Everyone has a favorite Val Kilmer movie. Since the early ‘80s, Kilmer has been a beloved actor in Hollywood with films like Real Genius, Willow, Batman Forever and Heat. Starring in several films that are staples in many people’s childhood and young adult life, Kilmer was the perfect choice to spotlight for a Rolling Roadshow weekend – especially with the recent announcement of Top Gun 2: Maverick, the sequel to his 1986 action film where he portrayed his infamous (yet lovable) role as IceMan alongside Tom Cruise. This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing not one, but two outdoor screenings courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse – Tombstone and Top Gun, with the wingman himself in attendance. 

The Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshows are a sight to behold. They go all out for their outdoor screenings and each one keeps getting better and better. Most recently, I went to Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, TX for a screening of Red Headed Stranger. Every summer, Alamo also screens a series called Jaws on the Water where brave souls dangle their feet in the lake while watching the Spielberg classic on the shores of Volente Beach Water Park in Austin, Texas. Last Saturday, Alamo pulled up their bootstraps and set-up shop at J. Lorraine Ghost Town in Manor, Texas for a screening of the 1993 western classic Tombstone. J. Lorraine is a classic stage for an old western town complete with a saloon, jail, bank, and a general store. During SXSW, the property was used as a Westworld interactive experience and was a favorite spot among the lucky festival goers who were able to gain access.

Before the show, the guests were able to pick their poison at a number of different bars on-site. Themed drinks containing whiskey, vodka, or tequila flowed through the dirt roads. Visitors could also test their sharp-shooter skills with bb guns or throw knives like an outlaw. There were also tables set up in one of the barns for patrons to test their luck in a game of poker and craps. All this was available while a country band serenaded guests until sundown. Being the badass that he is, Val was not shy in taking part of the festivities and wandering around the town, stopping to take photos with fans. When the film was about to start, Kilmer was all smiles on stage. He gave a brief introduction and the audience was beaming with delight and love for this guy (how could they not?). During all of the shoot-out scenes, moviegoers were firing off complementary toy cap guns and everyone cheered whenever Doc Holliday graced the silver screen. Tombstone still holds up all these years later, and it was the coolest experience to see it on the big screen in an 1800s themed ghost town for full effect. Kilmer’s portrayal as Doc Holliday is straight-up iconic and crowds will forever cheer when he utters the words “I’m your Huckleberry.”

As if Saturday wasn’t rad enough, Rolling Roadshow round two continued the next day at Camp Mabry, a military base in central Austin, TX. Established in 1892, Camp Mabry is the third-oldest active military installation in Texas, and we were able to watch Tony Scott’s 1986 Top Gun right there on the runway. There were several planes displayed on the property such as an F-86D Sabre, F-4C Phantom II, and a F-16C Fighting Falcon. The towering aircrafts were a perfect mood setter for the tailspin of a film we were about to witness. The film’s hilariously awkward volleyball scene inspired Alamo to set up two volleyball courts nearby where visitors can bump, set, and spike their hearts out. There was also a band that played hits from the film like “Danger Zone” and “Take My Breath Away”. You could even get a military-style buzz cut courtesy of Birds Barbershop, a company that was also there for Tombstone touching up the occasional cowboy mustache and beard for guests. Toy airplanes courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse could be seen flying through the air throughout the evening as Maverick, Goose, and IceMan soar across the screen. Val gleefully walked through the crowd grinning ear to ear among the cheers from the audience. As he climbed on stage, he was joined by fellow actor Barry Tubb who played Wolfman. The two briefly reminisced about making the film, and you could just feel how special of a moment this was for everyone involved. 

Kilmer was a class act throughout the entire weekend. After all the hardships he’s been through, it was such a delight to see a weekend entirely devoted to him and two of his most iconic roles. He was decked out in large, ornate turquoise jewelry and wearing a pink shirt both nights with a black Sharpie in the breast pocket. Upon meeting fans, he allowed them to sign his shirt and his khaki shorts with various phrases of adoration. It appeared that Kilmer felt the love that so many people still have for him and gave it right back to fans. While there is a certain type of movie magic that goes into the actual process of making a film, Alamo Drafthouse has really reinvented the term with their Rolling Roadshows. Each event is a truly unique and magical experience for audiences and actors alike.

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