Break out the culottes and crack open a can of plain Pringles: “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” the wacky vacation comedy, starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, is finally coming to movie theaters.
Beloved cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse has announced plans to play “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” beginning in September, marking the first time the film is screening in theaters.
Lionsgate had intended to open “Barb and Star” theatrically but opted to put it directly on premium video-on-demand platforms last February as a concession to the pandemic. Alamo Drafthouse founder and self-proclaimed “Barb and Star” superfan Tim League felt it was the ideal film to kick off the circuit’s popular interactive Movie Party series, which has previously hosted rowdy gatherings for favorites like “The Princess Bride” and “Back to the Future.”
The inaugural screening will be held in Alamo Drafthouse’s downtown Los Angeles location on Sept. 12. The event, which doubles as a record release party, will feature a live in-theater musical performance by Richard Cheese, a lounge singer who has a memorable presence in the film. Audience members will be able to buy culinary nods to the movie, such hotdog soup and a fishbowl drink (with a buried treasure at the bottom, of course). Attendees will also receive a copy of the soundtrack on vinyl.
The following week, Alamo Drafthouse will begin playing “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” in its theaters nationwide on Sept. 19. The chain is relaxing its famous no-talking rule, giving cinemagoers the chance to quote along with Barb and Star as they gush about Trish (“At Christmas? Forget it. She gets everybody a gift.”) and sing along to earworms, like “Edgar’s Prayer.” Guests will also be treated to a pre-recorded Q&A with Wiig, Mumolo and director Josh Greenbaum.
“‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’ is an audience movie if ever there was one,” says League. “It was the most joyous movie-watching moment of the entire COVID times. There are a few of us at Alamo who are raging devotees to this movie, and we made a pact when theaters were back open, we wanted to share this movie with more people.”
Wiig and Mumolo, the duo behind “Bridesmaids,” wrote “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” about a pair of best friends who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever to vacation to Florida.
“I don’t know if alter ego is the right word, but we can slip into these these voices and these characters so easily. It feels like we are these women sometimes,” Wiig previously told Variety. Mumolo added, “For some reason, we have been able to speak from the point of view of middle-aged women since we were in our 20s.”
When “Barb and Star” finally landed on digital platforms, Vulture called the movie “preordained for cult status.”
“All three of us have a taste for the absurd,” Greenbaum said. “There’s something so joyful about doing something nobody is expecting and being free enough to take a crazy left turn.”