She moved down.
And she actually did save the theater. She got things in order. And so the two of us
would be behind the concessions counter. She would be selling tickets and I would be serving
popcorn and whatever. And then when it came movie time, I would run upstairs, start the
movie, and then run back downstairs and help sell popcorn. But. Thankfully there was no
customers so that system worked out.
[laughter]
Really, really well for a while. So you know, one of the lessons there was this importance
of the location. It's such a cliché when talking about business. But. It really, really
is true. So. We knew, we knew at a certain point that we wanted to, this was untenable.
We couldn't stay at the Tejon. That we had to go someplace else. And we knew when we
went someplace else we wanted to find just the right location. So. Go ahead to the next
one. Yeah, I mentioned that we did, the movies really they did not work for us. It really
literally was two to ten people for every screening. We would only pay the bare minimum
to the film distributors. But we did have success with concerts. This is a shot from
the second to last Ramones tour. So we were able to just 'cause there was no other big
venue that wanted to book that kind of show, we were able to book lots of things like this.
So, Tool. The Ramones. Pennywise played. Los Lobos even played. So that's the money that
we amassed to get out of Bakersfield. Go to the next slide.
So this, yeah, I don't know, some people probably still remember this. This is like the seminal
classic of the modern era was Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It."
[laughter]
Does everybody remember that song? It's good. It's good.
If this were a better presentation we could all listen to the music video now. But it's
not. We just have to imagine it in our head. So this was, in fact, the last straw that
took us out of Bakersfield. So we agreed to do a concert with Montell Jordan. And it was
right when that album hit. Right when he was at the peak of his 15 minutes. And I mean
it's, it was such a lame concert. Because he only really had about seven songs so the
concert was, about 40 minutes long, 45 minutes long. And he played "This is How We Do It"
twice. [laughter] It was in the middle of the set, and then it was the encore. It was
like, oh man.
So, but, the unfortunate thing that happened that night is there was some sort of lover's
quarrel after the show. And somebody was driving away, and the one of the members of that love
triangle pulled out a gun and shot the guy that was driving away. So he shot him and
killed him. And his car wrecked into our ticket booth. So the next morning front page of the
paper was this car, our ticket booth, our marquees. It was like, again, disproving the
no such thing as bad press. It was like the worst conceivable press when we were struggling
to convince people that it was safe to come over. To cross the tracks and enjoy a nice
movie. Then we just knew we were already struggling. This, we were not gonna be able to overcome
this. So we packed everything we had. We took the projectors, the screen, the speakers,
200 chairs, the everything. Everything we could. And we put it in a truck and we came
to Austin.
So that's. And that's, I guess I've got two slides where I'm not wearing a shirt. At least
that one's small.
[laughter]
So, we came to Austin in 1996. To start over again. Lot of things we had done at Bakersfield
were the origins for what we were gonna try to do at the Austin location. And but, we
were aiming a little bigger. But the problem is, we didn't have any money. We had about
50 to 60 thousand dollars that we had pulled out of two years of hard scrabble work in
Bakersfield. And that's not nearly enough. So this is our first pace which is at 409
Colorado. As you can see. That's week one. Where my wife is actually pulling out nails
from the wood that we salvage out of the building so that we could reuse it into the building.
That kind of level of bootstrapping.
So we assembled money. We did this through a couple of ways. One, my wife's parents now,
now wife, I made good. [claps] I, she was no longer my girlfriend. Now my wife. Her
parents were still very skeptical about the idea since we had failed miserably and then
start it again. But they actually agreed to mortgage their house for us. So they gave
us 125,000 dollars from a mortgage from their house. My parents did the same. Sort of. They
got us about 50,000 dollars. Did the stereotypical credit card loans. So we got about 70 grand
from a variety of credit cards taken out on the same day.
[laughter]
And, I don't know if you can still do that. That was a great trick back in the '90s.
[laughter]
So. Back when you had to mail in your credit application. And then the last one I think
is the funniest bit. We got another 50,000 dollars from Bank of America. But we were
so not a good credit risk. We could not get a loan under any sort of normal circumstances.
But that year and that year alone in the history of Bank of America, they had this thing called
"Invest in America" loan. Which was a 50,000 dollar small business start up. One page form.
You just signed it and you basically got approval that day from the bank. And so we got 50,000
dollars from Bank of America. But apparently we were of the five percent that paid back
that loan. At any time. So it was a tremendously abused loan that will never be seen again
for Bank of America.
But anyway, that's what we got. We had about 275,000 dollars. And in that space, Karrie
and I built it ourselves. We had one guy that helped us with some of the more complicated
things and things that we weren't allowed. Like setting the air conditioning units. And
getting the plumbing inspections. We did a lot of the rough plumbing and the rough electrical.
But we did everything else ourselves. So it was new electrical. New utility service in
the alley. Built the kitchen. Built the restrooms. Built the risers. Built the projector room.
All for about 200,000 dollars. Which, I don't know how that, I don't know, it's inconceivable
to me, this day. We did a minor renovation of the lobby at Village recently. That cost
300,000 dollars. So I don't. it was nothing. So I don't know. We really, really, really
scraped. And did all of the work ourselves. The problem there, though, is it left us,
end of the day, we had about 25,000 dollars for working capital to start the business.
Which, if the business had failed, in the first month, then it would have, we wouldn't
have known what to do. We would have been crying back to our parents again. To invest
bad money after, good money after bad.
So we'll go ahead and go to the next slide.
