After restoring a cluster of vintage theater speakers that he bought on eBay, Josh Frank used them to launch Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in the middle of Texas' capital city. At the retro cinematic establishment, Frank and his staff beckon moviegoers to cool their car or jetpack engines while immersing themselves in feel-good flicks, many of which are time-tested pop-culture favorites such as E.T. and The Karate Kid. Two car hostesses stay on-hand to add to the nostalgic ambience, whisking concessions such as hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels to trays perched in open car windows or inside the mouths of especially hungry visitors.
Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson have spent years in the entertainment industry as producers, filmmakers, and audience members. After taking on all these roles at film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and Doha Tribeca, they decided to give that same kind of exposure to a different media—television. With help from an advisory board assembled from professional producers, studio executives, directors, writers, and actors, they celebrate the small screen's history and future at the annual ATX Television Festival. Over the course of three days, festival coordinators screen celebrated current seasons, never-aired pilots, prematurely canceled series, and cult favorites—many followed by Q&A sessions or choral renditions of the show's ending credits with creators and cast. In addition to screenings, industry professionals gather for multiple daily panels on topics ranging from women in television to alternative production outlets. These same celebrity guests, spanning producers, directors, actors, and writers, also mingle with visitors during scheduled meet-and-greets. Visitors can break from the television-centric main events for live music sets and secret happy hours to coax the shier beers out of their taps.
Catching a flick at Moviehouse & Eatery is more than a feast for the eyes?it can be an actual feast, too. Outfitted with lush recliners and a friendly waitstaff, the venue's dine-in theaters invite guests to fill up on from-scratch dishes while watching the latest blockbusters. A full-service bar located in the lobby features local brews on tap, house wines, and signature cocktails, all of which can be delivered to viewers' seats.
But the focus on food doesn't mean the movies fall by the wayside. Take the Big House auditorium, for instance, where a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen offers one of the largest viewing experiences in the region. Additionally, some of Moviehouse's theaters feature D-Box seating. These specially programmed seats are synced to the action in the film, meaning they rumble during car chases and giggle during scenes with George Clooney.
A. Michael Baldwin's film career began as a teenager when he had starring roles in films such as Kenny & Company and Phantasm. Now an adult, he's stepped behind the camera at My First Music Video, where he yields the spotlight to the next generation of young talent.
Each session begins in the recording studio, where singers lay down vocals on a track of their choice while Michael's team captures candid behind-the-scenes footage.
Once the song is ready to go, video stars film a performance inside My First Music Video's studio, which is furnished with a choice of backdrops. Next, the singer and Michael's crew film scenes at up to four indoor or outdoor locations. Approximately 10 days after the four-hour shoot, Michael sends a final cut of the high-definition clip, rather than projecting the video into the night sky to summon all talent agents.
FillaseatAustin nabs unsold tickets for events at Austin entertainment venues, then offers them to members online for free. The national 19-location seat-filling service, exclusive to residents 18 and older including Austin, stuffs an online database with tickets to events as they become available. Members log on to browse and reserve tickets for whatever piques their fancy, from concerts and theater productions to family and sporting events. Since the database is a 24/7 land-grab, members rush in to snatch up the bills of entry, sometimes scoring tickets for a show that same day.
Members can bring any guest they'd like, picking up tickets at the venue's will-call window. Check the website for frequently asked questions as well as the policies and terms of membership.
Without a doubt, iPic Theater is one of Austin’s swankiest date night spots. The film house takes today's hottest trend in movie watching – food and beverage service – and runs with it, making the posh destination a perfect date spot. Guests lounge in cushy orange chairs and munch on complimentary popcorn while taking in the hottest new movies, all from a well-reclined position. iPic Theater is also an all-digital cinema, with state-of-the-art technology in sound and projection, as well as 3D screening capabilities. The theatre's location inside the Domain, Austin's upscale outdoor shopping area, makes iPic the perfect destination for a unique family outing or an all-in-one dinner-and-a-movie date, complete with an upscale feel.