Alamo Drafthouse Looks to Connect with Denton

Photo by Estelle Dailey

Word has gotten around that Denton is getting it’s own Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and today begins a soft opening for the newest movie exhibitors in town. The projectors are rolling, the kitchen is hot, and the beers are cold.

For those unfamiliar with The Alamo Drafthouse, the Austin-originated theater chain aims at cultivating the best viewing experience possible for their attendees. Each of their screening rooms have top tier projectors, sound systems, and luxury seating.

With strict cell phone policies, order cards so servers can sneak in and out silently, and (if need be) a manager to escort disruptive guest out, The Alamo Drafthouse strives to make a movie-watching experience as pleasant as possible.

Each Alamo Drafthouse is different in its design as each theater has a film that it’s themed after. With the new Denton location, it was an easy choice for this location to be themed after The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the film features a billboard welcoming people to Denton, "the town of happiness."

But this isn’t the theaters only tie to Denton. Hiring almost an entire staff of Denton locals, offering 90% local drafts, using only fresh local ingredients, and even bringing in familiar design elements from around Denton are all steps in creative manager James Wallace’s goal to make this feel like the community based neighborhood theater where an attendee is more than just a body in a seat.

Wallace was a local of Denton himself in his years of living here and during his time as a student of UNT’s Radio, Television, and Film program. Wallace understands the importance of film and the arts communities of Denton and wants to be not just a resource but a partner within these communities. He plans to work with both UNT and TWU’s Media Arts departments as well as local festivals such as Thin Line and the Denton Black Film Festival to put together screenings on top of creating special programming like his Made In Denton series that will screen later this year.

While some reading this may have been to an Alamo before, this location promises to be something different. One of the special things being brought to Denton at this location is The Drafthouse’s Big Show format. This is a special feature in select Alamos, and Denton is about to get the only one in the state. This special large screen room houses dual laser based projectors that illuminate a 66’ screen matched by a 30+ speaker sound system. The Big Show will be the home for some of the biggest blockbusters starting with the release of Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom.

While Denton has its vibrant art scenes and enough cinephiles to go around, it is also home to four others theaters not including the Texas Theater’s recent acquisition of the Fine Arts Theater on the Square. It's intriguing to consider Alamo’s plan for handling a city whose amount of theaters are fairly high considering the population size. In The Dentonite's conversation with Wallace about this, he was very honest about his belief that by delivering a good experience and a sense of community, the Alamo Drafthouse would make the case for itself on why moviegoers should come back.

There's a genuine excitement coming from Wallace and his team. They're not here to just open another movie box, they're here to deliver. Go see a movie, have a bite to eat, bring a friend and let the Alamo make their case to you. They’re not here to just open up another movie box, they’re here to deliver.

Photos by Estelle Dailey
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados