Bubonicon 45 gets underway this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The long-running sci-fi convention will feature art, gaming, lectures and parties—plenty to keep the Star Wars, “Star Trek” and Game of Thrones-loving fans of Albuquerque busy. As always, movie nerd Adam Jarmon Brown will host another Saturday late-night movie fest for the entertainment of con-goers. The show gets underway at 10pm, Aug. 24, with a selection of short films and other weird bits specially selected by Brown. The feature presentation this year will be writer-director Joe McClean’s Life Tracker. The film stars Matt Dallas (“Kyle XY”) as a documentary filmmaker following the story of a company that claims it can predict a person’s future by analyzing DNA. The sci-fi drama is coming off successful runs at Dallas’ All-Con, Balticon in Maryland and Houston’s ApolloCon. Admission is free with your Bubonicon registration. Bubonicon will take place this year at the Marriott Uptown.
Like a lot of people in my generation, the original 1977 movie Star Wars changed my life. It affected the life of local movie poster collector/dealer Louie Torres as well. To hear him tell it, though, it was “not the movie, but the movie poster! It was around Christmas of 1976, and I was in Albuquerque visiting from Gallup. I'd gone to the (late) Coronado theater to see I don't remember what. What I do remember though is that near the box office on an A-frame display was this really cool-looking movie poster printed on silver mylar for something called Star Wars. I had no clue as to what Star Wars was and how the following summer it would revolutionize the film industry. I just knew that the poster was awesome and I wanted one!” Torres asked the manager if he could have the poster. The manager gruffly told him everybody wanted that poster. “The only way you’re gonna get one of those babies is to get a job at a movie theater,” he advised. After returning to Gallup, young Mr. Torres did just that.
One day, months later, Torres was asked by his manager to clean out the basement. “As I rummaged through all the broken-down theater seats, popcorn machines and other assorted movie theater junk, I noticed that way in the back there were also (ta-da!) stacks and stacks of old movie posters. So I asked the manager if I could have them and as simple as that, I ended up with my first 1,000 or so movie posters!”
Today Torres runs Louie’s Rock-N-Reels, Albuquerque’s only movie poster shop. “As a fan of movie poster art, some of my favorites are the ones by artists like Frank Frazetta (The Gauntlet), Bob Peak (Apocalypse Now), Richard Amsel (Raiders of the Lost Ark), John Alvin (Blade Runner) and in particular those by Drew Struzan. Like most people, I first really noticed his artwork when the movie Back to the Future came out in 1984. Even before it opened, I knew I wanted to see that movie! Why? Because the poster was so damn cool.”
Now Torres has teamed up with Guild Cinema to bring a very special documentary to town. Drew, The Man Behind the Poster is a portrait of famed Hollywood artist Drew Struzan, whose work has graced more than 150 movie posters, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future, Big Trouble in Little China, The Goonies and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The film will screen Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 3:30, 5:30 and 8pm. Every paid admission will get a free raffle ticket to win an original, extra-large bus shelter movie poster for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones featuring artwork by Drew Struzan. Anyone who wants to increase their chance of winning is invited to purchase extra tickets at Louie’s Rock-N-Reels (105 Harvard SE) for $5. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Luvin’ Labs dog rescue group. Plus, in conjunction with the documentary screening, Louie’s Rock-N-Reels will host a one-day exhibition of 75 movie posters drawn by Drew Struzan at the Shade Tree Cafe (3407 Central NE) right next door to the Guild Cinema. The exhibit is free to the public and will run from 10am to 4:30pm on Aug. 28. If you go, be sure to thank Torres and his lifelong love of movies!