Do you need to see The Room before you see The Disaster Artist? The Vulture consensus seems to be no, the movie stands perfectly fine on its own. But should you decide you need to watch Tommy Wiseau’s opus before checking out the story of its creation, you may find yourself with a very 2017 problem: The Room isn’t streaming anywhere. Not Netflix, not Amazon, not Hulu, not HBO, and certainly not FilmStruck. You can’t rent it on Amazon — though you can buy the DVD there, if you don’t mind waiting for it to come in the mail — or on iTunes. Unless you choose to resort to less-savory ways of obtaining the film (and you wouldn’t do that to poor Tommy Wiseau, would you?), you’ve got no choice but to leave your house in order to experience the wonder and horror that is The Room.
However, I’ve got two pieces of good news for you. The first is that seeing The Room in a theater full of crazy people is really the best possible way to see The Room. (James Franco’s first time was at a Vancouver screening. As he told me, “By the time that screening was over, you could swim in the piles of plastic spoons at the front of the theater.”) The second bit of good news is that The Room has screened more or less continuously since its release in 2003, and even more showings have popped up because of The Disaster Artist, mostly at Landmark and Alamo Drafthouse theaters. In New York, it’s playing at late-night showings at the Landmark Sunshine for the next few Fridays and Saturdays. In Los Angeles, the Landmark Regent near UCLA is doing the same thing, and if you’ve got an early bedtime there are also two more reasonably timed screenings at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on December 9.
But if you’re going to see The Room, I strongly suggest going to one of the screenings where Wiseau himself will be in attendance. It’s the closest experience you’ll ever have to going to a Trump rally, only here, the fame-hungry middle-aged man whose cult of personality you’ve chosen to join is relatively harmless. The director will be at this weekend’s Room screenings at the Landmark Regent, before heading to the Landmark Sunshine the weekend of January 12.
The movie’s official website has what’s ostensibly a complete guide to Room screenings around the globe. However, the site is a 2000s-era creation that’s about as confusing as the film itself. Here’s our best attempt to summarize the film’s screening schedule in a more legible fashion. A rep for The Disaster Artist also says that A24 will likely plan more Room screenings in January.
Atlanta: The Plaza Theater starting November 30.
Boston: The Coolidge Corner Theater on December 15, with a special appearance by Greg Sestero.
Chicago: Music Box Theater on December 1 and 8.
Dallas: Inwood Theater on December 8 and 9, 15 and 16, and 29 and 30.
Denver: Alamo Drafthouse on November 30 and December 2.
Detroit: Main Art Theater on December 1 and 2, 15 and 16, and January 5 and 6.
Houston: Alamo Drafthouse on November 30, with a special appearance by Greg Sestero.
London (U.K.): The Prince Charles Cinema on December 29.
Miami: Coral Gables Art Cinema on December 1 and 2.
Milwaukee: The Oriental Theater on December 16.
Minneapolis: Uptown Theater on December 8, 9, and 29.
Newcastle (U.K.): The Tyneside Theater on December 8, a double bill with The Disaster Artist.
New Orleans: The Prytania Theater on December 1 and 2.
Orange County, California: The Frida Cinema on December 15.
Philadelphia: The Ritz at the Bourse on December 8.
Phoenix: Filmbar on December 2, 22, and 29.
Raleigh: The Kings Theater on November 30. ($1 off if you dress as Tommy Wiseau.)
San Diego: Ken Cinema, the first Saturday of each month.
San Francisco: The Clay Theater on December 8 and 9.
Saskatoon (Canada): The Roxy Theater on December 15.
Seattle: Central Cinema on November 30.
Southhampton (U.K.): Harbour Lights on December 8, a double bill with The Disaster Artist.
Springfield, Missouri: Alamo Drafthouse, November 30.
St. Louis: The Tivoli Theater, December 1 and 2, and 15 and 16.
Washington, D.C.: E Street Cinema, the second Friday and Saturday of every month.