While most moviegoers make a run for the air-conditioning this time of year, the Rolling Roadshow gives them reason to stay outdoors.
Roadshow events bring cult pics back to prominent locations where they were originally filmed. Now in its fifth go-round, the series is masterminded by Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League, who specializes in high-concept screenings at his Austin, Texas-based beer-and-a-movie chain. Starting in 2005, he took the show on the road, traveling as far as Almeria, Spain, for a Sergio Leone triple bill.
This year, League partnered with Levi’s to sponsor a nine-stop, “We Are All Workers”-themed cross-country tour, bending the series’ blue-collar definition to fit the likes of “Robocop” (in Detroit, Aug. 14), “Rocky” (unspooling Aug. 19 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and “The Godfather: Part II” (Aug. 27 on a rooftop in New York’s Little Italy).
Quentin Tarantino is expected to attend the 2010 kickoff, as “Jackie Brown” screens Friday at the Del Amo Fashion Mall in Torrance, Calif. Admission is free, though audiences must bring their own seats, as the venue typically consists of a wide-open space, jerry-rigged with a 50-foot inflatable screen, dual 35mm projectors and sound gear. A team of six is set to drive all that gear to the New Jersey pier for a screening of “On the Waterfront.”
At Roadshow events, the movies are just the beginning. After-parties, scavenger hunts and other special tie-ins are concocted for each screening. League has hired a gospel choir to sing after the Aug. 13 showing of “The Blues Brothers” at the old Joliet prison in Illinois. For Sunday’s screening of “There Will Be Blood” in Bakersfield, Calif., League says they rounded up 26-inch drinking straws in order to have a “milkshake-drinking competition before the film.”