Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the great food-and-drink-meets-movies exhibition chain, will finally throw its doors open next year in downtown Los Angeles’ The Bloc, a 1.8 million foot open-air retail-entertainment-sports center.
Alamo will have a 12-screen multiplex in the space, each with 4K digital projection, 3D and 35MM projection. One of Alamo’s novelties is that the front rows of each auditorium have been pulled out so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Alamo Downtown will also have locally inspired and sourced food and drink on the menu. The Alamo has a truly serious menu, one that will no doubt challenge other premium venues in town to step up their concession offerings, i.e. Arclight Cinemas and The Landmark. While it has been known for some time that Alamo was coming to L.A., the Bloc is nearing the end of its $180M renovations.
Out of all the major exhibitor chains in the United States, Alamo arguably has the hippest vibe, embracing classic and cult films and filmmakers, and above all charging an economically-priced ticket. Anecdotally, a Tuesday evening showtime of A24’s Free Fire at Alamo’s Yonkers, NY venue cost only $9, plus they serve a bottomless bucket of popcorn for $8. Inside the Yonkers’ lobby there was a huge metal missile against a bird’s eye sky view of a city, splashed against the wall, so that patrons could take photos and recreate the Slim Pickens scene out of Doctor Strangelove. There were also fan art-posters galore of such films as Terminator, Alien and Star Wars, and the quiet pre-show featured clips from other shoot-out movies that inspired Ben Wheatley during Free Fire, i.e. Django Unchained , Dirty Harry and The Wild Bunch. Last weekend, Alamo hosted sold-out all-female screenings of Wonder Woman which stirred up some cavemen.