This guest blog article is by Robert Luke.
Austin is notorious for being a movie town. Any given week, a TV or film production is happening somewhere in town. Additionally, between all of the film festivals, Austin Film Society, and Alamo Drafthouse, there is always a fun movie event to attend, whether you’re a hardcore cinephile or an average moviegoer.
Alamo Drafthouse has had such an impact on the film-watching community that there are multiple people who claim they moved to Austin just because of the Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest. Mondo Gallery is yet another local phenomenon that has spawned from Austin’s love of film.
Originally, back when Alamo Drafthouse was located on Colorado Street (where Haven currently resides), before the move to South Lamar, it had a small t-shirt stand called Mondo Tees. During that time, Mondo Tees began to sell creative, licensed posters to various film screenings, creating a rabid fan base among movie collectors and graphic design enthusiasts.
Headed by Justin Ishmael, Mitch Putnam and Grammy Award winner Rob Jones, Mondo has revolutionized contemporary and classic movie posters, offering a whole new category of memorabilia for fans to collect.
How to Get Your Hands on a Mondo Poster
For the past few years, the group has run a system of releasing posters and prints on their website and selling out in less than a minute. Their beautiful and unique posters have been frequently designed by Olly Moss, Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin, Tyler Stout, We Buy Your Kids and Austin resident Mike Mitchell, among many others.
In addition to posters, Mondo also creates limited edition VHS reissues, select movie soundtracks on vinyls, and t-shirts.
Because of the limited edition value, most movie fans around the world go crazy trying to get a hold of one of Mondo’s posters. But Austinites have a unique advantage when it comes to purchasing them. The concept of the posters started off as a film version of concert posters, but for different Alamo Drafthouse screenings. This tradition continues with select screenings, with licensed posters being sold in the theater lobby before the film starts. Some posters are sold after the film, usually at an infamous Mondo secret screening or as a surprise poster after an Alamo Drafthouse event. Most online poster sales are announced on Twitter with a link to the sale page.
Austinites also have the fortune of living in the same city as Mondo’s gallery. Set at 4115 Guadalupe St., the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 12-6 PM and by appointment. Original art and in-stock posters can be purchased there.
The surest way to purchase a print from the gallery is to attend one of their gallery openings, which usually take place every 6 weeks. The lines are usually incredibly long, but the wait is always worth it. You have your first pick at different limited edition posters by the featured artist and they usually have free beer available.
Most recently, they had a gallery featuring Laurent Durieux, followed almost immediately by two SXSW shows featuring art inspired by Disney films, and another SXSW show dedicated to science fiction with art by Martin Ansin and Kevin Tong.
Don’t Miss Your Limited Edition Chance
If you’re looking into redecorating your home, but want to give it a geek-chic style, Mondo posters are the best cheat to showing you’re a movie fan while keeping it classy. If you’re in Austin, you have an upper hand in being able to collect these posters, VHS reissue, or vinyl soundtracks. So do yourself a favor and check out the Mondo gallery, or attend one of their screenings or gallery openings.
Speaking of openings, the next scheduled event features Marvel Comics portraits by Austin resident Mike Mitchell. That gallery opens on April 25, 2014 at 7 PM and runs until May 17th.
Have you ever bought a Mondo poster? Which one?
Robert is a film maker, born and brewed in Austin, TX. His favorite musician is Johnny Cash and he can frequently be found hiding at Alamo Drafthouse, Pinballz, or one of the many dive bars in East Austin.