Why are we called Slab Cinema?
The outdoor screening project officially started in 2004, when Michael Berrier, one of the owners of La Tuna, called us with an idea of a use for the giant concrete slab in the parking lot across the street from the ice house. Until then, we'd been creating spectacle on St. Mary's street, in the parking lot of our since demised video store, Planet of the Tapes.
Our very first show at La Tuna was the 1959 campy movie, Bucket of Blood. We used a borrowed projector from Larry and Ruth at El Sol Studios. There was no external sound, only what came out of that projector. You had to sit within five feet of the machine to hear.
In the begining, it took about an hour each night to set up the screen: first corrugated plastic and later a spandex sheet we'd tie to a metal frame. One of our happiest days was when Ruth Polston and Mike Looney surprised us with a permanent Kilz painted plywood screen we wouldn't have to take down after each show. Our video and sound equipment progressed too, now we have two self-amplified speakers and a lot of lumens.
In 2008, the La Tuna Slab was sold for development and we found ourselves looking for a new venue. The City of San Antonio was interested in creating more community events downtown, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship: the Movies by Moonlight in HemisFair Park collaboration was born.
In 2010, we purchased our first inflatable screen and travelling movie business hit the road. In addition to HemisFair Park and Main Plaza, we've had regular screening series at various venues throughout San Antonio, including: San Antonio Botanical Garden, The Historic Pearl Brewery, The Friendly Spot, Alamo Heights Nature Trailhead, San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), Woodlawn Lake, Travis Park, Schertz, and Bulverde.
Our equipment has come a long way since the early days of a plastic screen and borrowed projector. We now have several inflatable screens in many sizes, high quality sound and super HD projection equipment.
See you at the movies!