I write about Alamo Drafthouse a lot. I am a cinema junkie and they are elite purveyors of my drug of choice. I would sleep there if I could and for eight days out of the year during Fantastic Fest I very nearly do. Twenty months ago, I attended and wrote about the closing of their star location and Fantastic Fest home base, the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse. The amazingly retro strip mall it was a part of was demolished. This made room to build an entirely new, modern complex with a revitalized South Lamar Drafthouse as its star attraction. At long last that new location is open and I was able to attend a tour of it’s first day of business.
South Lamar now features nine screens and seating for up to 975 people. Alamo Drafthouse has been growing; just yesterday they announced that they will soon be coming to Los Angeles. If you love movies and don’t have one yet, hold on, the Drafthouse will be making it’s way across the nation and with each new location they refine their design a little bit. The three Alamo location built in Austin in the last few years have had features in common, theaters with ‘not a bad seat in the house’, no waiting in lines, and an attached unique bar with a large selection of drafts and cocktails. South Lamar has these elements and adds seven karaoke rooms available for rent (I’m linking to their photos of the rooms because I could not get good shots in them). As Alamo Drafthouse becomes a national brand they are also working to become your all-in-one weekend entertain spot for adults.
South Lamar’s official opening is on Saturday the 16th. I went back into my archives and got the photos from the closing night. They are presented on the left while the new South Lamar are on the right so you can get a sense of how far things have come.
The dragon over the doorway is the original entrance to the theaters. The foreground is the three newly added screens.
The original artists returned to paint a new mural. Now the aliens are destroying the old South Lamar.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.