Friday, May 2, 2014

Alamo Drafthouse --- Movie Theater Ryview

It's time for my first non-video game ryview!

This won't necessarily be a regular occurrence (as this is supposed to be a video game blog) but I saw The Amazing Spider Man 2 last night in an early showing at Alamo Drafthouse and I feel compelled to review both the theater and the movie.

Read my review of The Amazing Spider 2 here.

Alamo Drafthouse is an amazing fun movie experience. For the uninitiated, Alamo Drafthouse is a mixture between a movie theater and a bar and grill. You see the movie in comfort and style, sitting in comfortable chairs with a nice table and access to a full bar. You also have a full bar and grill style menu (which still has popcorn) so you can eat while you watch the movie.

However, the restaurant/movie theater crossover is not it's only pulling factor. Except for rare showing where it is expressly stated to the contrary, no children under 6 are permitted. Period. And anyone under 18 must be escorted by a parent, not matter what kind of move it is. It's fantastic for a young adult like me who can't stand talkative children in movie theaters. And along those lines, there's a very strict no talking or texting policy. You get one warning, then you're ejected from the theater. I've never personally seen anyone removed from a theater, but I don't think I've ever been disrupted during a movie at the Alamo, so I'd say the system works.

And the fun doesn't stop there. Before every showing (for 30-45 minutes) they have a preshow, with relevant clips from usually classic or retro things. Seeing Spider Man, they were showing a bunch of old cartoon moments from the 60s, a few old commercials with Spider Man, and a smattering of old Spider Man related material. They even showed the ad where Spider Man tells you to vote (which was on the Pryde of the X-men VHS I owned as a child)!

Pryde of the X-men - Promoting an Australian Wolverine before Hugh Jackman made it cool!

They also have quote along and sing along nights, where they provide you with fancy props and goodies. For The Princess Bride Quote along, they gave us blow up swords, among other things. And for The Amazing Spider Man 2, they had a Super Nintendo set up outside the theater entrance with classic Iron Man and Spiderman games to play, and there were giving away classic trading cards (like the 1993 Marvel Masterpiece collection, of which I owned dozens of growing up).

The only downside to the theater is that it isn't the classic movie theater experience. There's no suspect candy in nice boxes, no tub o' popcorn, no paper-y soda cup. You get popcorn in a nice bowl and soda is a standard restaurant cup (although 3 times the size of any other cup I've seen). So, if you want the classic experience, this really can't offer that. However, if you like a more upscale experience with nice staff and some awesome perks, this is the best movie outing you'll ever have.

So, I don't think I can really assign a number rating to this review, but rest assured, I recommend anyone living near an Alamo Drafthouse to try it out. If you don't live near one, find one and get there. It's worth it.

Until next time,


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