Grab your lawn chair and economy-sized package of Huggies: “Raising Arizona” is coming home. The 1987 screwball comedy is part of the 2006 Netflix Rolling Roadshow.
New Englanders can watch “Jaws” on Martha’s Vineyard, baseball fans can enjoy “Field of Dreams” in an Iowa cornfield and the good people of San Francisco can ogle “Escape From Alcatraz” in the same island lockup where Clint Eastwood’s Frank Morris staged his daring prison break, to name a few.
“Raising Arizona” will screen outdoors at Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction, framed by the familiar russet-hued peaks and wild scrub backdrop that audiences saw in the movie.
Make no mistake: This is no static, sit-on-your-duff film festival. Though sponsored by direct-mail DVD giant Netflix, it was conceived by the movie-loving freaks at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. These are the same industrious wonks who staged a “Deliverance” rafting trip and featured poisonous snakes at the premiere of the Samuel L. Jackson thriller “Snakes on a Plane.”
Descended from Alamo’s interactive movie events, the 10-movie, monthlong Roadshow boasts the same inspiration. At the Colorado screening of “The Shining,” organizers held a short-story contest. The Chicago-area screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” ended with an ’80s-style high school prom.
“Raising Arizona” features a pre-screening scavenger hunt — teams must sign up at netflix.com/roadshow — with the winners receiving a vintage, stainless steel Airstream trailer identical to the one featured in the movie.
Alamo organized a similar movie tour last year, but without a corporate sponsor. The experience was markedly less lavish, says Alamo founder Tim League.
“Last year we didn’t have money at all,” League laments. “We got by on free press and guerrilla tactics, and had to charge money for the movies. This year, all the shows are free. Netflix has been great.”
In this era of dwindling box-office dollars, Netflix and Alamo make for ostensibly strange bedfellows. On one hand, you have a slick dot-com that makes it easier than ever to boycott movie theaters. On the other, a throwback theater chain that views moviegoing as a kind of communal religious experience.
“I suppose there’s irony,” admits League. “But at the end of the day, we’re all fans. There’s a place for watching movies in the living room, and a place for watching it outdoors with your friends.”
Just don’t forget the lawn chair.
>> “Raising Arizona” starts 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail, off state Highway 88. Free.
How do I get tickets?
The movie is free and seating is first-come, first-served.
Are there seats?
No. You are encouraged to bring quilts, ground cloths, camping chairs and the like for your comfort.
Are food and beverages available?
Can I bring food into event?
Yes. Trash bins will be available to keep the area tidy.
Can I bring alcoholic beverages?
No. Alcohol is not allowed.
Will there be bathrooms?
Yes — public restrooms that are handicap accessible.
Are kids welcome?
Yes. However, parents should use MPAA rating guidelines to determine if film is suitable for their children. (“Raising Arizona” is rated PG-13.)