I put a post together for the Alamo’s blog yesterday as a way to talk about how folks in Austin will soon be able to program the Alamo Drafthouse from the comfort of their own wherever, but we felt like this Tugg thing was worth talking about here on BAD as well.
You may have heard about Tugg from other sources already, but I wanted to take a minute to talk about it from the perspective of a programmer and promoter, because I’m actually really excited about having a bunch of other people do my job for me in the near future. And it’s also awesome because people in other cities will be able to program a bunch of titles into their normally boring movie theaters and help bring all sorts of things to their city that may otherwise not open at all (like, say, some upcoming releases from Drafthouse Films).
Now for the part where I plagiarize myself from yesterday:
The basic idea behind the service is brilliant in its simplicity. Promoters on the Tugg network will have access to a large and growing library of films, ranging from studio content to independent fare, and they'll also see a list of participating theaters in their city. Promoters can pick a movie, pick an available time at a movie theater, and then start inviting friends, co-workers, and random people on the street to buy tickets on Tugg's website.
Each event will need to hit a certain threshold of ticket buyers before it's 100% confirmed, but we've had three tests at the Alamo already and they've all hit their threshold well in advance of the deadline. Once that threshold is met, purchases are finalized, tickets remain on sale, and the event is officially on!
This is exciting for us at the Alamo because it gives everyone in our community the opportunity to not only tell us what they'd like to see in emails to the programming team, but also to really create the events they'd like to see and then bring them to us. I mean, we love our jobs and will continue to program all manner of Signature Events, and we've always taken requests from our fans. But there are also plenty of times where someone will suggest a movie and we won't know if there are any other fans out there or if it's just one lone voice who really, really, really wants to see Mark Wahlberg in Fear on the big screen again. With Tugg, that voice can find every other Fear fan and prove to us that we were wrong to not program it ourselves. And I love that.
And then, as I said, Tugg will also let you bring all sorts of other content to your city that may never play theatrically near you, acting as a sort of Netflix for the big screen. We’re definitely going to take advantage of that with Drafthouse Films releases, and have already announced that Bullhead will be available on that network shortly.
But even beyond that, we've also been working on packaging original Alamo productions and programs so that people who live in cities without an Alamo (for now) will have a chance to look at our own Promoter page on Tugg and bring unique screenings and events that we've produced to their towns as well. We can't make the management of your movie theater kick people out, but we can mandate that one of our many Don't Talk PSAs plays before our program!
So yeah, we're excited about Tugg. Going to the movies is about to get even more awesome than it already is.
And then of course it’s also great because soon people will say things like, “I’m totally going to tugg that movie,” and that will make the 12-year-old in me laugh every single time.