North Texans now have two more options for watching movies on the big screen as Alamo Drafthouse begins to reopen its locations across the region and a new drive-in theater, Rooftop Cinema Club, arrives in Uptown.
Alamo Drafthouse is opening half its nationwide locations within the next two weeks. The Austin-based chain is starting with the Lake Highlands location, which opened today. Alamo theaters in the Cedars and Richardson will follow on Monday, Denton will open on Tuesday, and Las Colinas will return Wednesday. You can reserve a seat for the show now, but you should know that Texas’ favorite movie theater will be operating a little differently in the era of COVID-19.
Alamo Drafthouse now requires guests to order all food and drink online with the ticket purchase–there will be no more in-theater ordering cards–and the business will be operating cashless for the time being. Masks are required, and the theater will be placing two “buffer seats” between each party to abide by the six-foot distancing rule. All employees will undergo temperature and wellness checks everyday, and some locations will also be testing guests’ temperature as they enter the theater.
Along with these changes, the chain is introducing a private theater experience, Your Private Alamo, in the coming weeks. For $150, families and groups of up to 30 people can rent out an entire theater for a more intimate (and safe) trip to the movies. You also have to spend at least $150 on food and drinks between the group. There’s a similar service available at the Angelika for gamers–up to 10 guests can rent out an entire theater for two hours at $200 (games and gaming systems not included).
Even with new COVID-19 safety measures in the theaters, entering a closed building poses a larger risk than outdoor activities. So, you can expect the drive-in movie trend to keep going strong as long as the virus lingers. Luckily, there’s a new drive-in theater coming to the heart of Dallas next week.
Rooftop Cinema Club, a chain with locations in New York, London, LA, San Antonio, and Houston, will open its first Dallas location at The Central (a new development near Uptown) on August 25. The theater will have a 52-foot screen with skyline views. You get your audio provided through an FM radio transmitter. The experience is completely contactless, with ticket and concession sales conducted online. Tickets range from $22-35 per car, with cheaper tickets for late night showings Sunday-Thursday. Food and drinks are available for purchase, but guests are allowed to bring their own snacks, too.
Rooftop Cinema will christen its new Dallas location with a double feature of Grease and Raiders of the Lost Ark on Tuesday, its opening day. So far, all of the movies on the calendar are old releases–either big hits from the last few years like Bohemian Rhapsody or new classics like Dazed and Confused and Friday. You can browse the schedule and purchase tickets here.
For more recommendations on where to find outdoor cinema, check out our list of drive-in theaters in DFW.