So, that's the, I guess there's a little bit of a segue here. [laughter] but that's the
origin of the Alamo. And how we got to the first location. And I do think that one of
the, when I'm talking to people that are entrepreneurs, people who are thinking about doing their
own business. What I mentioned earlier about really doing a hard assessment of what is
the worst case scenario and can you be comfortable with the worst case scenario is a very valuable
exercise. And I think even when we were doing the theater in Austin, not just the Bakersfield
theater. We did that exercise again. And we knew that we were taking this money from our
parents. But we had assured them that if this time it didn't work, that we would go back
into engineering, research, and work out a payment plan and get them their money back.
So even then it really wasn't the end of the world. But we felt like it was worth it to
risk it. Because by that hard scrabble work for two years and ultimately failing in Bakersfield,
we learned a lot of things. We learned how to be very, very frugal. We knew exactly where
every dime was in our organization. And we learned how to just do things ourselves. And
find a cheaper alternate route. Ultimately, obviously, we've grown in size. We now have
ten locations. We've got two under construction. We do have plans to open in some other cities.
We should be making an announcement about New York and San Francisco soon. Relatively
soon. We have spots identified. And hopefully within, by the first couple weeks in January
we can make that public. The idea is just to sort of grow the concept and experience
of what we've been trying to do here in Austin. To other cities that don't have it. I guess
I'll go into what I think some of the.
"Core values" is one of those terms. Like mission statement. Where some people sort
of frown on it. And I, uh, well we went through an exercise to go through it. And I've become
comfortable with what previously might have been sort of a questionable idea. Those words
sometimes, you know they still actually sort of prickle a little bit at the base of my
spine. But I do think it's really, really important to know you know, who you are or
why you're doing what you're doing. And what's important to you. So we went through a process
and came up with I think some core values.
So I'm gonna cycle through some of those real quick.
[pause as he shows the slides]
Here we go. Ah, there we go.
Fun Experts. This is Zack Carlson who works for us. And I'm not sure what it is. I hope
that that's not a baby. I don't know what that is [laughter] I don't know. Let's just
pretend it's a piece of meat. Anyway, but that's Zack Carlson. So he's one of the guys
that has joined the programming department at the Alamo. And, the way he came to the
company is, he volunteered to because he was such a movie fan to join us on our nationwide
outdoor movie screening tour. He has worked at a video store. Scarecrow Video up in Seattle.
Which is the biggest video store in the world. It employs a lot of obsessive compulsives
like Zack.
[laughter]
And recently he actually published a book called "Destroy All Movies" which is a compendium
of every single appearance of a punk rock character in cinema from 1978 to 1990. It's
5,000 reviews of movies. With in depth interviews with the Titans of punk rock on film. So he's
a guy that, there is no other job for him. He has to be programming at the Alamo Drafthouse.
Because there's no other life skills that he's got other than
[laughter]
the, just the sheer unadulterated joy and love of kinda weird cinema. So, we have a
programming, creative office of about 15 people. A lot of them, they're not necessarily like
Zack. But I think we try to hire obsessive movie fans.
Oh, before I talk about my mom. That's my mom. The Fun Experts. I wanna explain what
that meant. We do a, a eight day film festival in the fall. Of horror, science fiction movies
called Fantastic Fest. We had a Spanish filmmaker. Not even a native speaker come up to me and
he's been at the festival every year since his first feature debuted in 2007. He's come
back to the festival just as a fan every year since. He said "Tim, I've figured it out.
You guys are experts in the under-appreciated art of having fun." So I was like, you know
what, I'm gonna turn that into a slide in a PowerPoint presentation.
Alright, on to my mom. So this is my mom. And it's the slide is actually perfectly positioned.
She's just staring at me, right. Maybe not judging me. Maybe a little judging me. I'm
not sure. But I use my mom as a barometer. Like a lot of people misunderstand the identity
of the Alamo. And thing that it's just a, sometimes it' s just a cult movie place. Or
that's what we're all about. But I, for me, it's, the idea of inclusivity. I want my mom
to be comfortable every time she comes to the theater. So it means, death metal shouldn't
be playing on the radio at the box office. And even if our staff has more tattoos and
piercings than she's normally used to, they should also have a smile and be really nice
and friendly to her. That's just in general. She's me, she's my sort of rudder in making
sure the business is still on track in that regard.
We also, we're, I guess, always trying to do something a little bit better. This is
a guy we just recently brought on. Bill Norris. He's sort of the Austin celebrity bartender.
But he's now the Director of Beverage for Alamo Drafthouse. He was reaching a point
in his career where he's, like myself, early 40s. but he was closing down bars at two o'clock
in the morning. But I think I caught him at a good time. Where he was just weary at where
he was. He's built a great reputation for being exceptional. He hates the word mixologist.
Bartender. And was ready to take a new step. So he came on with us and his job now is just
to make sure that every beverage that we serve is awesome and he also runs the cocktail program
at Highball. And we're opening up a tequila bar as part of our new Slaughter Lane down
on South Mopac. And a couple other things for us. But I think the idea is that where
we recognize, well maybe we're not doing this quite well enough. Or there's other people
that impress us. So we want to always try to surpass them by bringing in people and
lending focus to areas where there's room for improvement. 'Cause there's always room
for improvement. As you guys know at Google, everything changes in the technology side
of things just way too fast. And we have to, we feel like we have to stay on top of the
curve. I'm sure that you guys had that pressing desire to stay on top of the curve as well.
Or maybe you're just setting the curve I don't know. Whatever. But anyway. So. Oh, go ahead
and go to the next one.
I was struggling for a picture when I was putting this together. I actually, I'm gonna
go ahead and brave it and say that I don't like Stevie Ray Vaughn. I sometimes, I should
stop saying it because most of the time it creates awkwardness because he's such an iconic
figure in this town. But anyway. He is an iconic figure in this town. But that has nothing
to do with what our aspect of community is. We like to think, do you have a question about
Stevie Ray Vaughn?
