AUSTIN – If there’s one theme wafting through the discussions outside theaters, it’s been the difficulty getting in them.
The Austin American Statesman reports that the number of film registrants is up 25 percent this year. The number of seats, unfortunately, hasn’t grown at the same rate, leaving many festivalgoers out in the cold.
On Sunday night, I was really looking forward to James Franco’s SNL documentary Saturday Night, which was playing at the Alamo Drafthouse on Lamar. But after entering the parking lot and surveying the line snaking all the way from the box office to the street, I headed directly to the shuttle, defeated. That’s been my only shutout so far, but that’s partly due to the fact that I’ve made a point of seeing films playing at the 1,200 seat Paramount, where attendance for badge holders is virtually guaranteed. I’ve waited in some really long lines there over the years and always made it in.
So what’s the solution? Probably branching out to multiplexes. So far, the festival has really made a point of booking independent houses over the large cinema chains. That lends a definite film purist vibe to the whole affair. But as the event grows and grows, quaint may have to take a backseat to reality.