Directed by: Brenda Greene Mitchell & Sam Wainwright Douglas

HONKY TONK HEAVEN is a feature-length documentary that takes a look at the Broken Spoke, a legendary dance hall and local landmark in Austin, and about the significance it holds in Texas’ cultural history.

The film centers around cowboy hat, boot-wearing proprietor, James White, and his family as they strive to maintain their renowned neighborhood dance hall in a rapidly urbanizing city.  James White, master storyteller, jokester and musician himself, navigates us through the past 50 years of colorful nights at the Spoke. HONKY TONK HEAVEN features interviews with musicians who got their start there, as well as those with a current regular nightly gig. As the film tours the history of the Broken Spoke through interviews and archival materials, it becomes clear that the times they are a-changin’. Condominium and mixed-use developments now frame the Broken Spoke, once surrounded by dirt lots. James’ family along with their customers and musicians voice their frustrations with the changes and their fear that the Spoke will be swallowed up. Optimism and a good sense of humor ultimately prevail as the Broken Spoke keeps its doors open… but for how long? 


HONKY TONK HEAVEN is a fiscally sponsored project of the Austin Film Society. You can make a donation to this project using the form below. You will receive a letter acknowledging your gift to the Austin Film Society on behalf on the project. Since AFS is a non-profit organization, your donation may be deducted from your taxes as a charitable contribution under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.

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