Friday, November 6, 2015
Tonight I had my first experience at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema. I say cinema because it is so much more than a movie theater. Located in a historic downtown building, the Alamo feels like a grown up theater before you even walk inside. I felt a bit under dressed in my jeans and Hannibal Lecter t-shirt. Once you walk through the door, the decor transports you to a different place. The kind of place that you only really see in the movies. Most movie theaters are dirty, loud, the employees look bored. This is not the case at the Alamo Drafthouse. Stepping inside we were greeted by the sounds of live music from the attached bar, The Chesterfield. This made we wish we had come earlier because the band sounded great and I would have loved to hear more. At a normal theater, when you approach the counter to buy a ticket, you tell the clerk what movie you want to see then they take your money hand you a ticket and you go into the theater and sit down. At the Drafthouse, you approach the counter and tell the clerk what you want to see and they show you a diagram of the theater. Available seats are pointed out as if you were buying tickets to a concert or sporting event. After selecting a seat your ticket lists your row and seat number. The seats here are very comfortable with plenty of leg room. In addition to the attached bar, food and beverages (both adult and regular) are served at your seat both before and during the show. The ordering and delivery system is very efficient and unobtrusive. Even when ordering drinks during the film or when the check is being delivered, you hardly notice the servers. The Alamo features signature dishes and drinks inspired by the films it shows or that are coming soon. This meant that I was able to enjoy the latest James Bond film while sipping Bond's (current) signature cocktail, the Vesper. A wonderful and exciting part of seeing a film at the Alamo Drafthouse is the way they tailor their preshow entertainment to the film being shown. I saw some very interesting clips and trailers while awaiting my feature. The best part about seeing movies here is the no tolerance policy on talking and cellphones. Talking in the movies has always been one of my top three all time pet peeves. At the Alamo if you are talking or texting or otherwise being disruptive and a patron complains, you will be given one warning. If a second complaint is received, you are removed from the theater. Period. This policy also extends to another disruptive behavior, late arrivals. Usually, when you are watching a movie, people come in late, they stand in front of you talking about where to sit or trying to find their friends. The Alamo won't admit late arrivals. Once the show has started you are out of luck. All of these things make for a peaceful and very pleasant movie going experience. I hope I am able to return soon.