MAR. 8, 2002
Believe it or not, there was a time back in the late eighties when the Arboretum was the new kid on the block, a swanker, woodsier, more environmentally sensitive response to the Highland and Barton Creek megamalls. The Arboretum took a while to figure out. Even casual outdoor window shopping in the sweltering Austin heat demands a trip to Amy’s Ice Cream and a duck into the Arbor Cinema for an air-conditioned matinee in the comfy high-backed seats. Who cares if the loo is located up two flights of bladder busting stairs or that the once whimsical fluffy white cotton clouds on the ceiling are now blackened like thunderheads? Come March 17, it won’t matter because the Arbor, which has been holding its own as Austin’s other art cinema, will be closing its doors to make way for a Cheesecake Factory – perhaps in response to Austin’s voracious demand for even more comfortably generic, bland yet fattening food? So, if you have even a wisp of sentimentality for the place, here’s your last chance to say goodbye to the old place: This Friday you can catch a trio of films on the opening night of the SXSW Film Festival. “The Slaughter Rule” is a gritty flick about a barnstorming 6-man football team in Montana written and directed by brothers Alex and Andrew Smith and starring David Morse, a.k.a “Boomer” from “St. Elsewhere. Then you have “The Search for John Grissing” which stars Janeane Garafalo and Alan Rickman as well as writer/director Mike Binder of HBO’s “The Mind of the Married Man.” Finishing out the night is “Me Without You,” the coming of age story of two suburban London women written and directed by Sandra Goldbacher (The Governess) and starring Anna Friel, Michelle Williams, Kyle McLaughlin and Sting’s wife Trudie Styler. You can get in each for $6 or go to Waterloo and pop for the $50 SXSW film pass which will get you into a mess of other fine films but alas, won’t bring the Arbor back.