It’s Not About Size: Austin, TX and its Film Venues

The other week I took my first real vacation (read: not for family, sweetie’s family, graduations/weddings/babies) in years.

I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before, lounge all day, watch lots of independent films (and not feel obligated to call anyone–much love to the folks I know in Austin that I didn’t reach out to ❤ ).

So, I picked Austin, TX.

Austin is usually best known for its alt-country music scene, but in recent years it there’s been some effort to rebrand it as a indpendent film haven as well. And it shows.

It was amazing to see that such a small town could sustain so many indpendent film venues as viable businesses and made me frustrated, once again, about Philadelphia and why people here act like there can only be one independent film screening in this city per night.

Here’s a couple:

The Hideout:

Coffee shop in the front, complete with bizarre open mic nights and spinach stuffed croissants, and film theater in the room in the back. The room was maybe 900 square feet and had risers built in to seat about 70 people in averagely comfortable padded theater seats. Saw some great shorts there as part of the Austin Film Festival.

One line up had me cackling in laughter more than any shorts program I’d ever seen and inspired me to want to program more humourous material–shorts filmmakers are often so serious. . .








Alamo Draft House

Draft beer and films? Why was this the first time I ever heard of this combo? It seems like an incredibly lucrative business idea. Brilliant, in fact.

The seats are set up in rows and you write down your food and drink orders and the server comes by and swoops it up–and you can order up until the last 30 minutes of the film program.


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