Quentin Tarantino is the rare director whose release of any new movie is an event, as his original works can compete with the biggest of franchises for hype and attention. Throw in stars Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie, all playing against the backdrop of 1960s California, and QT looks to have another pop culture behemoth on his hands with his latest outing. With “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” dropping at the end of the month, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is preparing to capitalize on all that buzz.
The theater chain has announced a series of 35mm screenings of the new film in 19 venues around the country, as well as a 70mm screening in San Francisco. Audiences will be able to see Tarantino’s ninth movie in his preferred format, the same way he saw the 60s films that inspired it. The exibition will work to raise money for the Will Rogers Motion Pictures Pioneers Foundation, which provides financial support for former film industry employees.
But it doesn’t stop there. Drafthouse is also filling the month of August with special screenings of movies that share thematic DNA with Tarantino’s latest. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is something of a love letter to movies and the people who make them, with Pitt playing a stuntman struggling to stay relevant as his star (DiCaprio) ages out of action roles.
To that end, the theater is pairing the film with other movies known for their impeccable stunt work in a series called “Don’t Try This At Home.” Throughout August, they’ll be exhibiting a wide range of films, from Buster Keaton’s “Steamboat Bill Jr.” to “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
This is hardly Tarantino’s first brush with special exhibitions of his films. His 2015 feature “The Hateful Eight” enjoyed a 70mm roadshow release, complete with an intermission. For a man who has devoted his career to celebrating cinema history while trying to maintain the medium’s epic nature, it’s all quite fitting. If “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is, in fact, his final movie, Alamo Drafthouse is making sure he goes out with a bang.
Sony Pictures is releasing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” nationwide on July 25. More information about the Alamo Drafthouse programing can be found here.