It’s a perfect coulrophobia storm of epic proportions: An Alamo Drafthouse location in Austin is actually committing itself to an entire screening of IT populated exclusively by clowns. There are a whole lot of film fans out there who you couldn’t pay to sit in on such a thing.
The Saturday, Sept. 9 screening is something of a clever joke, referencing the time this spring when Drafthouse announced a womans-only screening of Wonder Woman that attracted unexpected backlash from “men’s rights” activists who claimed the one-time screening was sexist and exclusionary. At the time, one Facebook commenter asked if there would be an IT screening specifically for “those who identify as clowns,” which was presumably a thought so simultaneously hilarious and horrifying that the well-known independent theater chain couldn’t resist running with it. Presumably they will now have people bitching at them that this is discriminatory against non-clowns.
IT, if you somehow don’t know, is the adaptation of one of Stephen King’s most popular and heralded novels, concerning the battle between a group of young children and the demonic, extradimensional presence known simply as “IT,” which manifests in the shape of a killer clown known as Pennywise. The Andy Muschietti film stars Bill Skarsgard as the new version of Pennywise, reprising the role made infamous by Tim Curry’s classic performance in the four-hour 1990 TV mini-series.
“For this special screening of IT, all attendees should arrive dressed as a clown in order to attend,” says the statement from the theater. They’ll also be putting on “Barrel O’ Fun,” a pre-party with face paint stations, photo booths and raffles. Sounds wholesome!
IT opens in theaters on Sept. 8.