[audience member speaks off mic]
>>Tim: I do. I do like that building. Our law firm is there. But I like it because every
time I go up there it reminds me of that "My Neighbor Totoro", that Miyazaki movie. I don't
know. So. I think it's the most beautiful mov-, uh, building, in downtown. So, sure,
I'm a fan. Alright. I'll crop out Stevie Ray and I'll just put
[laughter]
The tower.
So, we like to think of ourselves as a neighborhood movie theater. And I think it happened inadvertently
when we weren't thinking about it . when it was just, when we literally were a mom and
pop theater back in Bakersfield and the 409 Colorado space. It was my wife and I. we were
there every day. We did the same thing we were doing in Bakersfield. But we had a small
staff. But we knew all of our regular customers. We introduced the shows personally. We answered
our customer feedback personally. And I think that just sorta set the tone. And now as we're
expanding we're trying to make sure that that never gets lost. Both the idea of giving back
to the community, of being available to the community for nonprofit events and fundraisers.
But then also having the sense that we are a part of and responsible to the neighborhood
that's immediately around us.
And then, the last one.
Is, that we wanna be credible. And I bring this up, not that like this gang of dudes
is not credible. But. There was a period in time where I had stepped away from the Alamo
Drafthouse to a certain extent. We had started a franchise company. But really had no concept
of what that meant and what the obligations to the people that we were working with in
a franchise relationship, what that was. So we were again, in over our head. So we decided
to ostensibly sell the business. So back about six years ago we sold Alamo Drafthouse. But
retained ownership of the theaters in the town. The Village. South Lamar. And the Downtown
Theater. And just focused our energies on those theaters. And that's when we really
got a sense of what the brand was and some of our specialty programming really grew in
those years. And that's when we started the festival.
At the same time, that other company was developing other locations. And our vision was starting
to spread. Like there was an Alamo Drafthouse that we shepherded that was this. There was
an Alamo Drafthouse that we didn't have any involvement with, this. We were both, just
fighting. And it became worse and worse and worse and worse. And then ultimately we both
realized that the best thing to do would be to shake hands, settle our differences, and
smash everything back together. So there was one vision, one brand, one identity. And that's,
that happened about a year and three months ago. And it's been actually great. But I bring
up this slide. And I probably can't do this in any internal Alamo talks along this. I'll
have to change the slide out.
But one of the things that drove me crazy during that period was this issue of credibility.
Whereas we had invested in guys like Zack Carlson and really hardcore obsessive movie
guys, the other locations had not. And so it was evident in some of the programming.
And this is the one that was almost like that last straw for me.
There was an event that we'd been doing for years and years and years. Called Spaghetti
Western, Spaghetti Feast. Where classic spaghetti westerns, with all you can eat spaghetti.
Very simple, very silly concept. But it always worked. At least for the non-obscure spaghetti
westerns. So, it was one of the outside of Austin locations put together a show called
Spaghetti Western, Spaghetti Feast, with Young Guns. I said, not on my watch is that ever
gonna happen ever again. Because that, my friends, is not a spaghetti western. So anyway,
that's, basically what I'm trying to say with a long and rambly story is that it's very
important that if we're gonna put our name on something that somebody can't you know,
sneer at us. And think that we don't get it. So, the decisions, in terms of what we do
and how we do it, we have to be able to stand behind those decisions.
So that's, that's it for the. Yeah, that's it for our quote unquote core values. And
I think the last thing I wanna do is just run through a couple of the folks on the Alamo
team. I think that first slide is probably that Zack Carlson slide again. So if it is
we'll cycle past him 'cause you've already met Zack.
No! I think I might have already taken him out. Sorry to say no like that.
>>Male Presenter: [laughs]
>>Tim: so we do have a big creative staff. This is Henry Mazza. Who runs the creative
department. He runs all the action packed stuff and the sing-alongs. Quote-alongs. And
also kinda oversees a lot of the programming at the Highball as well. So Henry started
kind of as a food runner. Kind of lowest on the totem pole. Moved to waiter. And then
at a certain point we wanted to cross train him. Because we thought he was really clever
and fun. Had some really good ideas. So I was like "Hey, would you like to cross train
to be, you know, in the kitchen?" He was like "Well, you know, actually, technically I'd
like to cross train to be an owner." And so I thought, that's pretty good for a 24 year
old kid who's been on with us for a year as a waiter.
But ultimately I liked a lot of his ideas. He started programming on his own. And, hired
him to be the first member of the creative staff. And now he oversees the group of 20.
And also is helping the other markets develop their own creative staff under our model.
Next one. Oh, that's Zack. You know Zack. We'll just move on to the next one.
This is Lars Nilsen. And he came to the Alamo, similar way. So we do a show every Wednesday
called Weird Wednesday. Which is, used to be free. Now it's a dollar or two dollars.
Screenings of 35 millimeter '70s and '80s exploitation movies. Kinda sleazy movies.
But it's a genre of film that I hold very dear. And so does Lars. So I became friends
with him just as a patron. I used to host that show and curate the show and pick out
the movies. And so eventually, this is a long time ago, this is 11 years ago. He would start
bringing VHS tapes to the theater for the pre-show that he had made on his own. So "Hey
Tim, this is a collection of clips that I think really suits the movie. And this is
what you should probably play for this." I was like "Oh, OK. This is great." So we'd
do that for a few months and then I passed the reins. He started programming the series.
And then he started introducing all the shows. And then a friend of mine had to tell me,
that, point out, that Lars actually, in fact, was working for me but I wasn't paying him
anything.
