Back in August 2014, we published a post announcing the imminent arrival of Alamo Drafthouse, which was slated to open in 2015 in downtown L.A. Welp, 2015 came and went with nary a sign of the Austin-based movie theater chain, famous for its cutting-edge repertory programming, in-theater dining and, of course, serving beer. (Time magazine called it the “best theater ever.”)
In a press release sent out this morning, the theater's developer, the Ratovich Company, announced that Alamo will be opening at the Bloc in downtown — near 7th Street/Metro Center station — in 2018. The release goes on to say: “Alamo Drafthouse Downtown will have 12 screens and seat approximately 560 people for new release movies, independent, foreign and classic films, as well as an exhaustive slate of the Alamo's unique signature event programming. Each of the auditoriums will be equipped with state of the art 4K digital projection and amazing sound. In addition to providing superior presentation, the Alamo eliminates the traditional front rows to ensure there's no bad seat in the house. The theater will also be equipped for 3D and archival 35mm projection.”
Opening at the Bloc, formerly Macy's Plaza, was always the plan, as Alamo CEO and co-founder Tim League told us in 2014: “The biggest factors for us were a cool neighborhood, free parking and transportation connectivity. We've been snooping around DTLA for quite a while. Since we first started looking, the transformation has been really significant and doesn't appear to be waning in any way.” Downtown has transformed even more since then.
As Amy Nicholson pointed out in her original story, there are plenty of cool repertory theaters with great programming in L.A. like Cinefamily, the New Beverly and The Aero, but most are west of La Brea. Alamo is poised to fill a void for moviegoers in neighborhoods farther east. Fingers crossed there isn't another three-year delay.
Check out renderings below …