In June, Alamo Drafthouse held several all-women screenings for Wonder Woman in theaters across America. At each location, it comprised a single theater for a solitary showing, and yet self-purported defenders of the Constitution and (sigh) “men’s rights” picketed online, wrote comically scathing think-pieces, and even conjured up a dubious lawsuit. Still, Alamo Drafthouse got the last laugh by hosting several “all-clown” screenings of It, the new Stephen King adaptation that has revitalized Pennywise the Dancing Clown as a national treasure. Directed by Andy Muschietti and starring Bill Skarsgård as the balloon-dispensing huckster with a biting punchline, the freak show earned a massive $123.4 million its opening weekend… and even more impressively, did not receive a single criticism from all those vocal First Amendment champions we saw this summer.
Nonetheless, did gathering rooms full of clowns at theaters across the United States, while one of their own went homicidal up there on the screen, reveal a greater national controversy? After all, the World Clown Association put together a press kit to prepare professional entertainers in the pancake makeup business for backlash due to last year’s “scary clown panic.” (And yes, we’re serious). Ergo, the resurgence of Stephen King’s Pennywise and his habit of luring children to their doom via storm drains and other assorted New England pipelines might only further exacerbate a potential divide.
Luckily, our very own Niko Emanuilidis intrepidly asked these tough questions when he made his way to the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, New York, round red nose in hand. There, he courageously shined a light on clown and non-clown relations. Arriving at the Alamo for a full house night of clowns watching clowns, he asked the wigged and painted audience members about whether clowns deserve more love in this country… and if Stephen King might owe the clown community at large an apology for making Pennywise a household nightmare.
Watch, if you dare, Mr. Emanuilidis’ eye-opening exposé about what happened when the Alamo Drafthouse sent in the clowns…