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Alamo Drafthouse Tries to Heal the Wounds of Charlottesville Through Film

Alamo Drafthouse Tries to Heal the Wounds of Charlottesville Through Film

Today my favorite film chain furthers its argument to become America’s favorite film chain. Unlike previous misguided attempts by corporations – we have not forgotten Starbucks’ ridiculous ‘Race Together’ campaign or Pepsi’s tone-deaf Kendall Jenner end police brutality commercial – Alamo Drafthouse is fundraising against and bringing awareness to racial intolerance through film.

INTOLERABLE: REFLECTIONS OF BIGOTRY AND HATRED IN CINEMA, a ten feature film series that explores the opposing tension of discrimination and resistance through the lens of the world’s greatest filmmakers, with proceeds benefiting the Southern Poverty Law Center. Such a brilliant, yet simple idea and as TIM LEAGUE Alamo Drafthouse’s Co-Founder and CEO said ‘[I] hope this series and these screenings will contribute to positive action that gets us all to a better place.’  Since its inception film has been used to reflect the lens of intolerance and hopefully allow people to fight against bigotry and put aside their own biases.

INTOLERABLE begins in Charlottesville Tuesday, September 5th with CABARET and will expand to many of the 28 other Alamo Drafthouse locations across the country over the following weeks. The series also includes GREEN ROOM, BATTLE OF ALGIERS, 12 ANGRY MEN, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, HAIRSPRAY, DO THE RIGHT THING, PUTNEY SWOPE, BLAZING SADDLES, and Ava Duvernay’s SELMA.

After select screenings, Alamo Drafthouse will be hosting post-movie discussions, and voter registration will be available on-site. 100% of net ticket sales from all of these screenings will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition to the series in Charlottesville, INTOLERABLE: REFLECTIONS OF BIGOTRY AND HATRED IN CINEMA will also be screening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Austin, Dallas, Denver, Ashburn, and San Francisco.  For more details on screenings in all cities, a complete schedule and tickets, visit


My immediate reaction to the violence in Charlottesville was simply one of anger. However, after reflection, I find that response misguided. Yes, violence, hatred, and bigotry should NEVER be tolerated, but reacting with anger does little to heal or repair our broken fabric.

Instead, my thinking shifted to one of sadness for our shattered communities coupled with the understanding that no one is born hating people for the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. I began to think how we can support and protect those marginalized while defusing hate in its earliest stages through understanding and education. Most of all, I asked, “how can we make our communities better for all?”

In response, the programming team at Alamo Drafthouse has curated a series of films that reflect on bigotry and intolerance. In the hands of great filmmakers, these films uniquely address the complex issues we currently face in America and are united in their refusal to accept intolerance. We believe in these films and the messages they convey.

We hope this series and these screenings will contribute to positive action that gets us all to a better place.

Tim League – CEO and Co-Founder Alamo Drafthouse


Tuesday, September 5th
Willkommen! Bob Fosse’s sizzling adaptation of the Broadway blockbuster brings us inside the seedy Kit Kat Club in 1930s Berlin. Singer Sally Bowles falls for sexually ambiguous Brian as dark Nazi clouds rumble on the horizon. Sexy, kinky and full of classic songs, CABARET welcomes you to a decadent world where no one sees the terrible changes happening all around them… until it’s too late.

Wednesday, September 6th
Nazi punks, f%#* off. In Jeremy Saulnier’s brutal GREEN ROOM a small-time punk band runs afoul of violent skinheads, but these aren’t your stereotypical dumb hicks. They’re smart, cunning and they’re led by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart, giving a chilling performance as a man as full of intelligence as he is hate.

Monday, September 11th
There are classic comedies and then there’s BLAZING SADDLES. Mel Brooks’ raucous, juvenile and razor-sharp satire of Western movies and American racism goes from low-brow fart gags to high-brow meta-commentary, barely stopping to let you catch your breath. Full of classic lines and infamous sight gags, BLAZING SADDLES mercilessly mocks white supremacy at every turn.

Tuesday, September 12th
Finally, jury duty you actually want to do. Sidney Lumet’s debut film is an electric thriller that just happens to be set entirely inside one room. Twelve jurors deliberate over the fate of a young Hispanic man accused of murder; as they argue and fight they raise questions of morality, justice and American values with which we still wrestle today.

Full Statement from the Family of the Late Sidney Poitier


Wednesday, September 13th
A beautiful achievement, Ava Duvernay’s inspirational SELMA focuses on one seminal march in the original Civil Rights era to show us that a movement is more than just one man. While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stands at the center of this story, SELMA focuses as much on the bravery and sacrifice of the people who supported him and stood with him, reminding us the heroes aren’t just the people who get the statues – that every one of us can be a hero.

Thursday, September 14th
A racist Southern police chief meets his match in the form of a black homicide cop from Philly in Norman Jewison’s crackerjack crime yarn IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. The iconic Sidney Poitier looms large as Virgil Tibbs, unwinding a twisty murder mystery while also standing up for his dignity against some good old boys. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT still packs a punch – and still offers hope.

HAIRSPRAY (1988 version)
Monday, September 18th
A glorious blast of good-natured kitsch and positivity, John Waters’ HAIRSPRAY watusis for racial equality and acceptance. When Tracy Turnblad becomes a local celebrity on a 1960s teen dancing show she uses her newfound fame to integrate the dance floor. Waters’ least filthy film, HAIRSPRAY is still unabashedly campy and features a brilliant performance from the legendary Divine.

Tuesday, September 19th
On one hot summer day, on one block in Brooklyn, tensions escalate as the mercury rises. What begins as a normal day in Bed-Stuy ends in a riot, and Spike Lee’s gorgeously shot masterpiece makes us feel the heat and the rage. A clear-eyed, brilliant examination of tensions between races and classes, Lee offers no easy answers and asks us to do the right thing ourselves.

Wednesday, September 20th
Filled with the energy and anger of its late 60s origins, Robert Downey Jr’s satire of advertising and white supremacy is a great big middle finger being held up to America’s faults and foibles. The token black man on an ad firm board of directors accidentally becomes chairman, and he starts making Black Power commercials and fighting the system from within. The system, as you can imagine, doesn’t take it kindly. Funny and wild, PUTNEY SWOPE is a counter-culture classic.

Thursday, September 21st
Telling the true story of the Algerian Revolution, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS is all you-are-there newsreel immediacy. Gillo Pontecorvo’s film has a documentary realness as it brings us through all the steps of inciting and fighting a guerilla war against colonial oppressors. A movie so realistic the Black Panthers used it as a training film, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS is a searing and unforgettable experience.

About Alamo Drafthouse
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin.  Twenty years later, the now 29-location chain has been named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers, and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including partnering with the film distribution company NEON,  Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers and the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing exploitation-era film.


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