Alamo Drafthouse's Mondo film, pop culture brand set for big expansion, plans festival

Jul 11, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Mondo, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Inc. brand that focuses on film and pop culture-related merchandise, has big plans. The Alamo imprint is set to expand later this year with the introduction of a classic film-inspired line of toys, the creation of a Mondo Fest that will run parallel to Alamo’s Fantastic Fest genre film festival, and an expansion of the company’s record label

Mondo currently sells T-shirts, posters, deluxe VHS releases and deluxe vinyl editions of obscure or never-released film soundtracks

Justin Ishmael, Mondo’s creative director, told the Austin Business Journal an an exclusive interview that the expansions are natural growth opportunities for the company, which excavates pieces of entertainment history for Alamo's core audience of dedicated film buffs

He said formal announcements regarding the toy line and Mondo Fest will come later this year, but both are also examples of increased synergy between Alamo’s various brands and events

Christian Parkes, the company’s new branding officer, told ABJ last month that Alamo was missing out on opportunities to leverage brands like Mondo and Fantastic Fest against each other, and having Mondo Fest happen at the time lets the Mondo brand build off of the Fantastic Fest fanbase

A job posting for a new staff position as Mondo’s record label manager will allow the company to have one person focusing entirely on the vinyl soundtrack operation, which will likely begin issuing releases on compact disc and through digital platforms for wider accessibility. Currently all Mondo soundtracks are limited-edition vinyl releases that quickly sell out, even with a $35 price tag

Ishmael said the label will keep its release schedule to about one per month and the record label manager will need to have a strong knowledge of CD and digital distribution sides of the music business. The vinyl-only strategy has thus far been a lucky stroke for the two-year-old record label since vinyl sales are growing at 40 percent per year, though Ishmael said Mondo releases are geared toward movie fans seeking out rare product and not typical music fans

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