“While You Were Sleeping”

“While You Were Sleeping”

Photo-Video credit: Brendan Kownacki

“We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive…today is our Independence Day” — these were the words of Bill Pullman as President Thomas Whitmore right before the climactic battle with aliens in the 1996 action blockbuster Independence Day. The actor himself could never have imagined that his role would be immortalized with a statue due to the enduring appeal of the sci-fi hit.

Unveiling of the Pullman statue with Tim League

Pullman, who has also appeared in such films as Spaceballs and While You Were Sleeping, was in Northeast DC last week to unveil the statue at the opening of the new Alamo Drafthouse. The 9-screen, 873 seat theater is the company’s first location in the District itself. Among the 9 screens is a 66 foot across screen, nicknamed the Big Show, which is the largest commercial movie screen in DC and boasts Dolby Atmos audio that blares through 76 speakers to create a truly interactive movie experience.

Like all Alamo Drafthouses, the location has luxury reclining seats and full-service food and beverage options to take part in during movies. The bar includes a themed bar called the Highbinder and the lobby features a special exhibit featuring a Hall of Presidents (portraits of presidential characters from films) and this is home of the Bill Pullman statue. The gallery features portraits of Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman and more.

Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League was on hand to unveil the statue with his special guest, and the team did a special saber opening of a bottle of champagne, which has become a tradition in the company for each new location.

“Mel Brooks in Spaceballs taught me the value of merchandising” said Pullman as he stood beneath the statue he inspired, joking that it would be available for purchase. He called the dedication “a real treat.”

The new Alamo Drafthouse can be found at 630 Rhode Island Ave NE in the Bryant Street NE development, with new screenings popping up weekly.

Bill Pullman spoke with Hollywood on the Potomac about his iconic role, see what he had to say here: