Culture News

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Is Opening in Chandler This December

A Texas-based dine-in movie theater called Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open its first Arizona location on December 2 with franchise partner Paschich Alamo Holdings.

Located at 4955 South Arizona Avenue in a new mixed-use development called Chandler Crossings, Alamo Drafthouse sits on the northeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Boulevard. It has nine theaters (two with 3D capability) and seats a total of 975 patrons. Movie-goers pick their own seats when buying tickets.

Founded in Austin by Tim and Karrie League, Alamo Drafthouse has more than a dozen locations in several states – including California, Colorado, and New York. It presents films ranging “from blockbusters to oddities.”

Additional programming includes special events, retrospectives, and screenings of restored films. Sometimes the cinema shows films with memorable quotes, encouraging patrons to shout out the famous quotes as they occur.

But most of the time, Alamo Drafthouse requires its movie-goers to follow a strict no-talking and no-texting policy. Patrons get one warning if they talk or text during a film. If it happens again, they’re asked to leave – without getting a refund.

Instead of running ads or public service announcements on the big screen before the main feature starts, the cinema screens its own custom pre-shows with themes related to the main movie. Latecomers get admitted during previews, but not once the feature film has started.

The early line-up in Chandler will include Office Christmas Party, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 3D, Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, and Hidden Figures – a film exploring the key role a team of black women played in a NASA mission.

Alamo Drafthouse presents several Signature Series, including the Afternoon Tea series, which pairs period films with tea and treats. Expect slumber-party films during the Girlie Night series, and films with a macho vibe during the Tough Guy series.

The cinema also offers several dining and beverage options.

Patrons can order craft beer, fine wine, alcoholic shakes, or cocktails at a small bar located in the Alamo Drafthouse lobby, or while seated in the theater. They’ll have 32 tap beers to choose from, including 26 from Arizona breweries.

There’s also a multicourse menu, with all food prepared from scratch in an on-site kitchen headed by Nate Collins, formerly an executive chef with Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill. He’s working now on connecting to local sources for tortillas, chips, and gluten-free items.

The menu includes plenty of comfort food, including pizza, fried pickles, and three types of homemade cookies. Popcorn options range from traditional to gourmet, including truffle Parmesan. Sometimes the cinema holds special events it calls Feasts, which pair particular movies with foods that reflect prevalent themes.

Servers check in with movie-goers once they’re seated, but patrons can also order food or drinks during films using a paper system that preserves the no-talking environment.

There’s a final element worth noting.

Kids under age 6 can’t attend Alamo Drafthouse, unless the cinema is showing something offered specifically for young audiences. And patrons under age 18 always must be accompanied by an adult.

Alamo Drafthouse is part of a lifestyle entertainment brand that also presents an eight-day festival of offbeat films, and has an online art boutique with screen-printed posters, clothing, and toys inspired by classic and contemporary films, TV shows, and comics.

For more details and to buy tickets, see the Alamo Drafthouse website.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble