SXSW Film Seating Strategy: Location, Location, Location
So now you have you SXSW Film lineup in hand, you’ve got your “must see” list working, and you’re anxiously waiting on the Film Grid to be published. All you need to finish your master plan to dominate SXSW Film is one small detail: Can you get a seat?
SXSW Film is spread over 10 Venues and 14 screens this year, and getting from one venue to the next will be made easier by using the Film Fest Flyer, but you have to consider that as some smaller venues will fill up fast, it may require that you to get in line early to secure a seat.
To help you out, below is a list of the seating capacity of each screen, along with notes from the Baby!’s experiences in the past.
Alamo Lamar – Great Venue that serves Food at your seat, due to this, the theater is loaded as soon as it is clean and ready, sometimes as much as 45 -60 minutes prior, rather than the typical 30 minutes prior to show time.
Lamar A – 225 seats
Lamar B – 118 seats
Lamar C – 118 seats
Alamo Ritz (186 seats) Same as the Alamo Lamar, however notes that Ritz 2 is only 90 seats. If you are going to a screening here, make sure to get there about an hour to an hour and a half ahead of time if you must see the film at this location.
Ritz 1 – 186 seats
Ritz 2 – 90 seats
SXsatellite Venues: Alamo Village (150 seats)
SXsatellite Venues: Alamo Slaughter Lane (150 seats)
Canon Screening Room @ the Long Center (210 seats)
Carver Museum (210 seats)
Paramount Theatre* (1200 seats, 700 if the balcony is not opened) Some premiere events may ask that the balcony not be opened, but this is rare. Last year we saw lines circling the block but everyone got in.
Stateside (298 seats)
Vimeo Theater at the Austin Convention Center (ACC) (600 seats)
Violet Crown Cinema Note very small seating capacities. Get there early.
Screen A – 50 seats
Screen B – 39 seats
At most venues last year we saw volunteers marking the end of each line. They also kept good control on headcounts of those in line, so as you walk up, they will have a good idea of your ability to get in. that being said, ALWAYS have a backup plan, another time to see that movie, another movie to see at that time.
Remember the Rule of the Five “P’s”: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-poor Performance.