The bus shakes and bounces along a Denver street, carrying 45 souls in its belly, almost all of whom are smoking joints, drinking Tequila Zombies, eating chocolate-covered bananas and keeping an eye on the bearded man at the back of the bus, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. The Association’s “Never My Love” is playing on the stereo, which, along with the drinks and sweets, is a reference to Anderson’s latest film, Inherent Vice, which we will be treated to the Denver premier of later tonight. First, though, we are here to soak up the hospitality of our hosts, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and gush over one of the greatest directors of our generation.
Following our state’s legalization of marijuana, Denver has become a destination point for Hollywood stars looking to host promotional parties for their films. Last December, cannabis-loving comedian Seth Rogen attempted to host a smoke-filled screening of his film The Interview in a Denver theater (this was before the Sony hack), but city officials intervened and no marijuana was consumed at the event. The Alamo Drafthouse would run into the same dilemma if they tried to allow cannabis consumption in their theaters, and that’s why we’re on a party bus.