BDA: The Alamo Drafthouse Rules (10/6/10)


AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is lighting up my next three days like an alternative music Christmas tree, so I figured I’d bang out 1-2 “Barfoed Does America” posts today before going Internet-silent (dubious claim!). The catch? An emphasis on documentation over quality and polish; reportage over…good writing. (Read: fast and loose typing.) Why you’re still reading is anyone’s guess, as I’ve basically just told you that what follows is subpar Lifting Fog…but that’s on you, pal. Thanks for your support!

We are all humans here, and therefore have all been to the movies. That’s EVERYONE — even jerkbags who say “I don’t go to the movies.” Even poor people who really cannot afford to go to the movies. We all go! And we all love it!

But for as long as movie theaters have been in existence, so too have complaints about the movie-going experience. From the old standbys (ceaseless chatter; crying babies) to the new standards (“Love in this Club” ringtones), the drawbacks have become as much a (begrudgingly) accepted part of going to the movies as pre-show trailers. We deal, because we have to.

There is a theater deep in the heart of Texas that says NO WE DON’T.

Born of the same rebel spirit that gave us ZZ-Top and Texas Justice, the Alamo Drafthouse is a movie theater (or really chain of theaters) in Austin that does movie-going right. No screaming kids…because kids aren’t allowed. No cell phones disrupting the aural balance…because if so much as a default ringtone goes off, the manager has already confiscated the device. In a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek pre-show announcement, the Drafthouse makes clear their audience expectations — not so much rules as calls to reason, a head shaken in the direction of your neighborhood Loews. A return to civility.

…They also have dinner (their menu is filled with movie-inspired dishes, like the “Royale with Cheese”) and drinks, which only lend the place more cinematic luster. Whether you’re pounding an Oktoberfest beer watching Beerfest or ordering the dolphin bites at a midnight screening of The Cove, food service goes a long way toward completing the movie-going experience. Which is, simply put, one of the best in the world*. The Alamo Drafthouse rules.

*That I have experienced.

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