If I had to pick an all-time favorite movie-viewing experience at the original Parkway - aside from Thrillville - it would be Grindhouse, another movie I booked after it totally bombed first run that turned out to be one of our longest-running crowd-pleasing smashes. We scored it a week after it opened at the Grand Lake, which normally meant the movie was an orphan nobody else wanted. But in this case, it turned out to be the perfect match of product and venue. The three-hour-plus running time was jam-packed with cheap thrills ideally suited for funky sofa-viewing in large, boisterous, drunken mobs of cheering patrons. During one screening, the bar next door, the Parkway Lounge, got robbed, giving us true grindhouse street cred!
I hosted several pizza-and-beer parties for groups of friends during sold-out, screaming screenings of the flick, which as you probably know was actually a built-in double bill: Robert Rodriguez's sexy sci-fi zombie action epic Planet Terror with Quentin Tarantino's talky but torrid muscle-car-serial-killer-thriller Death Proof. Most people seemed to prefer the former, though I loved both, and everyone agreed that the faux trailers in between the separate features were the collective highlight: Rob Zombies Werewolf Women of the SS, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's Don't, and Eli Roth's Thanksgiving. Rodriguez's Machete, featuring Danny Trejo in the role he was born to play, was later made into its own movie, with a sequel, Machete Kills!, in the works. We held onto Grindhouse for months because suckers like me kept coming back for more. The image of Rose McGowan with her machine gun leg, mowing down bad guys both living and undead, burned an indelible impression in many beer-addled brains. For me, it was the ultimate Parkway trip. But there are many more to come...Cheers.