Here is your chance to get your hands on some rare movie merch. Alamo Drafthouse this week announced its first auction of prints and collectibles from the Mondo archives, which it’s dubbed "Invade the Alamo Basement."
In "the largest and most comprehensive auction of Mondo prints ever," limited edition art prints "drawn entirely" from Alamo Drafthouse co-founder and executive chairman Tim League’s personal collection will be put up for sale, according to a news release. The online auction begins at 5 p.m. Nov. 29, and bidding for all items, which span 15 years of Mondo designs, opens at $1.
All proceeds from the auction will "go towards paying staff of the Alamo Drafthouse and paying debt and expenses accrued during the COVID closures," according to the announcement, which also mentions that all items are in mint or near-mint condition.
"Cinemas across the country are facing extraordinary financial hardships," said League in a statement. "We are legally unable to open many of our venues, and where we can open, our capacity is significantly reduced, the product — the supply of blockbuster films — has evaporated, and our debt from accrued rent during closure continues to mount."
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Like all indoor movie theaters, Austin-based chain Alamo Drafthouse has faced a rocky 2020, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. After closing in March, it declined to reopen its Texas theaters right away when Gov. Greg Abbott allowed indoor cinemas to resume operation. It has now reopened some of its locations, with a detailed pandemic protocol plan. In the meantime, Alamo Drafthouse laid off employees, created a COVID-19 relief fund, tapped a new CEO and launched a streaming platform, among other moves. In October, a lawsuit filed against Alamo Drafthouse’s Mueller cinema accused the theater of failure to pay overdue rent and other expenses.
"However long it is — but unfortunately, we’re really not going to get to the end of (the pandemic) until there’s a vaccine that brings back some level of normalcy — we’re going to return," League told the American-Statesman last month when asked about the future of the movie theater industry. "What I’m seeing is, there’s going to be pent-up demand for getting out of the house and having experiences with others. I try to stay positive about (the fact that) there are these weird silver linings of the pandemic. We refuse to let this destroy us. We’re going to figure out how to come out of the debt hole that we’re in from closing the theater."
Mondo, the art and collectibles arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, is well-known for its limited-edition designs, which appear on everything from posters to pint glasses. The company’s designs are inspired by everything from blockbusters like "Star Wars" to cult classics like "They Live" and often inspire high demand for new releases. In the past, Mondo has worked on pieces with artists like Aaron Horkey, Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Frank Kozik, Jermaine Rogers, Jason Edmiston, Jay Ryan, Jay Shaw, Jock, Tula Lotay, Laurent Durieux, Matt Taylor, Olly Moss, Stan Sakai, Shepard Fairey, Drew Struzan, Vania Zouravliov and more, according to the news release announcing the auction.
The poster auction will be run through eMovieposter.com. Bidding closes Dec. 13.