[laughter]
So I rectified that. He's the guy that was the first employee to handle the Alamo pre-show
which is the video montage of clips that happens before the movie. We have a full time staff
employed that does that work for us. So no advertisements, as one of our, it's not really
a core value. But it's what we do at the theater. And not only that, not only do we ignore the
revenue stream of the advertisements. We go deeper in the hole by having a full time staff
in order to create that content. So.
[laughter]
Go ahead.
Ah, this is Andrew McEthron. Who was a college student that I met back in 1999. He was the
technical, well at the time he was a college student he was a technical coordinator for
South by Southwest. He was also head of all projection for Cinemark in the area. And I
just, I used to handle a lot of the technical side of the projection room back when we were
a lot smaller. And we bonded because we were able to talk about gears and nuts and bolts
and that sort of thing. So. But he was working for Cinemark and they were paying him such
an abysmal wage that I said "Wow, that's really not a lot of money. I can give you 50 percent
more if you come work for me." Which really wasn't a lot of money at the time either.
But he's, he came on board. Worked for us part time while he was in college and has
continued for the last eight years after college. Oversees. He was computer science. So he did
database development for South by Southwest. So he handles all of our IT execution as well
as the projection side. He's got a team under him now.
Next one.
And this is another interesting obsessive compulsive orphan that's on our team. Justin
moved down, he, I knew him because we're a, we collect old film. Justin was a 23 year
old film collector in Kansas City. He moved down to Alamo, we got him a job as a bartender.
He was kind of a crappy bartender. And then we moved him over to projection. He wasn't
that great at projection.
[laughter]
So we moved him over to the outdoor movie rolling road show. Where he proved to be not
able to shine so well.
[laughter]
Then we moved him over to venue rental to see if he could do something there and, quickly
realized that that wasn't his calling either.
[laughter]
So, on his fifth shot, we moved him into taking over Mondo. Which is our sort of boutique
poster company. And that's where we finally found a spot, where this is the guy. He dug
in and he created something really special that wasn't part of the company before. So
I don't know how many people know about Mondo. But it's they're highly sought after limited
edition art posters for movies. You can see a few behind him in the background there.
Or nerdy properties for the most part. It's been a huge year for Mondo. There's been articles
about them in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. They've also been the only
company outside of the studio system that has their posters now archived at the American,
what, the, uh, MPA. Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. So we're, every single Mondo poster
is archived.
Go on to the next one.
And this is Mike. Mike came to us, he was the head of operations for all of Trudy's.
He came to us from Trudy's. What's important, I talked a lot about the passion. But this
goes back to the early lessons of the first days. Having a very clear eye on what the
numbers are. So Mike does a lot of statistical analysis. We look at our revenue numbers and
our expense numbers on a daily basis. And we also look at our customer satisfaction
numbers. Our sort of, net promoter score. And that's, it's those indices of how well
we're doing that everybody in the company is bonused by. The managers know that they
have to make sure, make sure that our guests are happy and that they come back and they
wanna come back or decided to come back. So that's the man that does that.
You know that guy already. Yeah. He makes really good drinks.
And then John Bullington is our head of cuisine. He came to us from Mars Restaurant years and
years ago. Mars, and at the time Mars was voted best restaurant in Austin. And we had
to really convince him that moving to a place that served pizzas and burgers and cranked
out a lot of them in a really fast amount of time was something he wanted to do. But
we also give him a lot of freedom to express his sort of chef-y side of things, too. And
so I have a few slides of I think a few things that he's done over the years.
We'll cycle through those real quick.
Oh no, I took those out. Alright, never mind. So, anyway, but John does these feast events.
Lord of the Rings feast event where there's a different meal every two hours for a 12
hour experience.
[laughter]
It's a gargantuan amount of food. The very, very first thing that he ever did for us is,
uh, he's a big fan of the movie "Ishtar". So he did a five course feast built around
the movie Ishtar of Moroccan food. So every month and a half or so, we'll do a high end
food and film themed even that John curates. He does a lot of community outreach, too.
He brings students in to learn about the kitchen. He does mock interviews for them. To help
with the Texas Culinary Academy. And just is given the freedom to do some crazy wacky
things.
We'll go ahead and, the next.
The other thing that we like to do at the Alamo is try to go over the top when we possibly
can. This was for the premier of Iron Man. Where it was really cute. This guy is a guy
that flies over stadiums in a jet pack. For whatever reason. And that's his job. But he
was so excited about being perceived as Iron Man that he handmade this little felt
[laughter]
Iron Man costume. [laughs] I thought it was one of the cutest things ever.
[laughter]
Anyway, so that's one of the things we've done. Go ahead to the next one.
This was an event we did for the remake of Amityville Horror. Ryan Reynolds was coming
into town. And so in order to get a chance to meet Ryan Reynolds and hang out at the
screening you had to walk through the House of Flies. So we found that you, for I don't
know why, but on the internet you can buy fly larvae that can hatch into flies. So I
bought a box of 20,000 flies.
[laughter]
And the problem was I failed to really understand the instructions. I let it sit for a little
bit too long before I opened it. And the box was like literally shaking and, so I had,
I went into this House of Flies with an X-acto knife and I knew this was gonna be a horrible
thing. And so I had the eye goggles on. I had like a hoodie pulled tight. And I sliced
the box open and this wave of flies just flew into my face. And I had an X-acto knife and
just like sort of. I don't know what I did. I just started flailing and completely lacerated
my hand open. So I just ran out of the House of Flies.
[laughter]
Bleeding and and screaming. And but anyway. It worked. Eventually it worked. So if you're
gonna buy flies, I guess the lesson here is, if you're gonna buy flies on the internet,
read the instructions as to when they're actually going to hatch.
