Devin Hansen's big-screen dreams are coming true this weekend.
He has visions of people milling through the lobby of Quad-Cities Brew & View, located in The District of Rock Island. A curtain opens, and up to 90 of them take their seats. They order a drink, maybe a hearty slice of pizza or hors d'ourvres. They laugh at the film projected above them, go back to the bar and engage in discussion on the film they've just seen.
"We're hoping people will come a little early for the show, drink at the bar while the (previous) movie's ending, then go take their seats," he said. "After the movie, maybe they'll come back up to the bar and talk to their friends about it and have a drink or two, and then go home."
It's an idea Hansen has had since April, and after a few weeks of 16-hour days, construction and last-minute details he'll unveil at 1611 2nd Ave. on Friday night.
Although there will be a well-stocked bar with a variety of beers, wines and other liquor, Hansen said the venue is primarily a cinema.
"We're more of a movie theater, just because of our layout," he said. "It's a movie theater that has its own unique style to cater to people that want to drink and have everything under one roof."
The building which previously housed Glass Impact and, prior to that, the recliner section of Hyman's Furniture, became a theater thanks to some innovative construction. Much of the floor has been taken out, replaced by descending rows of seats that lead to the basement. A 19-by-10 foot screen will be above, with a projector in the back that will be have a back window for patrons to see the operations close up.
"The machinery is really complex, and the film comes on these 5-foot platters,"
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Hansen said. "It's kind of neat to watch, and people can get an idea of the workings."
The movies set for the opening week are "Undercover Brother," a spoof of the blaxploitation movies of the 1970s; and "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a French period film about a mysterious beast laying waste to the countryside.
The only similarities of the two films is the word "Brother" in the titles, and Hansen said he wants to keep that variety going in the movies the Brew & View books.
"We're going to have a balance," he said. "We're going to have two to three movies for each run, and one of them will be independent, one of them will be mainstream."
Movies may run one or two weeks, depending on their popularity, he said.
Hansen has modeled the Quad-Cities Brew & View on a similar venue in Chicago, and is using the same booker to get films here. Hansen is friends with the owner of the Chicago Brew & View, and has learned some of the tricks to make the hybrid successful.
"I'm taking a cue from him as far as what movies go over well, and we'll kind of emulate each other in that way," he said. "He said keep with the fun movies and not the blockbusters.
"Beer can make a bad movie good.
"The big blockbusters like Spider-Man' or Star Wars' might not go over as well, because everybody would have seen it."
He does, however, have hopes of a "Star Wars" marathon later in the year, as well as "Star Trek" and "Evil Dead" marathons.
He also wants to show classic movies, perhaps on Sunday afternoons.
"There's a lot of seniors downtown, and on Sundays I want to show classics like an old Cary Grant movie or something like that, and let the seniors downtown feel like they're part of The District as well," he said.
Hansen envisions opening up the Brew & View for Super Bowl parties or big NASCAR races as well.
There's space in front of the seats for performers, and Hansen said he'll have that later this month for a "Rocky Horror Picture Show" viewing. There are plans to show "The Wizard of Oz" at least twice in November once straight through, and a second time in conjunction with Pink Floyd's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon." Floyd fans say the tempos and moods of the songs on the CD run perfectly in sync with the movie's showings.
He also plans mini-film festivals highlighting everything from director Quentin Tarantino to comedian Adam Sandler to "Cannonball Run" movies to "So bad it's good" flicks to a B-movie round.
In the next few weeks, Hansen said he'll be showing "Austin Powers in Goldmember," Michael Moore's controversial gun documentary "Bowling for Columbine," and the controversial Mexican film "Y Tu Mamá También" ("And Your Mama, Too!"), which did play at Showcase Cinemas in Davenport briefly last spring.
A Brew & View gives a better opportunity to catch foreign or independent movies, he said.
"A lot of times the big theaters yank them before there's too much of a chance," Hansen said.
The decor will be a mixture of movie posters and memorabilia, plants and an industrial look, he said. Either through servers or at the bar, a variety of food guacamole with fruit, "veggie chicken wings" and pizza slices, among others will be served.
Hansen said he's excited about the buzz the Brew & View has received throughout the Quad-Cities even before its opening.
"This is a new concept, and there seems to be a lot of people interested," he said. "I hope we can keep the momentum going."
David Burke can be contacted at (563) 383-2400 or email@example.com.