26 February 2008

Twice in one day? Apparently my long absence has turned me into quite the chatterbox.

I'd planned to write about the new movie from Simon Pegg and Michael Ian Black, Run, Fatboy, Run which I saw at an advanced screening last night (thanks, Mere!), but to be honest, it was neither a thing I loved, nor one I didn't. I liked it well enough but I found myself missing the subversive pop-culture references and sytlistic direction of a typical Pegg/(Stevenson)/Wright joint.

But what I would like to write about is the location of said screening, aka the best theatre in Houston, aka the Landmarks River Oaks Theatre. I love this movie theatre, y'all. In fact, it is probably my favorite theatre in America, second only to the original Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, which will always top any sort of ranking situation due to the fact that they serve actual food and also buckets of beer. But my odes to the Drafthouse shall have to wait for another day.

This is the River Oaks Theatre:

It's located in the (duh) River Oaks area of Houston, where all the hip rich folk live. I'm too poor to afford realty in the area, but they are nice enough to let us plebes roam the streets and dream about a more financially stable life. The theatre itself was built in 1939 and has been a Houston institution pretty much ever sense. It hosts first-run movies, indies and retrospectives. And, yes, it has a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening every weekend, at which I may have been present when I was a teenager. I'll say nothing about that.

The interior of the theatre is still that art-deco glam, with a small snack counter to the left and stairs leading to the second level (and the two smaller screens) to the right. And what greets you at the top of those stairs is the reason I love the River Oaks Theatre so much: a full bar.

Let me share with you a fundamental truth. No place in this entire world - not church, or a cupcake store, or a hospital birthing suite, or an old folks' home - not one place is so wonderful or awe-inspiring that its glory cannot be enhanced by a full bar. This is just a fact, people. Think back to the last time you felt absolutely one with the world, when your every breath was imbued with the satisfaction of knowing that you were exactly where you needed and wanted to be. Now, wouldn't that have been better with some whiskey?

The movies are no exception. Whether you're drinking to shut out the horror of what you're seeing, or to celebrate two animated rodents fall in love, you have to admit it all goes down better with the booze option. And this is why , more than the releases shown or its desperate attempt to make Houston a bit cooler, River Oaks Theatre is a good thing.

xx erin

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