Collectors and film fans, here's your moment. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is auctioning off rare prints from the Mondo archives, and co-founder Tim League said the proceeds will go toward the cinema's charitable endeavors.
Proceeds from the auction will help to replenish the Alamo Community Fund established by League and wife/co-founder Karrie League. It is "dedicated to supporting charitable organizations in each of the communities where we have an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema," League said in a statement provided exclusively to the American-Statesman.
The auction will open on Oct. 6 and run through Oct. 27.
In March 2020, Drafthouse shuttered its theaters at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, before reopening most of them after many months. The company laid off an unspecified number of employees during the first year of the pandemic. League, the Austin-based company's executive chairman, said that "nearly the entire contents" of the Alamo Community Fund went toward assistance for Drafthouse employees during that time.
Earlier this year, Drafthouse sold Mondo, its art and collectibles arm, to Funko. League assumed control of Mondo's poster archive, though, and has curated the items up for auction. Those posters include work by artists like Aaron Horkey, Mike Mitchell, Olly Moss and Tyler Stout, as well as a never-released "Jackie Brown" poster by artists Stan and Vince, which League called "perhaps the rarest ever Mondo poster."
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The auction also includes a tour of the Mondo archive and the Drafthouse's vintage poster archive, as well as the press room where the posters are printed. There are additional perks for some auction winners, including prints signed by Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
Mondo was founded in 2001 by League and Rob Jones. With origins as a T-shirt shop in the original downtown Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mondo became known for special-edition screen-printed posters, vinyl soundtracks and other toys and collectibles geared toward cinephiles and fostering the creative work of artists. Over the years, it grew into a cult-favorite phenomenon with its own Austin gallery and a convention.
When Drafthouse sold Mondo in June, League said that it was "our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on" during a turbulent pandemic, which also saw the company filing for bankruptcy.
The Leagues announced the formation of the Alamo Community Fund in 2019, with a $2 million endowment intended to expand the company’s philanthropic work with charity initiatives across the country. The couple provided the fund's initial $2 million, according to the company. The fund's causes include "at-risk-youth education, sustainability and initiatives that reduce homelessness," League said Monday.
This is the company's second sale of posters to help recoup pandemic losses. In November 2020, Drafthouse announced an auction of prints and collectibles from the Mondo archives and League’s personal collection. The company said all proceeds from the auction went "toward paying staff of the Alamo Drafthouse and paying debt and expenses accrued during the COVID closures."
"We refuse to let this destroy us,” League told the Statesman that fall. “We’re going to figure out how to come out of the debt hole that we’re in from closing the theater.”
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Alamo Drafthouse auctioning rare Mondo movie posters for charity