Alamo Drafthouse (Finally) Brings Its Fancy Moviegoing Experience To DTLA Next Month

Inside an Alamo Drafthouse theater. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

A lot of us thought this day would never come. The long "coming soon" Los Angeles Alamo Drafthouse, planned since 2013, originally supposed to open in 2015, is finally... well, coming really soon.

They've announced that construction is nearly complete, and the DTLA location at the Bloc will soft open in July.

The L.A. location will have 12 theaters, all with 4K laser projectors (that means they're fancy, not that there's laser tag, bummer). One theater will also have a 35 millimeter projector to show classic film prints. There's also a full bar and kitchen.

A view from the theater level of the new L.A. Alamo Drafthouse, showing construction from last year. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

The Drafthouse has been repeatedly delayed as their home at shopping center worked to get the space up to code, but they finally started construction on what will hopefully be a moviegoing paradise last year. They were aiming at the time to open in the second quarter of 2019, and while July isn't quite that, it's not far off.

The Alamo Drafthouse brand has been largely beloved over the years, but it faced controversy in 2017 after Devin Faraci, head of their in-house movie news publication Birth Movies Death, resigned following allegations of sexual assault and harassment. The organization was praised for dealing with it quickly, but then it came out that Faraci had been quietly rehired by Drafthouse head Tim League as a copywriter for their film festival, Fantastic Fest. League has since apologized for the handling of Faraci, as well as sexual assault allegations against film critic Harry Knowles at Fantastic Fest. The Drafthouse introduced a new code of conduct last year.

The franchise started in Austin, Texas in 1997, and now has dozens of locations. It's made its name providing a higher level of service, and a moviegoing experience for serious cinema fans who still want to have fun.

But in case you're worried about crowds drinking too much thanks to that convenient bar access, the theater will also shut you down if you're an obnoxious film fan. The chain is especially known for being ruthless about enforcing their ban on cell phone use in movies, promising to kick you out if you're on your friendly smart device.

One of the most unique features at the L.A. venue is its Video Vortex store, featuring free Blu-Ray and DVD rentals. We're not sure how they're going to keep everything in stock at those non-prices, but we're excited to check it out. The venue's plans also include a tabletop gaming community initiative, led by a former producer from geek culture website Geek and Sundry.

The initial L.A. programing lineup is set to include blockbusters, indie films, classics, and cult favorites, though specific film titles haven't been released yet. Rachel Walker will be serving as the L.A. head of creative and film programming, after previously working as a genre content consultant on the film festival circuit.

"Getting to put together a programming experience that blends the sensibilities of Los Angeles and the Alamo Drafthouse is a dream come true," Walker said in a press release. "My colleagues and I look forward to working with the community to create a home for all different types of film fans."

A street view showing the new Alamo Drafthouse location at the Bloc complex. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

While services like MoviePass and Sinemia have fallen into disrepair, a number of theater chains have launched their own all-you-can-watch (or close to it) options. Alamo's joining them with a beta of their Alamo Season Pass service. They plan to roll it out in L.A. during the soft launch, but you have to join the waitlist to potentially purchase a pass. Details on the prices have not been announced.

And finally, the parking. Reps say there will be some sort of validation situation, but the specifics have not been released. There's also a Metro stop at the Bloc's plaza level, accessible from the Blue, Red, Purple, and Expo lines.