Alamo Drafthouse: Why the Obsession?

by Alysha Kaye on July 2, 2015 in Entertainment, Film, Food+Drink, Living Texas, Austin,
Alamo Drafthouse

It’s no secret—Texans are OBSESSED with Alamo Drafthouse. They always have been and they always will be. But…why?

I set out to uncover the big secret of the Drafthouse phenomenon by polling some friends thinking it can’t just be the food and drinks, right? That seemed way too simple. If you somehow haven’t been to Alamo, your movie can be enjoyed with a full-service bar and brunch-lunch-dinner menu! All you have to do is write your order on a slip of paper and waiters come around to pick them up throughout the film.FullSizeRender_2But as it turns out, that IS the only reason for some people, like Jennifer Martinez, my former co-teacher, who said, “Who doesn’t like sitting in a comfy chair, with a cold drink and some good food? Comfort of your living room, but luxury of a big screen.” I guess I did forget about the chairs—they’re definitely more plush than regular theater seats.

My friend Sara Thompson refuses to go to any other theater. Her main reason? The Shiner Bock honey mustard, the beer and the lack of children. Yes, that’s right, the mustard. I never thought about the lack of children, but she’s right. I’m not sure if it’s because alcohol is served, the slightly steeper prices or just the general marketing techniques—but Drafthouse is definitely not known for being a place to take the kids.FullSizeRender_4 (2)“Plus,” Sara added, “their Action Packs are amazing. The patrons seem more movie-savvy and respectful and fun depending on the mood of the show.” Action Packs are interactive screenings and cinematic events like quote-alongs, sing-alongs and dinner parties. Currently, Drafthouse is hosting a Justin Timberlake sing-along!

For others, like another friend of mine, Sandra Zills, the love for Drafthouse revolves around their strict rules. “I love their no talking policy. I can enjoy the movie without having to listen to someone talk through the entire thing,” she said. Drafthouse plays a clip before every movie encouraging everyone to write any complaints they have about their neighbors on the order slips. Too much talking or texting next to you? A manager will kick them out of the theater. Seriously. Sandra added, “Also, that Royal Burger with cheese though.”FullSizeRenderThen there are the bars attached to the theaters. I almost forgot about these “attractions” until my neighbor Brian Lancaster listed them as the reasons he loves Drafthouse. “They host lots of stuff there—but I go for Geeks Who Drink trivia!” he said.

So there you have it—mystery solved? I guess the truth is, everybody loves Alamo Drafthouse for different reasons. If I’m being honest, there are really only two reasons I like to go there: 1. They play cool clips before the movie that are somehow related to what you’re about to watch (for example, before Pitch Perfect 2, they played some awesome a capella clips) and 2. The freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, duh.

By Alysha Kaye