The Alamo Drafthouse has a new Austin location and boy, is it a circus. We mean that in a good way!
Located at the Mueller development, this new locale features six theaters (ranging in size from 45 to 140 seats), a family fun space (which transitions into a bar during evening hours), not one but TWO permanent photo ops, and so much more. And don’t let the lack of street parking in Mueller frighten you away. Garage parking at the complex is free for up to four hours (with validation, of course).
There’s so much to see and admire that we could think of only one way to fully prep you for the experience. Here are the top 10 reasons we love the Alamo Drafthouse at Mueller.
1. The Fun House Theme
From the décor to the menu items, the carnival theme is in full effect at the Barrel O’ Fun. Guests can sit in carnival ride booths, snap pics in the fun house mirrors, and even play games like a basket toss. Meanwhile, the menu features circus themed items like carnival dogs, big top mac and cheese, and lots and lots of home-made sodas, egg-creams, and cookies (more varieties that any other Drafthouse).
2. The Transitional Bar
During the day, it may be the Barrel O’ Fun, but at night, the space turns into the Bar O’ Fun. The R-E-L in the lighted sign will even dim once evening hours begin. At that time, the game boards will be lifted to reveal a full bar, featuring many local favorites on tap.
3. The Functional Space
The bar isn’t the only change guests will see in the evening. The lighting drops to reveal a slight black-light creepiness to the artwork and the tables in the center of the room may be wheeled out, making room for a full dance floor in front of the stage.
4. The Attention to Detail
While the upstairs theaters don’t have a circus theme, the details are just as complex and well planned. The film reels on the staircase are original Goldberg reels and Mondo prints and French/ Italian one-sheets from the 50s and 60s grace the halls. The neon signs highlighting the theaters are by Neon Jungle’s Evan Voyles, who created the original Alamo sign. Even the red circles of the carpet are specifically placed. Try stepping only in those areas when making your way back to the lobby.
5. The Focus on Family
The carpet brings us to one of the biggest triumphs of this Alamo location — its focus on family. Kids and teens will take center stage at the Mueller complex, which makes total sense with The Thinkery nearby. Family and all-ages events will include karaoke, video gaming, robotics demonstrations, trivia and, of course, the themed parties the Drafthouse is known for. Programming kicks off on March 25 with Beauty and the Beast (tickets on sale now).
6. The Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
Following the transgender bathroom debate last year, Drafthouse founder Tim League stated that he did not want any men or women bathroom signs in the building. So, he and architect Richard Weiss developed a new bathroom design, with the help of the Drafthouse’s loyal Facebook community. The result is multiple individual stalls with toilets, one larger room with urinals, and a community trough style hand washing station. There are also two ADA/family rooms on the theater level.
7. The Community Involvement
With Dell Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House right around the corner and The Thinkery across the way, it makes perfect sense that the theater develop partnerships with its neighbors. Especially since the focus of this locale is family. Whether it’s providing vouchers and tickets for staff, free movies for families staying at the RMH, or creating innovative programming for parents (ie. dropping the kids at a chaperoned event at The Thinkery while enjoying quiet time together at the theater), the Drafthouse is all about developing a community and making sure we keep growing together.
8. The Photo Ops
We’ve come to expect an awesome photo op from the Alamo Drafthouse, and the permanent installation at the Mueller locale does not disappoint. In addition to having a close encounter, you can pose beside a “Greetings from the Alamo Drafthouse,” postcard, created by Blue Genie Industries.
9. The Foot Rests
So, the front row sucks, right? Not anymore. The first row in these theaters features a motorized foot rest to make front row seats, perhaps, the best seat in the house. All seats in these theaters are plush and come equipped with private tables, making it easier to get in and out without disturbing your neighbor.
10. The Love for Movies
Nobody gives you a movie going experience like Alamo Drafthouse. Every new location just keeps getting bigger and better. Because, besides having a love affair with movies, the Alamo Drafthouse motto is, “Never be satisfied.” We can’t wait to see what they try, and they try, and they try next. But, in the meantime, we’re more than satisfied with the Mueller location.
The Alamo Drafthouse at Mueller opens to the public on March 9.
All photos by ATXgossip
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