Monday, July 1, 2013

Ins and Outs of The Rolling Roadshow

The Alamo Drafthouse has a reputation for quality theatres with great service and a myriad of new and classic films. But being the Drafthouse, just watching movies in a theatre wasn't creative enough. Drafthouse also wanted to give back to the community that had supported them, and thus, The Rolling Roadshow was created. The Roadshow takes movies outdoors where patrons can experience free screenings Drafthouse style.

Chief Operation Officer Bill DiGaetano, Creative Manager James Wallace, and Director of Operations Bryan Penley sat down this past weekend, and gave us some details of how to thoroughly enjoy The Rolling Roadshow and some exclusives to some of the events that will happen during their upcoming summer series.

"Rolling Roadshow started as famous movies in famous places, such as showing THE SHINING at the Stanley Hotel or showing CLOSE ENCOUNTERS at Devil's Peak," says COO Bill DiGaetano, "and then Roadshow has morphed into the community aspect by showing films in a parking lot and brining in local breweries and food trucks." James Wallace expands by sharing his excitement about bringing Rolling Roadshow to Dallas because Dallas has had a wealth films shot here, so they can go back to the roots of Roadshow and show famous movies in famous places.

Even though there is a pocket of Alamo fans here in Dallas, the Drafthouse is still the new kid on the block. Back in November, the Roadshow trekked up here to show THE BURBS to build excitement and to introduce themselves to the community. Thankfully, it was a smashing hit, and the Richardson community has welcomed them with open arms. And thus this summer the Roadshow has developed into a "coming of age" series.

All films of the Roadshow are projected through the infamous Alamo truck. DiGaetano explains, "It's a panel truck with two 35mm projectors, 4k digital projectors, whisper and backup generator, rolled up screen, all amps and a PA system. To set up a big screen on asphalt, like we will do in the parking lot for the summer series, we have to anchor it with four 55-gallon drums on each corner. It's all about the level of presentation. Crisp picture and great sound. That's what sets the Alamo apart."

Even though there are fun activities planned for the summer series, nothing will compare to the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy even on July 25th. In true pre-celebration style, the Alamo will show a sneak peak of THE WORLD'S END to a lucky 200 fans, then cap off the evening in the parking lot with a Rolling Roadshow of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ. "This will be the first thing ever shown. We will be christening the theatre," explained Wallace, "and this event, both inside the theatre and outside, is 100% free. Keep watch on our Facebook for details."

The Roadshow will become a recurring event in Dallas. DiGaetano understands how hot Texas summers are, and he promises there will be more events in the fall and spring. So get those lawn chairs, or Easy Boys, ready!


  • Dallas will get it's own Rolling Roadshow equipment and crew.
  • DAZED AND CONFUSED screening will have a 70's muscle cars, props for everyone, and free pinball machines (though donations will be accepted).
  • THE LOST BOYS screening will have a blood drive a few hours before the show. Give blood and receive and cool sticker, fangs, and a movie pass to the Drafthouse when it opens.
  • Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy will open its doors for the outside shows at 6:30. 
  • You can begin lining up at 3:30 for both the indoor and outdoor screening. 
  • Those lucky enough to get tickets to THE WORLD'S END screening will have direct access to the Roadshow afterwards.
After the break, there is a breakdown of the tips you need to fully enjoy these events. Trust me when I say, these events should not be missed. Alamo knows how to throw a party in a parking lot.

How to Rolling Roadshow: A Tip Sheet on the Finer Points of Cinematic Parking Lot Parties 

What: The FREE OUTDOOR SUMMER SERIES includes screenings of some of our fave flicks
and is brought to you by Alamo Drafthouse DFW. Each evening’s event will be filled with film, gourmet food trucks, craft beer from local breweries, giveaways and a few film-themed surprises here and there.

Who: Calling all cinephiles, this one is for you (and people who love fun, FREE stuff to do!)

Where:  Alamo Drafthouse parking lot – 100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080 - Southwest corner of Central Expressway and Beltline Rd. in the Richardson Heights Shopping Center

When: Gates open at 6:30 p.m.  Films roll at sunset. Here is the Summer Series


July 25: “Blood and Ice Cream” Trilogy: SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ with advanced screening of WORLD’S END inside Alamo Richardson for a lucky 200 fans!

Get there: Early. This way you get the best seat and great parking.  These events fill up fast!

What to expect: General movie mayhem. From the cult classics being shown, to the fun atmosphere created for each event, this is so much more than a ho-hum movie-watching experience. Come for the cinema, stay for the party.  Some legendary Roadshow moments include canoe trips before DELIVERENCE, JAWS on the lake with guests in inner tubes, and a demolition derby with explosions before MAD MAX II: THE ROAD WARRIOR.

The fun: Listen as the blow-up screen’s inflation is heralded by “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Check the Alamo Drafthouse Facebook page for the latest updates on each movie, theme and party.  There is a stage in front of the screen, and we are not afraid to use it. Will you be wearing your PJs outside? Will there be an air guitar contest?  We don’t know, and neither will you – unless you check the Facebook page.

Food and drink: Alamo Drafthouse is known for its fresh, high-quality food and beer from local breweries.  Even before we officially open, we’re bringing it in – in the form of Dallas’s finest food trucks.  No need to pack a lunch to roadshow: Get your gourmet grub on here. You’re welcome to bring your own H2O – but no glass bottles, please. Get there early to avoid the lines at the most popular food trucks.

What to bring: Some folding chairs would be a good idea.  We’ll provide the movie and the ways to cool off. Dogs and kids are welcome (in that order) – just make sure to bring provisions for them. You will have access to a restroom, as well.

What to expect: Alamo Drafthouse is for movie fans, by movie fans.  A Rolling Roadshow is a party in the parking lot as only cinephiles would do it.  Lots of cult classics, fun one-liners, contests, people and general mayhem and ridiculousness.

Stay in the know:  Alamo DFW Facebook and Alamo DFW Twitter

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