The Lovely Soiree at the Bottle Rocket Motel is tomorrow, 26 July. To book a room, call the Days Inn Hillsboro directly at 254-582-3493. The event includes an outdoor screening of Bottle Rocket, cool stuff to take home, Fresh Tamales and more on sale from North of the Border, Wes Anderson-themed party rooms, lifelong friendship, and more.
We recently sat down with our pals the Reservoir Geeks to talk about their brainchild.
[Preface from Andy: “The backstory to the whole event is that when I had just started a job, back in May 2011, I didn’t have any money to spare for a birthday gift for Chris. I knew that I would be getting more steady paychecks later in the summer and told him that we would have a good ol’ fashioned drunken guys night in room 212 at the Bottle Rocket Motel. Well, as it would turn out, online all the rooms were booked. I found this odd since Hillsboro is not the most happening place. I called Days-Inn directly and they informed me that the franchise fee had not been paid and that the first things taken away was the internet reservations (genius, I know). I was able to get the motel’s direct number and talked to the owner, Bina, who informed me of their recent problems and fears of closing. I called Chris immediately and asked if he would mind if we tried making a little event out of it. Honestly we expected some of our friends to show up and possibly some other fans but our fate for success was sealed when I tweeted y’all there at Rushmore Academy and you got the ball rolling. The rest is pretty much history and it’s in huge part thanks to you guys!”]
RA: What was it about this place, a Days Inn off of I-35, that brings you so much joy? What inspired you to save it?
CHRIS: Even though the paint scheme is a little different and some things have been moved around as soon as you step onto the property at the Bottle Rocket Motel it’s like stepping into one of Wes Anderson’s films. Not just a film set, but the actual place in that moment you’ve seen on screen so many times. Walking the breezeway at night feels just like you would picture it did when the boys discuss Bob’s situation with his brother right before he makes off in his car. It’s the same as when you step out of your room barefoot in the morning and look out over the railing and can’t help but mutter to yourself “Bob’s gone. He stole his car.” With some films the sets get destroyed or broken down, but the Bottle Rocket Motel lives on. That world still exists.
ANDY: You know, when I was a teen I saw the motel coming and going to visit my grandparents in San Antonio and always thought that it looked eerily familiar. Luckily on one trip back we needed gas and my folks stopped at the gas station right there. I said I was going to walk over and take a look at the hotel and while walking through the lower center hallway I unveiled itself to me. The closer I got to the pool the more the sides of the hallway seemed to open like a cinder block curtain. There it was; the pool, the red doors, the open field. All canopied by the beautiful Texas sky. The Bottle Rocket Motel will always be like that in my mind. Sorta like when you think of your parents and their always young like when you were a kid.
RA: Favorite Wes Anderson films in order, go.
CHRIS: Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, Grand Budapest Hotel, Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom.
ANDY: This is a hard one and quite confusing, but stay with me here. Bottle Rocket is and, since 1996, has always been my absolute favorite film, EVER. That being said, since it was Wes Anderson’s first film it lacks a lot of the Wes Anderson trademarks, thus my list… Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, Grand Budapest Hotel, Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Life Aquatic.
RA: What has most surprised you, hosting the Lovely Soiree for the past 4 years?
CHRIS: The most surprising part of these last 4 years…is that it’s lasted 4 years! I never would have imagined so many people would be into this idea let alone be willing to make the trek out for multiple years. I am most amazed at how close we have all become and how many friendships were born out of this event. It’s like grown up geek summer camp!
ANDY: I agree with Chris, the friendships made from this thing have been amazing. The most surprising thing to me is that this is the thing that took off for us. We’ve been friends for years and always wanted to work on something awesome together but this thing is what did it. It started off as a low cost birthday gift and grew into this. It’s amazing. Now we are not only connected with all these really cool and interesting people but we have had the opportunity to work and get to know people like y’all. I’ve been a HUGE Rushmore Academy fan for years and never would I imagine that one day I would be able to attribute so much of something I do you you guys. That is mind blowing.
RA: What do you boys do when you are not saving motels?
CHRIS: I, Chris, am a photographer by trade. I also dabble in cinematography, art, and graphic design. I spend way too much time adding things to my Netflix queue.
ANDY: My job is boring and the equivalent to paving a cul-de-sac. What I do when not doing that is raise a female clone of myself. The greatest thing I have ever done is being a father. She is the light of my life and if I saved a million motels it would not compare to the pride I feel when I look in that kids eyes. However, now that she is reaching those teenage years… I like to watch movies a lot.
RA: How did an asshole like Bob get such a great kitchen?
CHRIS: I think Bob got a great kitchen through no work of his own. No amount of spirit awards can buy a kitchen like that. That’s what makes Bob an asshole.
ANDY: I like to think that it’s from all that sweet, sweet marijuana selling he’s been doing but in the end I will have to concur with Durby, Bob and Futureman are both children of excess. Their both assholes.
RA: Anything you want to add?
CHRIS: We would just like to say thanks for all your help in getting this thing off the ground. It wouldn’t be what it is today without the help of the Rushmore Academy.
ANDY: Definitely thanks to you guys. Y’all were the first ones on board and getting the word out there for us. For that we are eternally grateful. We have agreed that if either of us have a son we will name him Rushmore Academy and whoever’s last name. But thanks, sincerely. We love you guys.