Sitting through the hillbilly noir classic “Deliverance” in a darkened theater can be a heady experience. But try sitting through it on the humid banks of the Chattooga River — the Georgia site where the four unsuspecting suburbanites depicted in the John Boorman film begin their journey into backwoods hell.
That experience, and 10 other similar cinematic happenings, are what the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Third Annual Rolling Roadshow is all about. The Austin-based exhib wheels a full 35mm changeover projection system, stereo sound array and 40-foot inflatable screen from town to town, screening movies at the locations where they were filmed.
The 2007 trip includes “Goldfinger” at Fort Knox, “North by Northwest” at Mt. Rushmore and Ice Cube‘s “Friday” in Helen Keller Park in South Central L.A. And there’s a bounty of Burt — Reynolds, that is. Besides “Deliverance,” the roster also includes “Smokey and the Bandit” in Texarkana and a Burt-athon in Atlanta. See rollingroadshow.com for full tour details.
While on-site screening privileges are generally easy to come by, things haven’t always worked out.
“We were working to do ‘Friday the 13th” at the summer camp in New Jersey,” says Roadshow coordinator Zack Carlson. “We were going to have camp-type games, marshmallows roasting, a sleepover in the cabins and have the actor who played Jason Vorhees. Then one of the people who ran the camp was apparently a little too conservative to celebrate teenaged murder. That was painful.”
“Deliverance” die-hards take note: “We’re having Billy Redden, the banjo player,” says Carlson, “and most likely the actor who raped Ned Beatty.”
Admission, by the way, is free.