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Chicagoland Movie Theater Embraces Comic Culture

Hollywood Palms theater works with Graham Crackers Comics to bring comic-related events during big movie releases.

For the past decade, some of the most popular movies come from nerd culture. This is something everyone knows and understands; however, very rarely do movie theaters do anything to really promote these films in a fun and unique way. Obviously, these films will bring people on their own, but rarely do theaters offer a memorable experience.

Hollywood Palms, a cinema, bar & eatery, does things a bit different, especially when it comes to more nerd-related films. The theater, located in Naperville, IL; 30 miles west of Chicago, has teamed up with local comic chain Graham Crackers Comics to offer fans a more unique movie-going experience that entices comic book readers to come out.

Currently, to celebrate the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction film, Hollywood Palms is not only offering the first 100 people, for Thursday, June 26th showing, a free comic from Graham Cracker Comics, but fans can also check out the screen-used Saleen Mustang for the 2007 Transformers film, on loan from the Volo Auto Museum. Fans will know this better as Barricade. On August 9th, the theater is having a TMNT day to coincide with the newest TMNT film. They will feature a live ninja demonstration as well as the Ninja Turtles pizza van, again, on load from the Volo Auto Museum.

Making a movie into an event is just smart business. Fans looking for a more interesting experience can find it in this environment. Hollywood Palms is also taking what is seeming like a comic convention stance for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. Once again, teaming up with Graham Crackers, Hollywood Palms is offering a whole weekend of activities on August 2nd and 3rd.

There will be comic drawing classes taught by a legend, movie marathons, photo ops, comic legend appearances and so much more!

They are turning this film release into something so much larger. Currently, that's all the info for the upcoming event, but with many well-known creators living in the Chicagoland area, you could probably expect some known names. That's something theaters should be and could be doing though. Offering a once a year mini-con experience to tie into movie releases is a brilliant idea. This can really bring new folks into the world of nerd without them feeling like they're at a big convention. As stated before, comic-based movies are money makers, so why not bring in some of the culture of comic books and comic book fandom to those going to see the movie?

What do you guys think? What types of things would you like to see movie theaters do to promote comic book films?

11 Comments
Posted by Captain13

Luckily i am in chicago this summer...

Edited by pikahyper

Smart as hell, bout time they thought of something to justify the huge cost of going to the movies.

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Posted by Grey56

Smart as hell, bout time they thought of something to justify the huge cost of going to the movies.

This for sure.

Additionally though, if weren't Jamie Graham doing it and I lived in the greater Chi-town area I'd do it. We had an unfortunate run in about two years ago now at Planet Comic Con here in KC where he was openly rude to my wife and I about our collecting habits.

What was even more strange about it was that I was wearing my small ruck bag and even when not in uniform it's not hard to tell that I'm in the service. After he was so casually callous to us I called him out on it and told him how I felt about his statements and his overall demeanor to small-time collectors. Had his son not been there and been so polite I might have said more but refrained.

Damn shame, honestly because his mentality is not limited. I went to a old-school, hotel lobby free entry con not even last month where I met up with a dealer I routinely buy from as he's an honest seller who knows what books my wife and I are interested in. While chatting with him and asking if he was going to attend SDCC this year another man (think of every stereo-type of a fan boy you can and don't change it) interrupted to tell us how SDCC was all manner of inferior since he was last there; how Hollywood had ruined it, how Moore & Gibbons used to sit outside and smoke with regular Joe's, how great it was that John Bonham had returned from the dead just to attend etc...

Both this man's & Jamie's rant reminded me of everything exclusionary that the industry as a whole has done its best to move on from. What is worse is that he aimed it at not just me (a younger guy with no real ability to collect Gold/Silver keys) - but at my wife. He aimed it at the demographic that has done what the rest of the sweaty, stinking mass of dudes never has; given the industry the ability to be brought out into daylight. It's a debatable topic to be sure; but I have noticed over the last ten years that as the number of ladies participating, creating, attending and plain being around comics has done nothing but good.

I certainly apologize for taking up space in this thread in what really looks like a good idea and a lot of fun but I couldn't in good conscience not say something to the community. I'm sure that there are lot of good stories from the various managers that Jamie employs at his 8 or so stores; they're probably good folks to do business with. If nothing else then perhaps take this away from it; whatever your interest in comics (no matter how small or ambitious) don't let anyone berate you out of it - to include going to these shows if that is what rocks your boat.

Posted by CorruptedOwl
Posted by Yung ANcient One

Why is it called Hollywood Palms when it is located in Chicago? (+)

Posted by spidermanandsuperman

Naperville is where I live. I always go to amc and not this theatre but I'm definitely going to look into this.

Edited by UrbanChill

ive been to that theater once and it was pretty cool but its so far from me

the once closer to me is called hollywood blvd and its in woodridge (i like palms better tho)

Posted by nappystr8

Props to these guys. My local store back home does a lot of cross promotion with one of the local theaters as well. Works out really well for everyone.

Posted by hyrulecommander

This sounds awesome!