Lost Weekend VIII returns to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

WINCHESTER – Lost Weekend VIII returns to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Sept. 28 – Oct. 1.

Recently, Film Club 3.0 members met to sample the event menu, including butternut squash soup, apple walnut salad, and apple pie pizza and with club founder Andy Gyurisin watched 25 trailers to kick off Lost Weekend VIII.

“Lost Weekend is an offset of Film Club,” Gyurisin said. “We have over 2,700 community members who are loyal to cinema. (We) get together on Wednesday and Sunday to watch independent, foreign, documentary and classic films.”

Angie Fritz, of Front Royal, said she is a total film geek.

“All kinds of movies – you name it – from kids to documentaries,” she said.

This will be her sixth Lost Weekend.

“I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment,” she said laughing. “It’s more of an endurance contest than anything. It’s important to jog around the block.”

Motion Physical Therapy will be on site helping keep moviegoers limber during the Lost Weekend. Morning walks will also be offered.

The goal is to watch 23 out of the 25 films. Titles include “Supergirl,” “Bad Lucky Goat,”  “Step,” “Lost in Paris,”  and “Thelma.”  If participants are able to watch 23-plus films, they receive a prize for their efforts. Sixteen of this year’s films are advance screenings, meaning they “wont be released for a few more months,” Gyurisin explained. “The rest of the films have never been shown in our community.”  One film is an encore from last year’s Lost Weekend.

“I didn’t feel like “This is Not What I Expected” got the attention it deserved. So for the first time, we’re having one [encore],” said Gyurisin.

When asked why Lost Weekend VIII is important to the community, Gyurisin said, “Well for one, to bring great cinema into the community. I grew up in Winchester and as a child I remember seeing a lot of movies with numbers at the end. So, we wanted creativity and originality. So, the Alamo was excited but worried about the risk. There’s always a risk. You just never know if the foreign film will bring a crowd.”

Gyurisin, along with his wife and fellow Film Club 3.0 members, have the difficult task of choosing which films to play.

“We kind of pick movies based on reviews and festivals,” said Gyurisin. “As soon as this event is over, I start scouring the internet for next year’s films.”

Andrew Schluckbier, of Charles Town, noted, “I’m here to see new stuff – stuff I would have to go into the city to see.”

Gail Vasta, of Woodstock, has been a member of Film Club 3.0 for three years. She absolutely “loves having this in the valley – we’re from Woodstock; it’s just too far to drive into the city to see good cinema.”

Vasta and friends even rented rooms at the nearby Country Inn & Suites, which offers a group discount for the weekend.

Lost Weekend VIII begins at 7 p.m Sept. 28. There are 175 weekend passes available that guarantee seating for all 25 films. Those passes sell out quickly.

During Lost Weekend VIII, Film Club 3.0 will host a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting Our Health, a nonprofit that supports health and human services needed in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Sponsors include: Blue Plate Books, Cuddles & Rage, Lame Dog Workshop, The Greene Turtle, Heirloom Kitchen, and Country Inn & Suites.

“We started this so we could watch a bunch of great films in a festival setting. (We) also wanted to bring movies, maybe otherwise wouldn’t have been able to bring to this area,” Gyurisin said.