OK. Go on to the next slide.
Um, this was an even for the unfortunate box office disappointment of Nacho Libre. Everybody
was really expecting it to be awesome after Napoleon Dynamite. It was OK, but the studio
agreed to finance this show that we put together. Where we brought in Lucha Libre wrestlers
from Mexico City. Some of them midgets. Some of them full size.
[laughter]
And so they dragged me into the ring and they didn't speak English. And so there I was just
sort of following along. So "OK, so you wanna hold my arms back like this. OK, you're gonna
hit me in the chest with a two by four. I've always wanted to know what that is. How you
do that trick. 'Cause it looks so convincing." And so apparently the way that you do that
trick is, the guy holds your arms back and the guy on the ground hits you really hard
on the chest with a two by four. [laughs]
[laughter]
And I had this crazy like, three and a quarter inch bruise across my chest for about two
weeks.
[laughter]
I don't know. It was fun.
[laughter]
Oh, go ahead and go to the next one.
I don't know why, but it's Ryan Reynolds I guess likes to come into town. So this is
again a stump for Ryan Reynolds' "Buried." Which came out last year. Last year? I think
it was last year. Yeah.
Supremely underrated movie. I really loved this film. And it all takes place inside of
a coffin. Ryan Reynolds is buried either in Iraq or Afghanistan and has a phone and is
trying to find a way to get out of this box.
So we staged a contest for people to volunteer to watch the ultimate “Buried” experience.
Where we met them at the theater, blindfolded them, took them in a van out into the country,
where we had dug four shallow graves and built four coffins that had LCD monitors built into
the top of them. So it was this. It was. And then we buried them.
[laughter]
And then, so it was the, the screening. Like supposed to be the ultimate "Buried" screening.
Like, put yourself inside the movie.
[laugher]
And, so, we did that. It was an idea. I saw the movie at Sundance. It was an idea that
my friend and I had. And we said, oh, there's no way this is gonna pass legal. But we went
ahead and sent it over to the studio. And I don't know if legal was just, I caught 'em
on a day where they were not paying attention. But anyway, they said "Yeah. Sure. No problem.
Do it."
[laughter]
Provided that we assume the liability. Which we did. It really wasn't that dangerous. We
tested it all out. There was airflow systems. And there was paramedics on hand. And we had
cameras monitoring them. So anyway. It was a fun event. It was good.
[audience commenting off mic]
Well, they were buried for the whole movie. They had to watch the movie inside the coffin.
So for each of 'em were buried for 90 minutes while they watched "Buried."
[audience laughing and chattering]
Yeah.
Yeah. We made it actually extra special for them, there was a little tube. So when sand
would come into Ryan Reynolds' coffin we'd dump sand into their coffin.
[laughter]
Not a lot. Just some. To give them a taste. But.
[laughter]
So, go ahead and move on. The, and that, the other things we do is we take the Alamo on
the road. We do famous movies in famous places. We've been doing this for the last seven years.
We've done "Jaws" at Martha's Vineyard. This is "Close Encounters" at Devils Tower. You
know "Escape from Alcatraz" on Alcatraz. So every year we try to go crazier and crazier.
We pitched this idea. I haven't told anybody this yet. But one I really wanna do is a similar
to the, we did Buried, and it's like oh, what could be even more traumatic than buried.
So what we're gonna try to do is get our insurance carrier to cover us for the screening of watching
"Jaws" in shark-infested waters in a shark tank. If we can figure out how to do that.
[laughter]
So that may be part of the next road show tour this summer. It's been pitched. I don't
know. We'll see. Totally safe. You know, we take every safety precaution here at the Alamo.
[laughter]
Go ahead and go to the next one.
And there's John doing one of his skills at Fantastic Fest. I mentioned it before but
this is a festival that focuses on horror, science fiction and fantasy. Things that we
really, that our programming team really loves. So John always likes to do something special
for the closing night party. This is a 700 pound cow that he sort of butterflied and
roasted on a open fire for 22 hours. As really sort of a visceral way to eat a steak. So
that was, so he's carving it off for the attendees.
And I think, we've just got a couple more slides. But just, we've started to branch
out and consider the Alamo as more of a entertainment brand. If you will. And so we're, we've started
a film distribution company. It's gonna be in full swing in 2012. We're gonna try to
release six new movies and six classic old movies a year. This is our first one that
we did. It's sort of a beta test. It's called "Four Lions." Ended up, TIME Magazine called
it one of the best, ten best films of the year in 2010. We were able to get it, I think
because we're drawn to movies that we're really passionate about but also maybe have something
a little bit wrong with them.
[laughter]
And so what's wrong about this one is that it's jihadi suicide bomber comedy.
[laughter]
And at the time, tensions were high around this particular issue. So I think, even though
it was directed by really a legend of comedy in the UK, Chris Morris, a lot of distributors
that we thought would have bought it were afraid that perhaps a jihad would be called
against them for doing such a blasphemous thing.
It's actually in fact not blasphemous. It's very, very respectful to the religion. What
he was trying to point out is how certain types of oblivious youth get drawn to movements
like this in the UK. And sort of drawing out the stupidity of the people that would sign
up to be a suicide bomber. So. That's what it's about. It's a good film. I like it.
But, so, we're gonna pick movies that we love and maybe movies that have some issues like
this one to push out there and try to support and nurture in 2012.
