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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Community members push to rename alley after award-winning film

A+scene+from+Boyhood+%282014%29+shot+in+San+Marcos+in+front+of+the+Hays+County+Courthouse.

A scene from “Boyhood” (2014) shot in San Marcos in front of the Hays County Courthouse.

There’s potential in an unnamed street that sits between the east 100 block of San Antonio Street and East MLK Drive, right across from the Hays County Courthouse. To some, it’s nothing but another backstreet but for others, it’s a street of history, art and a celebration of an award-winning film.
Boyhood Alley got its nickname during a film screening at the Lost River Film Fest in 2018. The moniker is a reference to the 2014 movie “Boyhood” about a boy who grows up in Texas. A scene from the film, a pivotal moment for the main protagonist Mason, was filmed in the unnamed alleyway and features the Hays County Courthouse in the background.
“That’s the first time the alley had ever received that name, even though it was never officially named that,” said Jordan Buckley, the director of the Lost River Film Fest.
Buckley, along with the San Marcos Cinema Club, was the first one to coin the name Boyhood Alley during the 2018 Lost River Film Fest to let people know the meeting location of a film screening.
Since then, the name has stuck. Recently, local film buffs have begun an endeavor to officially designate the backstreet and commemorate San Marcos’ contribution to film.
Written and directed by Richard Linklater, the movie follows Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, as he grows up in Texas and navigates life with his divorced parents and older sister.
“Boyhood” production began in 2002 and finished in 2013, authentically documenting the lives of its characters in real-time, something that had rarely if not ever been done before. Once the film was released in 2014, it took the world by storm, winning a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama in 2015 and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2015 for Patricia Arquette’s role as Olivia Evans, the main character’s mother.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and his executive assistant Anita Collins immediately supported Buckley when they pitched the idea to name the alley after “Boyhood” in June. Together they asked the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Association and the San Marcos Main Street Board of Directors to join them in their efforts to recognize the alley as a significant landmark of cinema.
“Everybody was excited that this could bring in tourism of film locations around San Marcos, bring in people to see our city and just adds another perk to San Marcos as well,” Collins said.
Collins, who is also a screenwriter, became familiar with the film industry when she would go on movie sets with her daughter who was formally an actress. She said that film is something special that helps to tell stories like the one in “Boyhood,” a film Collins said does a great job telling the story of growing up and finding yourself.
“‘Boyhood’ is one of those very unique ways of telling a story given the amount of time Linklater chose to film it,” Collins said. “We watch this child grow up and it’s so special.”
She admits it has been a challenge to submit the proposal because the city has never had to name an unnamed alleyway before. She, Becerra and Buckley were confident when submitting the proposal knowing that the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Downtown Association stood with the idea of making Boyhood Alley official.
It was up to the Main Street Board to make it official. Ultimately, they did not support the idea but Buckley is hopeful for the board’s next vote on Sept. 20.
“I’m hopeful that others in city leadership would seize this opportunity to show San Marcos’ involvement in such an astonishingly important film which is ‘Boyhood,'” Buckley said.
In addition to inspiring tomorrow’s filmmakers and recognizing Linklater’s film, Buckley sees the naming of the alley as an opportunity for tourism as well as support for local businesses. Buckley said that with Boyhood Alley, there’s potential for film tours through downtown San Marcos and for tourists to check out what San Marcos is all about through its local restaurants, shops and culture.
“I can imagine the Texas Film Commission would put San Marcos on the map for people to see where ‘Boyhood’ was shot,” Buckley said. “While tourists are here, they can enjoy downtown businesses and get to know our city.”
John Fleming, dean of the Texas State College of Fine Arts and Communication, who previously worked with Buckley on the Lost River Film Fest, has been outwardly supportive of Boyhood Alley,. He even sent a letter to San Marcos City Council to express his support for both Boyhood Alley and the arts.
With a drastic rise in theater enrollment at Texas State over the years and the opening of Live Oak Hall, a new film and television building on campus, Fleming saw that Boyhood Alley could be something special.
“Texas State and San Marcos go hand in hand,” Fleming said. “Naming the alley [after] ‘Boyhood’ would celebrate both San Marcos’ film-making legacy and its blossoming film-making future.”
If the resolution passes for the naming of Boyhood Alley on Sept. 20, the Lost River Film Fest would like to celebrate on the opening night of the festival with a ribbon-cutting for the official naming of the alley. In addition, there will be a screening of another Linklater San Marcos shot film “Everybody Wants Some!!” and potentially a visit to the alley from the self-taught writer and director in the near future.
The Lost River Film Fest will take place from Oct. 20-23, 2022. For more information, visit https://www.thelostriverfilmfest.org/.

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