Updated: Aug 17
A new legend has been born in the land of Shaolin. On Saturday, August 20th, Austin-based cinema-eatery Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will screen the first film in their new weekly martial arts movie series – RZA’s Saturday Shaolin Theater. Wu-Tang Clan founder and noted kung fu film fanatic RZA has personally curated the first run of titles, starting with the namesake for the theater’s bar, MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE. The series launch will be marked with the drop of an exclusive MONDO poster release, featuring custom art inspired by MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE created by Bill Sienkiewicz and Denys Cowan. The poster will only be available for in-person sales at Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island.
The mythology and spirit of Wu Tang Clan was born from RZA's experiences growing up in Staten Island,” says Alamo Drafthouse Cinema founder/Executive Chairman Tim League. “Weekend trips on the ferry to Times Square kung fu screenings and Saturday afternoon marathons of Shaw Brothers films on WNEW channel 5's Black Belt Theater were crucial ingredients in the mix. We are thrilled to revive the Saturday kung fu tradition at our shrine to martial arts cinema, Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island.”
Following the series premier, upcoming titles for RZA’s Saturday Shaolin Theater include: ENTER THE DRAGON with Bruce Lee; THE HEROIC TRIO with Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung, and Anita Mui; THE MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING with the OG Ghostface Killer; THE INVINCIBLE ARMOUR; FATAL FLYING GUILLOTINE, prequel to the original (which was itself a sequel to ONE-ARMED BOXER); plus a full month of Jackie Chan with DRUNKEN MASTER 1 & 2 and POLICE STORY 1 & 2.
“Alamo Drafthouse has created something really special here in Staten Island,” says RZA. “It’s great to work with a company that has the same passion for martial arts cinema that I have.”
Since opening its doors on Friday, July 22nd, Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island has seen a swell of support and enthusiasm from the Staten Island community. New releases such as director Jordan Peele’s NOPE have driven strong attendance in the theater’s first few weeks, while exclusive programming such as RZA’s Shaolin Saturdays will continue to provide a unique cinema experience for guests.
As is only fitting for the cinema company’s first location in ‘Shaolin’, Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island has collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA on Flying Guillotine, a kung fu-themed bar and museum all-in-one.
Like the century-old wax figure exhibits thoughtfully curated throughout Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn’s House of Wax and the vast archive of over 60,000 letterpress film advertising plates adorning the walls of Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan’s The Press Room, Flying Guillotine will feature posters and memorabilia spanning the history of kung fu cinema.
In addition to a tap wall of 45 draft beers, guests can enjoy two unique sections of the cocktail menu: Shaolin, featuring nine classic cocktails, and Wu-Tang, with nine original craft cocktails designed by bar manager Vincent Favella, previously of Brooklyn’s House of Wax and Lower Manhattan’s The Press Room. Flying Guillotine also features a giant 16’ Flying Guillotine overtop of the entry to the bar and board-breaking photo opportunity. Any purchase at the bar gets you a token for the exclusive Flying Guillotine claw game, and there are exact replicas of the three different Flying Guillotines (designed by Pretty in Plastic) used in all the flying guillotine films. For more info about Flying Guillotine visitflyingguillotine.com.