A theater chain that serves restaurant food, craft beers, fine wines and other cocktails to people while they’re watching movies is coming to St. Louis.
“We’re excited to become a part of the St. Louis film community at large, as well as a part of the vibrant City Foundry STL project,” stated company founder and CEO Tim League. “We’ll soon be hiring a St. Louis team to bring our mix of blockbusters, indies, foreign films, documentaries and classic movies to the neighborhood.”
The location will include a 10-screen movie theater with more than 900 recliners and a full-service bar and restaurant with 48 craft beers on tap.
“Guests order all food and drinks from servers who quietly attend to them throughout the movie from inside the theater,” the press release stated.
The chain, based in Austin, Texas, also is known for strict rules that require moviegoers to follow proper theater etiquette.
“We have zero tolerance for talking or cellphone use of any kind during movies, and we aren’t afraid to kick anyone rude enough to start texting their friends during a show right out of the theater,” according to its website. “We also hate it when other movie theaters make you watch advertisements after you’ve already paid to see the movie, so we’re vigilant about never letting ads hit our screens.”
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 in a former Austin parking garage by League and his wife, Karrie, who loved to eat and drink beer while watching movies.
“The first theater was a fairly simple, one-screen operation that initially featured second-run titles at discount rates, but the Leagues’s passion for programming quickly soared past the standard repertory theater midnight fare,” according to a company history.
The theater caught the eye of big names in the local film industry and later Hollywood. It began hosting premieres and visiting filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, who held five-day marathon screenings of classic exploitation titles from his personal collection.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema now has 29 company-owned theaters and franchises in the United States, mostly in Texas, but also in Virginia, New York, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Arizona and Springfield, Missouri, and it’s preparing to open more.
Alamo Drafthouse St. Louis will showcase new releases, special events and the company’s “unique take on repertory programming,” according to the press release.
“Each theater will be equipped with top-of-the-line, digital 4K projection and dynamic surround-sound, and fully outfitted with luxury recliners equipped with footrests, ensuring every seat in the house offers a viewing experience of unparalleled comfort. (The location) will also feature a premium large-format theater showcasing the very best presentation available today, including Dolby Atmos sound technology.
“Continuing the company’s commitment to preserving film, Alamo Drafthouse St. Louis will also feature 35mm changeover projection so that both classic films and new releases can be experienced in glorious celluloid.”
The new location will host special events, such as movie-themed parties (“Elf,” “Princess Bride,” “Ghostbusters,” etc.) and a Kids Camp that raises money for local schools and non-profits.