Sunday, August 21, 2011

Preview: Night of the Bat with Adam West!

Holy encore, Batman!

Last summer, The Paramount Theatre played a big part in the City of Austin's Night of The Bat celebration. There was a screening of Batman, based on the iconic (if incredibly campy) 1960s television series. It was a treat to see such cheese on the big screen, but the real treat was an appearance by Batman himself: Mr. Adam West. The Q & A was a delight, and it was great to hear personal anecdotes from Gotham's "Light Knight."

Well, get ready. This weekend the batarang comes through Austin yet again. The Night of the Bat is celebrated with another screening of the 1966 classic Batman, once again with Adam West in attendance.

I must confess that I am a big Batman fan. Although I've never been a comic book guy, I did read some of the key graphic novels during my formative years. Then, of course, I was swallowed by the 1989 Bat-hype (like the rest of America). Around that time, I also rediscovered the '60s television series in syndication. And no matter how silly one may think the campy old TV show is, you can't deny the charm that exudes from Adam West's portrayals of Batman and Bruce Wayne. He still ranks high when compared to his more serious counterparts over the decades.

I mean, seriously? Val Kilmer?? Who thought that was a good idea?


I know we're now very familiar with a more serious tone of the Caped Crusader, so one may wonder: what's the 1966 Batman movie like in comparison? Well... it isn't The Dark Knight. It's basically an extended episode of the television show, with slightly bigger sets and more expensive production values. The dynamic duo of Batman (West) and Robin (Burt Ward) get to show off some new wonderful toys, including a sleek Bat-Boat and bubble-like Bat-Copter. And they'll need it against a rogue's gallery of villains that band together like a Pro Bowl team. Well, now that I think about it, I'm thinking Gotham City's not in too much danger with this motley crew of clowns villains.

That's Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, and Lee Meriwether as Catwoman (meee-ow!). Together they're not playing for keeps or to hurt anyone (also like a Pro Bowl team). Yet that doesn't stop them from chomping on the scenery. There's no menace like Bane to break Batman's back, but you might crack a rib laughing at how ridiculous the action is. Heck, Batman even battles a shark in this movie. You read that, right. A shark. Yeah, I know. Just go with it, roll with the punches, and you'll be fine.

Oh, but don't take my word for it. Below is the original trailer of the film, and like the costumed hosts of a karaoke night, Batman and Robin talk you through the preview of their big screen adventure.


Be sure and save some laughs for the Q&A, because Adam West's stories and wit are sure to keep you entertained. Even at age 82, he still knows how to play to an audience.

Hey, and there's a bonus also if you happen to be a Platinum or Gold Film Fan member. There will be an Adam West Photo Booth by Annie Ray. There, you can have your photo professionally taken with Adam West himself. Bu leave all your Bat gear and comic books at home, folks... no autographs are allowed.

All in all, Saturday is shaping up to be a bat-tastic time. Silly fun, Adam West, and a uniquely Austin celebration. What more can you ask for? If that doesn't sound like a good time, I simply must ask... why so serious?

Showtimes for the film:

Batman (1966)
Saturday, Aug 27th

Final Notes about the screening

Adam West Photo Booth by Annie Ray:
For Gold and Platinum Film Fans Only. Have your photograph taken professionally at our Annie Ray photo booth with Adam West himself. No autographs allowed. All Film Fans receive access to preferred seating section and a complimentary specialty drink. DOORS OPEN AT 12 PM.

"Hassle-free downtown parking available for $6 at the One American Center for all summer films! Since you’re also supporting the theatre when you buy parking, they're giving you a free small soda each time you park there for a film. Buy online with your film tix and print out your confirmation e-mail or buy directly from the garage attendant (cash only). Attendant will have your soda ticket as well."

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