WHAT: Nine screens and 800 seats of indie movie goodness are coming your way, Los Angeles. Alamo Drafthouse will open its first California location in downtown L.A., hopefully by the end of 2015. As a bonus it’ll have its own craft beer bar. That means you can crack open a cold one during that screenings, like they do in civilized countries.
The move had been in the works for a while although according to early rumors the company was looking for a home in downtown’s Historic Core neighborhood. Instead, it’ll be at the Bloc, a luxe development at 7th and Flower. The mixed-use complex will include above-ground and underground areas filled with “artisanal retailers and restaurateurs” as well as a Macy’s; Alamo will be located next to the department store.
If your impression of indie and second-run movie theaters runs to rickety seats, stale popcorn, and weirdo loners hanging out in the middle of the day, banish the thought. Well, except for the weirdo loners. (We proudly count ourselves among them.)
Known for screening (mostly) independent flicks, promoting fantastically terrible ones like Leprechaun, and adhering to a strict policy forbidding texting and talking during movies, Alamo Drafthouse has become something of an indie juggernaut. It was founded in Austin in 1997 and now has 17 locations including outposts in Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, and (naturally) Texas. While other theater chains have retrenched amid a steady decline in profits and patrons, Alamo seems to be branching out.
THE VERDICT: Hallelujah! It can’t happen soon enough. If you live in downtown, you don’t have many moviegoing options: first-run films at Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live, indie flicks at the Downtown Independent, or sporadic screenings at one of the area’s historic movie palaces (we love Last Remaining Seats but we’re never fast enough to snag tickets). It’ll be great to have a multi-screen venue offering more choices. And we’re in love with any theater that has a zero-tolerance policy toward texters.