Austin-based Mondo, a collectible art boutique, finally has a home of its own, moving out of a cramped, less-than-ideal spot under the stadium seats in one of the cinemas at Alamo Drafthouse's South Lamar Boulevard location.
"You had to open the door and duck down to get inside," said Justin Ishmael, Mondo's creative director. "We didn't have space to do anything, really."
The new 1,200-square-foot studio debuts at 6 tonight. It has a mix of one-of-a-kind movie posters, as well as original works of art — all available to view without having to crawl around on your hands and feet.
There's also room to host visits from some of the featured artists — something Ishmael hopes to do on a regular basis.
"We'd like to have something for everyone," Ishmael said. "We're fans too. We get the same thrill everyone else gets."
Mondo has — intentionally — released few details on the new studio in advance of its opening, leading many fans to hit the Web and speculate. Some have even said they'll camp outside to be among the first inside.
That buzz, Ishmael said, is exactly what the studio was hoping for.
"They know we're opening an art gallery, but we haven't shown any of the artwork," he said. "It's a bummer when you know in advance what to expect. I think it's fun to be surprised."
The studio debuts with an initial mix of 25 to 30 original pieces, along with about 15 movie posters — most from well-known artists with cult followings — and some apparel. There are, however, a few newcomers hoping for their big break.
"If they do really well, we can start giving them poster jobs," Ishmael said. "Basically we're telling them, ‘Do what you want and have fun with it.' "
Hiram Jones, who calls himself a "fan and friend" of Mondo, was at the studio Friday, checking out the art in advance of the masses. He settled on two pieces.
"This one's an incredible picture of Donald Sutherland — even though I don't really care about Donald Sutherland," he said, pointing at one of several framed pieces about to be placed on the walls.
A lifelong fan of posters and offbeat art, Jones plans to add the new acquisitions to his growing collection.
"Growing up, my room was covered in girlie posters and posters of the Police," he said. "I spent all my money on them.
"As I get older, I keep ending up with more and more crap."
Contact Gary Dinges at 912-5987