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Alamo Drafthouse:
A Film, Food Nexus In Phoenix

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The Alamo Drafthouse shows first-run and classic movies, serves food, and as it’s name says, it also serves beer and cocktails.
Image courtesy Alamo Drafthouse.
Austin, Texas based theater chain hits Arizona with promises of first-run and classic films blended with a first-class theater experience, and topped off by food, drink and fun

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 6, 2016 - In many ways, going to the movies isn’t what it used to be.

For one thing, it is much more expensive, which makes it difficult for many to justify the expense. Not only that, but viewing movies in the comfort of your own home is also easier than ever, so if exercising patience isn’t an issue, that may be the way to go for many.

At the same time, many movie theaters have stepped up their game and offered more comfortable seating, better food and full-service. These new-age theaters are like a restaurant and bar where you can also watch a movie. Cinemark and AMC, as well as Studio Movie Grill in Scottsdale, have brought these types of experiences to Arizona.

But now, the pioneer of these unique movie-going experiences, The Alamo Drafthouse, is invading the Phoenix Metro (PhoeTro), with the first location opening up in Chandler last week.

So what is the Alamo Drafthouse, exactly? Launched in 1997, the chain prioritizes the experience of going to a movie above all else. There are 22 locations across eight states with plans for continued expansion. The chain has a national reputation for enforcing ‘cinema-going etiquette.’ That includes kicking people out who use their cell phones during the movie, something other theaters won’t do. Not only that, but in addition to showing new movies, the chain also shows plenty of classics and specialty screenings, which allows movie fans the chance to see those movies on the big screen.

"For most metro-Phoenix residents, this is the first they're learning or hearing about Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, so it's really exciting to introduce what we, as a company of true film lovers, are all about," says Chandler Creative Manager Lauren Knight. "From black and white classics to new restorations to interactive movie parties to the weird and wonderful, we'll have something for everyone."

There is something really unique about the Alamo Drafthouse experience. Yes, other theaters will sell you a beer, but there is something very genuine feeling about what Alamo does. There is a sense of dedication and caring. From their “Weird Wednesday” presentations to their Movie Party presentations, going to see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse is more than just your average day at the movies.

Tickets are typically in the $10 range for a new release, and typically $5 for older films or the “parties.” Then, once you’re inside, there are, “30 beers on tap in addition to a full selection of handcrafted cocktails, bottled beers, soft drinks and award-winning milkshakes,” according to the website. Meals are usually in the $8 to $13 range — and that’s appetizers, to pizza, brunch and sandwiches.

The new Alamo Drafthouse is located at at 4955 S. Arizona Ave., at Chandler Crossings. All movies at the theater are 18 and up, but 6 years and over with a parent or legal guardian. No one under 6 is admitted, which takes care of the potential crying baby problem, but could be an issue for those with small children. In any case, for those in attendance, it tends to work out for the better. To check out a full list of showtimes and for more information, visit drafthouse.com/phoenix.

Ryan Scott is a freelance writer currently living in Austin, Texas.
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