Friday night in Austin, TX, the Alamo Drafthouse welcomed people from all over the country for the summer’s most highly-anticipated poster-related event yet: the Summer of ’82 screening of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic The Thing, which—as we all learned earlier in the week—would be accompanied by an amazing screenprint created by living legend Drew Struzan. Obviously, our attendance was mandatory. Wanna know what the scene was like at this incredibly kick-ass screening? And while you’re here, how about some exclusive info about Gallery1988’s upcoming Arrested Development-themed show? It’s all after the jump, my fellow poster enthusiasts.
When the Alamo Drafthouse announced its Summer of ’82 series, there was much rejoicing. Here, finally, would be a chance for a whole new generation of film geeks to experience some of Hollywood’s greatest early-80’s offerings the way God intended: up on the big screen, big-ass beer in-hand, out of the punishing Texas heat and awash in the Drafthouse’s generous air-conditioning.
One amazing title after another was announced as part of the series’ lineup—films like Poltergeist, Conan The Barbarian, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, and The Road Warrior—and somehow the whole deal was made even sweeter when it was revealed that our friends at Mondo would be producing exclusive screenprints for some of these special screenings. The excitement has been roiling at a fever pitch all summer long…but never moreso than it did last night, when Mondo, Fandango, Movies.com, the Drafthouse, and artist Drew Struzan joined forces to deliver the most highly-anticipated Summer of ’82 screening yet…for John Carpenter’s The Thing.
How’d that screening (and the day-long wait for the posters to go on sale) go? Find out below, but be sure to stick around afterwards for some bonus Limited Paper action: in addition to our frontlines reporting from The Thing, we’ve also got some exclusive information from Gallery1988’s upcoming show based on TV’s dearly-departed (and soon-to-be-resurrected) Arrested Development, creeping up on all of us June 29th.
FROM TEXAS TO ANTARCTICA: STANDING IN LINE FOR THE THING…AND THE THING POSTER
Mondo had announced Drew Struzan’s incredible The Thing poster earlier in the week, and it set the poster-collecting world into overdrive: people flew into Austin from all over the country (and, if some travel plans were to be believed, from all over the world) to be at the Alamo Ritz last night for the screening, and of course Limted Paper was there to cover the entire goddamn thing (read: “We got there before noon, stood in line all day, and are now hooked up to an IV battling heat exhaustion”).
After arriving around 11:30am—and starting a line that would eventually wrap around the block—myself and a few other die-hard collectors tossed down a handful of folding chairs, checked the ice in our coolers, and prepared for a long day. Mondo had announced (via a blog post whose exact wording was obsessively scrutinized by poster-nerds like it was the Bible Code) that any lines that were established pre-sale might be “reorganized”, which led some to believe that lining up would be a dangerous proposition, indeed.
A few of my associates, however, had done some homework, learned what was meant by that blog post, and decided to roll the dice on getting there early. Within about half an hour of being there, the line expanded (see photo below, taken around noon-ish on Friday), and only expanded as words started to spread that others had already arrived: by 3pm, a cursory headcount revealed that there were a bit over 100 people in the “ticketholder” line, with another group (uncounted) in the “non-ticketholder” line that stretched up 6th Street in the other direction.
The attempt to keep a line from forming, by the way, had more to do with keeping things organized (in the wake of some less-than -ideal situations that sprung up over the past few weeks) than anything else. Because the decision had been made to let 10pm ticketholders and 7pm ticketholders purchase prints prior to the 7pm screening, it would be necessary to form not one, not two, but three or four lines: a line for non-ticketholders, a line for ticketholders to buy the poster, and at least one line for ticketholders who already had posters that wanted to line up for the 7pm screening (there may have been a line for 10pm ticketholders who already had posters, but if there was, I didn’t see it). That’s a whole lotta humanity to keep track of, and I’ve gotta say…the Drafthouse and Mondo pulled it off with aplomb.
The lines remained organized, there was no butting/cutting/shenanigans of that nature (not that I saw, anyway), and everyone in line was an absolute pleasure: many members from Expresso Beans (the notoriously wretched hive of scum and villainy I am contractually obligated to give a shout-out to here) were in town for the event (and/or “poster-buddying” for other members), and all of them were friendly, eager-to-help, quick to pass out cold water, offer an unused chair, or—as several other poster collectors did throughout the day—hand out “cakeballs” and pizza slices. Say what you will about the obsessiveness of poster collectors and their overwhelming nerdiness, but when you get ‘em all together in one place—united under a common goal—they’re some of the best kinda geeks I’ve ever had the privilege of associating with. If you’re on the fence about joining the community, know that they are (for the most part) really great people.
Sometime after 4pm, Mondo opened up the floodgates, bringing in buyers two at a time to sell Struzan’s amazing print. In case you’ve not had a good luck at it yet, let’s get a few more gawks in at this jaw-dropping screenprint:
- The Thing screenprint by Drew Struzan
- 26” x 38 1/8th $250 regular edition of 435, $350 variant edition of 150
Now, the variant edition—which glows in the dark, by the way (there’s a picture of that one below, but my apologies for it being non-Hi-Res; also be aware that this photo was taken using a blacklight, so your results may vary)—sold out at the screening last night, which means that it’s going to be pretty damn hard to come by in the weeks and months ahead. The regular edition, on the other hand, reportedly didn’t sell out at the screening, and the word on the street is that all remaining copies will be made available via an online drop at MondoTees.com at some point in the near future. As always, you can stay tuned to @MondoNews over on Twitter for more on that as it becomes available.
hit Page 2 for info on the Gallery 1988 Arrested Development Tribute Show