North Texans have plenty of eat-in movie theater chains but Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, an Austin-based franchise, is about to blow them all out of the water when it opens this Thursday with robot themed movies all day and the premiere of Elysium and We Are the Millers at night.
Though it’s the theater’s programming that draws in movie fanatics and casual viewers alike, showing classics and retro films alongside new release blockbusters in its seven theaters, Alamo doesn’t skimp on quality in its taproom and food service.
With standard movie fare like $6 popcorn, the theater is happy to serve traditional moviegoers. For those looking for a more exciting experience, the Alamo experience, the full menu offers more adventurous meals, like prosciutto and goat cheese sandwiches with your choice of beef, veggie patty, or chicken.
Let’s not forget the bar. With 13 local draft beers on tap and plenty of film-themed cocktails, including the Dude’s White Russian and Silence of the Lamb wine, the Glass Half Full taproom, run by bar manager Dusty Patek, has plenty to offer those who wish to partake.
“You don’t have to be coming to the movie to go to Glass Half Full,” Patek says. “We want it to be a companion to the Alamo, somewhere with live music where you can come, drink, and talk with other people who love movies.”
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All the drinks on the Glass Half Full menu can be ordered in the theater as well, including adult shakes like There Will Be Pretzel, a shake that includes There Will Be Stout, brewed with 6 pounds of sourdough pretzels at Fort Worth’s own Martin House Brewery.
In August, pub life at the Alamo will be in full swing, in honor of the release of the British science fiction comedy, The World’s End. Patek says the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be importing a number of British beers, including Well’s Banana Bread Beer and Fuller’s Extra Special Bitter ale, to serve alongside the month-long special of fish and chips.
While 60% of the menu stays the same in each Alamo around the country, the seasonal food and bar menu will change based on the movie premiere occurring that month.
And stop worrying about interrupting the movie to speak with your server to order, ask for a refill, or complain about a noisy neighbor. The theater uses ordering cards, which are placed in a rail on the thin table in front of your seat, eliminating the need for red indicator lights or any speaking while the film rolls.
If you have any special dietary requirements, make sure to take your seat, whose specific spot can be reserved online in advance, between 20 to 30 minutes early so that you can speak freely with your server before the lights dim. Tickets are usually $10 for movies after 6 p.m. but special events, like Thursday’s showing of the 2009 alien blockbuster, District 9, and Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius are only $2.
If silent movie theaters aren’t your thing (I’m looking at you Rocky Horror Picture Show fans) make sure to check out the theater’s sing-alongs and quote-alongs, which can get pretty rowdy.
Characterized as group karaoke complete with a ball bouncing along the words on the screen, sing-alongs are an Alamo staple and the local theater is offering two in August. Bring your best singing voice and lowered inhibitions to the Top-40 and Semi-Charmed Kind of 90s sing-alongs this month.
With props provided, shouting encouraged, and alcohol flowing freely, the quote-alongs allow movie fans to relive the best parts of their favorites. Also in honor of The World’s End premiere, the final saga in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy, Richardson’s Alamo Drafthouse will be hosting a Shaun of the Dead quote-along. Check their calendar for dates.
Make sure to check out Saturday’s screening of Metropolis, which features live score accompaniment.
Meredith Carey is an editorial intern at D Magazine. She will be a junior at Southern Methodist University with majors in journalism and Spanish.