Disclosure: Birth.Movies.Death. is owned by the Alamo Drafthouse.
You can always count on the Alamo Drafthouse to do the unexpected, and today's no exception: just announced via press release is the news that the Lower Manhattan Alamo Drafthouse is getting its very own specialty bar, one which will also function as a museum, letterpress print shop and event space. Why build a bar with a letterpress print shop inside of it? I'm glad you asked.
Let's go to the press release...
"Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is proud to unveil plans for The Press Room, a brand-new museum, letterpress print shop, bar, and event space at Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan, and set to open late this winter at 28 Liberty in the Financial District.
Like the century-old wax figure exhibits delicately displayed throughout Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn’s House of Wax, The Press Room will display selections from a vast archive of over 50,000 letterpress film advertising plates spanning the 1930s through the 1980s. But this collection will also come to life – every Saturday and Sunday, The Press Room’s 1938 Vandercook letterpress will be inked and fired up to produce souvenir postcards drawn from the collection. The Press Room’s printing team also plans to host private events and classes for anyone wishing to learn the art of letterpress printing.
“These plates tell such a unique story, not just of film history but the history of advertising and movie marketing,” says Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League. “I cannot wait to share this astounding collection with the movie lovers of New York.”
In addition to a tap wall of 48 (mostly) local draft beers and classic cocktails, The Press Room will feature a selection of fun and unique French Press cocktails designed by Alamo Drafthouse’s Bar Creative Manager Tacy Rowland. The Press Room will also feature a stage for live events as well as a large selection of board games available to play for free.
The Press Room is the culmination of two years of work for Tim League, who was inspired to create The Press Room after seeing director Adam Roffman’s short film THE COLLECTION at SXSW 2017. The film tells the story of Marilyn Wagner and DJ Ginsberg, two Omaha, Nebraska antique shoppers who stumble upon the mother lode of movie memorabilia collections – over 50,000 letterpress plates that span six decades of film history – from CASABLANCA and THE LONE RANGER to THE DARK CRYSTAL and 48 HRS.
“I was floored when I first saw the film and within a day I had a proposal together to pursue this extraordinary collection,” says League. “Not only should this archive be on display, but I wanted visitors to be able to leave with imprints of their favorite movie, from 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS to ZARDOZ and anything in between.”
League acquired the collection earlier this year and started plans for The Press Room in Lower Manhattan, as well as a second location slated to open in Orlando, FL next year.
Attendees of Fantastic Fest will get a sneak peek at the collection and the 1938 Vandercook letterpress tomorrow, September 19th, at the genre film festival’s opening night party in Austin, TX. Attendees will receive a free limited edition letterpress print of this year’s Fantastic Fest poster, hand-printed live at the party by Tim League.
The Press Room collection’s first series of hand-printed Halloween-themed notecards – a limited edition run of 250 boxes of ten cards for $25 is available for sale now on MondoTees.com. Additional cards, apparel and gifts hand-printed from the collection will be available on for Black Friday on November 29th at MondoTees.com."
Here's a handy-dandy video with a little further background...
This is an awesome idea, yet another exceptionally cool specialty bar in the Alamo Drafthouse's already-substantial line of cool specialty bars. We can't wait to see what kinda prints come out of this space, and those of us in attendance at Fantastic Fest will get a sneak peek at the collection (and the Vandercook letterpress!) tonight. The rest of you will - particularly those of you in NYC - will get a taste later this winter.
Stay tuned for more on the goings-on at this year's Fantastic Fest (and the Alamo Drafthouse's new locations) as further updates become available!