Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I saw Tim League speak as part of last night's AFS/UT Master Class.

League (below on the left, trust me), is the guy who started the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, built it into a big part of what keeps Austin weird, franshised it, and then reduced his scope to make sure he and his wife were still having fun.

Still the owner of three of the four Austin locations (Downtown at 4th and Colorado; South Lamar at Lamar Plaza; and the Village at Anderson west of Burnet), I learned a lot from League.

He was a mechanical engineer for Shell, and hated it. Passionately. He leased a theater in Bakersfield, CA, and made a go of it for two years, before devising an exit strategy, doing some research, then opening in Austin.

He's a great example of an entrepreneur, and a guy who followed his passion (movies), rather than the money. And he had a guardedly supportive extended family.

Good stuff, and some cool insight into the details of how the theatrical exhibitionist world works, and how the big dogs in the industry are really going downhill.

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