Saturday, September 28, 2019

[ACTION!] Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to Make Atlanta Premiere

Austin favorite Alamo Drafthouse Cinema plans to enter the Atlanta market... in 2021.  The new cinema complex is planned as part of a recently announced wave of new developments at Assembly, the 165 acre mixed-use development on the site of the old General Motors assembly property just off I-285 in Doraville. 
Started in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse has become a bright spot in the movie theater business, focusing on the experience and going as far as enforcing a strict no talking or texting policy during movies, which if violated, could lead to one's removal from the theater.  “The Alamo Drafthouse Theater is good food, good beer and good film, all at the same place!” The Alamo often shows not only new releases but classic and independent films too. 

The chain began franchising in 2003, and today has 45 locations with more planned, including one in Orlando.  A release announcing the new developments at Assembly mentioned Alamo's opening, but did not indicate the number of screens it will have, overall capacity, or what person or group is/are backing the Atlanta franchise. Most Alamo locations feature between six and ten screens.

[side note:  The release references the development as simply Assembly, and not Assembly Yards, which seems to suggest that as Atomic Entertainment did at Pullman Yard, renaming it Pratt-Pullman District, the developer in Doraville, The Integral Group, has quietly dropped "Yards" from the name to better differentiate it.  Several other planned projects around Atlanta have yard/s in the name including Madison Yards, Centennial Yards, Quarry Yards, Pittsburgh Yards, Atlantic Yards, Armour Yards, Artisan Yards and Hulsey Yard, among others. While the yards name may fit in Doraville, it, too, was perhaps wise to drop it to avoid being confused with other projects.]

Wired Magazine called Alamo the "coolest movie theater in the world" while TIME Magazine called it the "best theater ever." 

While it's considered by many the "godfather" of dinner and a movie theater concepts, Alamo Drafthouse is far from alone today in offering a more refined, small-scale cinema-going experience.  Several new upscale cinemas exist today, many of which are already in the Atlanta market. Alamo is, however, different in that it franchises its concept rather than expanding corporately as others do.  
Rendering of Assembly [Yards] with cinemas

[Currently, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is granting franchises to select types of exempt franchisee prospects in a limited number of markets where Alamo Drafthouse Cinema can offer franchises without franchise disclosure or registration of a franchise offering.]

Movie Tavern, Studio Movie Grill and CMX CinéBistro each operate several locations in the greater metro Atlanta with CinéBistro having just this week opened their third location at Halcyon in south Forsyth.

Silverspot plans to open at The Battery Atlanta in 2021, with iPic hoping to open at Colony Square in 2020 despite a recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing stemming from nagging liquidity issues.

AMC Theatres operates several locations around Atlanta with premium food and alcohol, but three operate as AMC DINE-IN, including those in Buckhead, Lawrenceville and Alpharetta (North Point).

Atlanta is even home to a local Alamo Drafthouse imitation in The Springs Cinema & Taphouse at Parkside Shops on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  Local entrepreneur Brandt Gully opened The Springs earlier this year after purchasing the theater from Atlanta theater icon George Lefont and a completing a $2.5 million renovation. 

When it opens, Alamo Drafthouse will join existing area theaters Regal Cinemas Hollywood 24 off the northeast access road in Chamblee, and CMX CinéBistro at TOWN Brookhaven.  A new NCG Cinemas is expected to open in a onetime theater in Northeast Plaza in Buford Highway in Brookhaven, but it's unclear when it will open. 

Have you ever been to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema?  Are you excited for the opening of an Alamo location in metro Atlanta?  What movie theater chain is your favorite?  Why?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Katherine said...

I am SO EXCITED for this, and I feel it's worth noting that although dining-theater concepts are thick on the ground, what sets Alamo apart is that they have theme events and that they'll kick somebody's butt out for talking or using their phone.

Skrybe said...

THIS.... may be the best news I've ever read on this site! I'm beyond excited. I've wanted to visit the Alamo Drafthouse for years. Instead we're getting one of our own! This is amazing. Best news I've heard all year.

Unknown said...

As a Texas girl living in Atlanta, I'm so excited to see the Alamo Drafthouse coming to my new town! The food is good, as is the beverage selection, and I have always had an excellent service experience. The overall venue is pretty cool, usually with a nice lounge area and bar that you can enjoy before the movie. And they mean what they say about using your phone once the movie has started!

Anonymous said...

Co-sign on ALL the above comments. Alamo is just a different experience. It's hard to explain until you have done a movies there a few times. I've been wanting this for YEARS. Atlanta's theater scene is anemic. Selfishly I'm excited it's on my side of town! Easily going to be my new theater (and put that pathetic Regal on 85 out of business)

Anonymous said...

Wow i’ve never seen such consistent enthusiasm for a new establishment here in Atlanta. I can’t wait to check it out. It sounds like it’s on a whole other level then Cine bistro and the others. I agree that regal on 85 is very pathetic. Their movie prices are now over $15 and online and in the theater they have “reserve seating quote but it’s the same old filthy plastic stadium chairs so it kind of fools you into thinking they are renovated with lounge chairs for assign seating - but it’s assign seating with their old filthy crappy system… And this soda cups don’t even fit in the cupholders they tipped over and the lids don’t even fit on the cups they pop open it’s very terrible

Anonymous said...

Love Cinebistro, will be interested to try this. Not sure how they can enforce a no phone/text policy. Trying to evict someone from their seat mid movie could have lots of possibly negative outcomes.

Anonymous said...

Don't mess with the Alamo and the no texting, no talking policy. It's for real...and it's awesome!

Anonymous said...

A friend mentioned that the NGC "coming soon" sign was suddenly gone from Northeast Plaza. I wonder if this announcement had anything to do with that.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!! The other "dinner and a movie" concepts are terrible because they never addressed why people don't go to movies: Other people suck. I go to watch a movie, not listen to you chat with your friends and text your BFF.

I can't wait for these morons to get ejected from the theater. Stay home and play with your phone kiddies. We are here to watch a movie!

Anonymous said...

Most of the Atlanta moviegoers are lowlifes. Without any manners whatsoever. I pads phones and feet without shoes up on the seats. AMC Sugarloaf is the worst. I was attacked by some of the criminal thugs in the theatre that have overrun Gwinnett. After complaining to the spineless management at that theatre they did nothing. The did not want to cause a scene. What a joke. I wish the Alamo draft house the best.

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