Austin Welcomes Latest Drafthouse Theater In Grand Fashion
Newest Alamo Drafthouse theater opens to city-wide proclamation...
Fans of both movies and excellent beers had reason to celebrate this Monday as the Alamo Drafthouse officially opened their newest state-of-the-art theater and theme bar in Austin. Nestled in the Lakeline Mall area, both facilities kicked off business Thursday with a party and a special proclamation from an appreciative city government.
With a gathering of family, friends, movie lovers and the assembled press, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League opened the largest theater in his nationwide chain with the pomp and circumstance - and weirdness - befitting a legendary Austin institution. The event culminated with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell declaring July 22nd, 2013 "Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Day." He also filmed a "Don't Talk" spot for the theater, which will play before the start of movies at the Lakeline location.
Clad in a baby blue leisure suit tuxedo and an irrepressible grin, League welcomed the gathering of fans and press as they enjoyed a hearty meal of breakfast tacos and mimosas - the hallmarks of any proper Austin brunch. Tim's wife Keri, who co-founded the Drafthouse, also attended with their twin daughters in-tow.
After a traditional Napoleonic champagne christening of the new theater, the tour began with an introduction to the theater's "Planet of the Apes"-themed lobby, which not only contains vintage posters of the various Apes films and Mondo originals, but also features a 10-foot statue of the Lawgiver, seen in "Battle For the Planet of the Apes." Character artist Greg Nicotero used the original film statue as a mold and only made two copies, League said. One can be found at the theater; the other is in Nicotero's back yard.
Like the new Slaughter Ln. location, the auditoriums for Lakeline's 10 individual screens feature small, personal tables as opposed to the lengthy counter-top tables. All the theaters naturally include Sony 4K digital projectors for extra-crisp picture quality, but there's also a 35mm projector in operation here too -- one of the few theaters in the country that still has one, in fact.
While the Lakeline location will have the same food selections as the other theaters, everything in the kitchen is made from scratch, from the pizza dough to salad dressing to even the burger buns. The menu places a special emphasis on local vendors like Goodseed Burger and and Saint Arnold's root beer, and locally-sourced ingredients are used whenever possible.
The attached bar/restaurant, Glass Half Full, easily pulls off a friendly, neighborhood pub vibe. With so much development in the area, it is sure to become a local watering hole for many residents who aren't looking for a film but still might enjoy a cold one and a bite to eat. The very decent prices can't hurt their chances, either.
All in all, the Drafthouse has yet another winner of a theater on their hands. Put this one on your calendar -- you'll be glad you did.
Photos: Courtesy, Alamo Drafthouse.