And that brings us to the last thing. Greg wanted me to talk a little bit about our viral
sensation this year which was a lot of fun. So what happened was at the Village Theater,
one of our customers was kicked out for texting. And despite her disjointed claims and her
subsequent voicemails, she was texting in her seat and refused to acknowledge the warning
to stop doing it. And so our policy is to kick that person out without a refund. It's
been a policy we've had since the very, very early days. It wasn't since day one, it was
actually, the policy came out when during a screening of "Blue Velvet" at midnight at
the original location where it came, like a free Pabst Blue Ribbon at the door. And
people just started drinking probably too much Pabst Blue Ribbon. It just go out, it
got out of control. It made me sick to my stomach and I was like, this is not what I
signed up for. We don't have controls in place to take care of these people. And so it was
after that screening that we instituted the policy back in '97. And we've taken it very
seriously ever since. We've kicked out a lot of people. Probably about 100 people a year,
we kick out of the theater without a refund. And hopefully the lesson is that they're not
welcome at the Alamo until they can change their behavior. And then they can, then they're
a guest again. But so this one voicemail came through. Our manager sent it to us 'cause
our voicemail comes through Mp3. He said "Hey, check this out, this would make a really funny
'Don't Talk' PSA." And we agreed and just cut something together. We cut it to just
put up on screen. And we at the same time, when we put it up on screen, we posted it
on YouTube. We've been doing that for the last year or so when we do a new "Don't Talk"
PSA. We put it on YouTube as well. So Roger Ebert I think was the first guy that saw it.
And we had engaged in dialog with him about digital projection 'cause he had gotten up
on a soapbox and we got, became part of that dialog with him. And I think he subsequently
started following our feeds. And so he reposted it and when he did that, it started posting
at a whole bunch of other sites and we had never been any, through anything like this.
So it was clear that something had gone wrong. 'Cause our website was 100 percent shut down.
Like 'cause when, people were linking back to our blog post. So Andrew, our IT guy figured
out very, very quickly how to dynam-, to host that page in the Cloud. And also, yes, and
get our website back. 'Cause once you know website controls everything for us. We, close
to 70 percent of our ticket sales are online. So when the website goes down it's very devastating
for us.
So we got it working again and then by the end of the day the numbers had spiked up to
two and a half million views on this clip. And they ultimately went up to five and a
half million. But the following day it got picked up by some serious news outlets. Howard
Stern picked it up that day. But the best one was Anderson Cooper. Later that night.
So his people called us. We got some interviews set. And he did, kind of a interesting overview
of the piece. And so I think we have the Anderson Cooper clip.
Switch that over.
'Cause he not only shows the clip, but breaks it down in a very Anderson Cooper way.
[laughter]
>>Male Presenter: OK.
>>Tim: He lumps on some unworthy praise but we're gonna totally take it anyway.
>>Male Presenter: Where's my, how do we get out of the full screen of this shortcut? We
gotta find it.
>>Male: What did you do?
>>Male Presenter: Uh, nothing. Go ahead.
>>Tim: [chuckles]
>>Male: Well, uh, you just do. That's the uh, full screen.
>>Male Presenter: OK. Thank you, sir. OK. And I have that clip right here.
[pause]
[video clip begins]
>>Female Announcer: Well, in case you're wondering where he is, he's on the road, so, let's see.
>>Anderson Cooper: Uh, thanks very much. Alright, so time now for the ridiculous. Tonight we're
adding my latest source of annoyance. People who talk and text at the movies. And I wanna
talk about one young woman in particular. A woman who was repeatedly warned to stop
texting during a movie in Austin, Texas. Wouldn't stop and was promptly thrown out of the theater.
Then she left an angry voicemail for the theater, which is posted on its blog for your enjoyment.
>>Female Customer: Didn't know that I wasn't supposed to text in your little crappy [bleep]
theater.
>>Anderson Cooper: Alright, did I mention that theater is called the Alamo Drafthouse
and that they serve beer? Well, I'm not sure if I mentioned that but indeed, I think our
texter may have partaken a bit. A little pre-party during the previews perhaps. Listen to her
next offense.
>>Female Customer: So excuse me for using my phone in USA Magnited State of America.
Where you are free to text in a theater.
>>Anderson Cooper: I love living in the Magnited States of America.
[laughter]
>>Anderson Cooper: Where you are free to text in a theater. Now that's a lady who knows
her Constitution. What's all that freedom jazz about if some drunk girl can't constantly
update her Facebook status while people are trying to concentrate on Kung Fu Panda II.
Next the lady employs something I like to call "The Silent but Deadly" defense.
>>Female Customer: And it was on silent. It wasn't on loud. It wasn't bothering anybody.
You guys obviously were being [bleep] to me.
>>Anderson Cooper: I'm sorry drunk girl. But texting in a dark movie theater is like lighting
a road flare. People are gonna see it.
[laughter]
You might not through your beer goggles, but everybody else will.
Drunk girl didn't give up though. She's been hitting the law books apparently and comes
up with two more arguments for her defense. A combo of the "I didn't know" defense seasoned
with just a touch of the "I do it everywhere else" defense.
>>Female Customer: I was not aware that I couldn't text in your theater. Alright? I've
texted in all the other theaters in Austin. And no-one ever gave a [bleep] about what
me, I was doing with my [bleep] phone. Alright?
>>Anderson Cooper: Now maybe she has texted her way through every other movie theater
in Austin. I wouldn't be surprised. But as it turns out, this particular theater has
a well-known zero tolerance policy against talking and cell phones. It's kinda this theater's
crusade. And they have all kinds of creative announcements about it. Watch.
>>Male #1: I keep a, uh, electric cattle prod with me. So if I hear someone talking I give
'em just a little. Not an aggressive shock. But just a light shock.
>>Male #2: My name is Pedro Sanchez from Napoleon Dynamite. If you vote for me, I'll make sure
that everyone is really quiet in the theater.
>>Male #3: Don't talk during the movies. Turn off your cell phones and beepers, please.
