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Ray Privett on: The News: All-Positive Friday!

eugene hernandez on: The News: All-Positive Friday!

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The Reeler Blog

The News: All-Positive Friday!

Mr. Chairman: Lloyd Kaufman (Photo: Troma Entertainment)

As per tradition, some of this week's more upbeat movie news of note from around New York:

--In a perfect universe, Troma founder and NYC grindhouse icon Lloyd Kaufman would win every election in the free world. Peace, irony and a slick of stage blood would sweep the Earth. Alas, our universe is imperfect, but it appears Kaufman did win an election to become the chairman of the trade group the Independent Film and Television Association. An unusually subdued press release quotes Kaufman: “Independent film has the most creative, inspired and resourceful people working in the business. We shape future trends and inspire tomorrow’s creative talent, and IFTA will continue being at the forefront of this movement.” Maybe he's saving the scorched-earth trash-talking for the inaugural ball.

--Not to be outdone, IFP hosted a "State of the Independents" panel chat at this week's IFP Market. It was about as "independent" as you'd expect from IFP (Picturehouse, Goldwyn and Magnolia were all well-represented), but a couple of authentic underdogs -- directors Michael Kang and Charles Burnett -- thankfully kept it real for the kids at the Puck Building. Eric Kohn was there.

--Four words: Bruno Kirby, anal fister.

--Word on the street has the Austin-based dine-in multiplex Alamo Drafthouse opening an NYC outlet by 2008. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'm sure Anthony Kaufman is arranging for a babysitter as we speak. (H/T: Vulture)

Posted at September 21, 2007 6:15 AM

Comments (5)

The Drafthouse is indeed looking to become a major franchise: http://www.drafthouse.com/franchise/index.html

It would be terrific for the Drafthouse, or a Drafthouse-esque theater to open in New York City.

However, the franchisee would run into a pretty severe obstacle: the law.

In New York City, it is illegal to serve alcohol in movie theaters. This is one of the Prohibition era laws that is still intact, like the Cabaret law prohibiting dancing except in licensed venues. Many had been neglected for years, but Giuliani brought them back under his "quality of life" campaign. In this as in so many other things, Bloomberg has followed Giuliani's example.

Ray Privett

i once heard that the way around the law was to create a bar/restaurant that happens to show movies, rather than a movie theater that serves booze... if that makes any sense...

all seems a bit too easy, but since this is a blog comment, i guess i can wildly speculate and spread rumors...

You're onto something, Eug; I'm pretty sure that's what Monkey Town does.

Yes, Monkeytown does use this way around; Ocularis did similar things. And there are other peripheral spaces. Perhaps Monkeytown or Ocularis will one day be written up for this. Or maybe someone will explicitly push the law.

I thought about pushing the law at the Pioneer, but anyway we would be pushing another law: no alcohol serving locations within 500 (?) feet of the entrance to a church, on the same side of a street. There is an enormous, beautiful Catholic church just a few doors down. (The Church is easy to miss, because it's not on a corner; but check it out some time if you're in the neighborhood. Very impressive.)

And anyway, we have enough problems, and there are already too many alcohol serving locations in the Lower East Side.

As for the Alamo, though, note that the creative team behind the Austin venues wouldn't necessarily be involved with a franchisee in New York. I think they sold the franchise rights, and wouldn't be involved.

There are brew & view venues all across the country, of which the Alamo Drafthouse is just one. The creative team has distinguished the Alamo Drafthouse, and their creativity doesn't just come with the name.

Ray Privett

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