>>Male #1: If you can find out who they are, and then go cut their tongue out.
[loud noise]
>>Anderson Cooper: So, I think it's pretty clear where the Alamo Drafthouse stands on
this issue.
>>Tim: [laughs]
>>Anderson Cooper: And you know what? Maybe a theater with that kind of policy just isn't
for everyone.
>>Female Customer: You know, I will never be comin' back to your Alamo Drafthouse or
whatever. I'd rather go to a regular theater where people are actually polite.
>>Anderson Cooper: Oh yeah. The "regularlier" theater are full of polite people. Politely
shouting at the screen. Politely bringing screaming toddlers to rated R movies at 11
o'clock at night. Politely talking and texting through the whole movie. The CEO of the Alamo
Drafthouse says he wants his theater to be different.
Here's Tim League, great American hero.
[laughter]
>>Tim on the Anderson clip: we wanted to take a hard stand and say that those people are
not welcome at the Alamo Drafthouse. So we'll get rid of those people and just make it a
better place for the rest of the movie going public.
>>Anderson Cooper: I think that guy should win the Nobel Peace Prize.
[laughter]
So listen up, Magnited States. News Flash. The movie theater is not your living room
so don't act like it is. We're paying to see the movie, not your cell phone light. And
we wanna listen to the actors, not your lame comments and inane chatter. Next time you're
about to text in a film, remember the Alamo. Drafthouse. Or you might end up at The Ridiculous.
More news ahead in the next hour. We'll be right back.
[music]
[laughter and applause]
>>Tim: So that was some pretty good press, I gotta say. Anyway that was a crazy wild
adventure and that's the last thing that I've got on my little presentation today. But you
know, if anybody has any questions about anything please feel free to fire 'em away.
[audience member asks question off mic]
>>Tim: Well, the girl, uh, we had a lot of things cued up for those type of Maury Povich
type of shows. Where they wanted a showdown. It might have ended up in chairs thrown and
things like that. Which I would have totally been down for. But actually it never happened.
The only thing she did was she went onto KVET in the morning and said that she wanted to
stay anonymous but she was still pretty mad and pretty feisty on KVET. And they had a
little fun with her and that's the only appearance she had. I think she was savvy enough to know
that if she were to come out and be identified then it would not have been a good thing for
her.
>>Female #1: I agree. Yeah.
>>Male #1: So, there's been a kind of a lot of copy cat people who are doing the dinner
and movie type thing. Studio Movie Grill being one that's kind of aggressively opening shops
across the nation. Do you see that as a good thing because it's introducing people to the
concept? And does that make it easier for you to expand? Or do you think that it's kind
of tarnishing the whole brand of what you're doing?
>>Tim: I'm somewhere in the middle. It doesn't really matter to me what, we keep tabs on
everybody. I think it's the never satisfied concept that we want to know what everybody's
doing. And occasionally we'll say "Oh wow, that's actually really great. I wish we would
have thought of that." And then we'll steal that idea. So, I mean, so you know, like when
Flicks comes into town, we'll you know, our whole team, we've got logs of information
of our visits to Flicks. What we like. What we didn't like. We've been to Studio Movie
Grill a lot of times. So I think our role is to try to execute better. And we're certainly
the only type of this concept that does any type of interesting programming. Most of those
other concepts are just like a regular movie theater but they have different food offerings.
Different concessions offerings.
So more power to 'em. So we're just, we're gonna expand where we wanna expand and it
doesn't matter what they do.
>>Male #1: And then one other thing. In the '90s when I first heard about the Drafthouse,
it was kind of through the ramblings of Harry Knowles. Is it just a coincidence that the
Drafthouse and Ain't It Cool News started at the same time? Or were you guys kind of
in cahoots before either of those things started?
>>Tim: Uh, it was coincidence. So, I mean we really did start almost at the exact same
time. And Harry, along with Rick Linklater who's in town. Were both guys that initially
when we opened up were very, very skeptical. Because for a true cinephile, the idea of
having this added disturbance of food service in a movie theater is really an offensive
idea. And so we had to prove to both of those guys. And Harry, I remember very distinctly
the first movie Harry ever came to was a, we did a screening of a blaxploitation called
"Super Fly". Came with a free 40 ounce malt liquor. It was this crazy
[laughter]
over the top promotion. And he wrote this long expansive essay about how much he loved
that experience. And I didn't know who he was. And somebody had to point out the website
to me and the next time he came in we shook hands, became friends. And we've just been,
you know we like a lot of the same movies. So we actually became businessmen together.
You know. His site grew at the same time we were growing.
>>Male Presenter: Can someone just walk up? Or? Go ahead in the back, Josh.
[audience member asks question of mic]
>>Tim: Mm-hm.
[audience member continues off mic]
>>Tim: it, the working with big licensed brands has been a, certainly an evolution. Ah, it's
easier now that we're established and people know what Mondo is. People actually start
coming to us to say, "Lets, we'd like to do this." And honestly right, Star Wars was the
first big, big license that we bought. And it was a big check. And so writing that check
was very speculative. But it ended up being really great for us. So it's a little bit
frustrating sometimes. Because there's a lot of the, Star Wars in particular is very picky
about what goes out. So there's actually a lot of Star Wars designs that are awesome.
But maybe a little bit outside the wheelhouse of how they want Star Wars represented. And
so those will never be posters. They're just conceptual drawings at this point. So you
have to work through that process. But in general it hasn't been too bad. The ground
rules are laid out that it's Alamo, it's Mondo basically that's driving the creative process.
And they don't take input from the studio. If the studio doesn't like it then they will
scrap it and do something else. But they're not gonna tweak it to the whims of the studio.
They are what they are. They're, they have final cut, I guess, if you will.
And then the artists, you know, it's Ali Moss and Tyler Stalter are two of our biggest artists
that we work with. But Tyler Stalter was unknown. Like he became famous through the Mondo poster
series. So because he got a lot more work coming out of us, he's done stuff for you
know Adidas and Nike and bigger paying jobs than what we can afford at this point. But
he's always happy to come back. A, because he's a movie fan, and it's really satisfying
work for him to do. But also because we've been with him since the very beginning.
>>Male Presenter: OK. Two more questions and then. Tim you pick. Go ahead.
>>Tim: Uh. Do, I don't know. Here we go. Over. Right here. Sorry.
The green shirt.
[audience member speaking off mic]
>>Tim: Oh no. I keep on telling myself I have to prepare myself for this question.
[audience member speaking off mic]
>>Tim: Top three movies?
>>Male #2: Top three theater movies.
>>Tim: What are my top three favorite movies? I'm very, it changes. It changes a lot. I
just saw the Muppets last week. So the Muppets is my favorite movie of all time.
[laughter]
Um. I really liked it. I don't know. I came in. I hated all those fake trailer ads that
they did. So I came in with really low expectations but you know. I cried in the middle when he's
in with all the portraits. And I just thought it was like the perfect mix of nostalgia.
And you know, just, I had a smile on my face.
Um. [soft whistle] I mean I like some sort of weirdo, obscure movie. You know. 'Cause
I still program Fantastic Fest. I'm the head of programming. So what I watch is a lot of
foreign genre films. There's a, there's a movie you can get on Amazon actually that's
called "Adam's Apples." Which nobody's seen. But it's from a Danish director. It's where
Mads Mikkelson got his start, with this director. Just this perfect mix of inappropriate comedy
and violence and more inappropriateness and awkwardness. I think it's' a great film.
You know, we're, I'll give a unabashed plug for Drafthouse Films. You know 'cause we bought,
we're buying movies that we love. We bought a movie out of the festival this year called
"Bullhead." Which is from a first time Belgian director. But it actually, after we bought
it, it was Belgium's choice for Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film. It just, it ended
up on a variety of short lists. So we're, it might be conceivable that this film ends
up being one of the five films for Best Foreign Language Film for this year. I don't know.
Fingers crossed.
But it's this crazy story. Sort of early Scorsese-ish film about a guy who's addicted to testosterone
and runs this meat processing facility. And there's this illegal steroids subplot that
goes through it. And also this very heartfelt, heart crushing romantic storyline. So I like
a lot of movies like that that are complicated. Really well acted. Story that you haven't
seen before. Fresh and original. But then I like really stupid movies like "Teen Lust"
is a really, really fun movie from the '80s that you should probably not check out.
[laughter]
Shouldn't have said that. OK.
Next question.
>>Male Presenter: Last question.
>>Tim: In the back.
>>Male #3: I guess mine's following the same lines as favorite movies except I'm more or
less asking what your favorite worst movies? I'm a big Mystery Science Theater fan. I grew
up on that stuff. So I kinda see a lot of similarities in that. I guess I'll give you
an example of mine first. I loved "Manos: The Hands of Fate"
>>Tim: Yeah.
>>Male #3: And Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
>>Tim: Those are both very fine films. Yeah. "Manos" is apparently getting a restoration
next year. Yeah, there's one guy that's obsessively doing it on his own outside of the studio
system. So we might be able to see the ultimate "Manos: The Hands of Fate" next year. We'll
see.
>>Male #3: As a suggestion, c3333333333333333333333333333333333ould you just buy all the Mystery Science Theater?
>>Tim: Uh, I'll put it in the idea hopper. [laughs]
I mean, it's, I am drawn. Like, I, it's it's tough, because I'm not such a big fan of the
idea of so bad it's good. I like to think of those movies as people that are earnestly
trying to make the best movie possible. It's just they might have been dropped on their
head as a child.
[laughter]
Or like they just, there's something not quite right in their makeup. I really don't' like
the movies that are holier than though. That they're gonna a willfully make something campy
or bad. I just, that feels, that rings false to me. But I do love exactly what you're talking
about. So some favorites of mine that, strangely I can answer that question better than my
favorite movies. I like this movie called "Dangerous Men" by John Rad. Who came out,
it came out about five years ago. But he had been working on it for a decade. He was a
Persian. Came to the United States. And apparently made 300 movies in Iran. Came here and made
this action movie in Los Angeles. In four-walled theaters in Los Angeles and it's just this
absurd mess. But very lovable.
I liked "Troll 2". Which had a documentary about Best Worst Movie. We were big champions
of that film.
There's, I like a lot of '80s straight to VHS stuff that some of my team knows a lot
better and they've been introducing me to some of the classics. But a movie called "Deadly
Prey" which is kinda like a "First Blood" type of movie. But seemingly shot in somebody's
back yard with this really muscle bound guy in cut off shorts.
[laughter]
It's pretty good. So. This. We could have a longer conversation about that if you like.
But I guess that's the last question. So. Anyway, I wanna thank you guys for taking
part of your day to hang out.
[applause]
>>Male Presenter: So we have a nice tradition of being able to offer our speakers for four
hours of time, a eight dollar t-shirt.
>>Tim: Right on.
>>Male Presenter: But it's very special because it actually identifies you as a speaker here.
>>Tim: Nice.
>>Male Presenter: and there's only like three people who have this so far. So. There you
go.
>>Tim: Fantastic. Thank you. I will wear it with pride.
>>Male Presenter: Thanks again. Appreciate that.
>>Tim: Thank you.
[applause]
>>Tim: Thanks guys.