There are some movie theaters that are truly awesome.
When I was living in Los Angeles, for example, there was the little theater right down the street that was easy and convenient to get to. And you know what? We never went there. The ArcLight was miles nicer, so we would drive the twenty minutes to get there, even though it was more expensive.
Well, ever since Jacob and I moved to Virginia, we've been loving one movie theater: the Alamo Drafthouse. The first time we visited, we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. We knew that they served dinner and that the seats were more comfortable than your average movie theater, but the experience at the Alamo Drafthouse is so much more than that.
We've now been more than ten times, I would say, and each time we have had a great experience.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter is the decor. Alamo Drafthouse Charlottesville is decorated in a kitschy, themed way that feels like a throwback. The light fixture looks like a spaceship, and you've got neon lights pointing you in the direction of each theater. Off to the side is the restaurant affiliated with the theater.
After you buy your tickets, either at the desk or at a kiosk, you proceed down the hallway, where you'll see old movie posters in different languages - again getting you into that throwback frame of mind! And that's really the thing about Alamo - you can tell that they take pride in their theater as an establishment, not just as a place to watch movies.
Once you're in the movie theater itself, you'll find out how the Alamo really stands out.
1. The Ordering System. As soon as you walk into the theater, you'll see some incredibly comfortable leather seats connected to a little table. Once you sit down, you'll notice that each table has a little pocket underneath it with a light and a menu. This is so that you can look at your menu during the movie and order whatever your heart desires. And how do you order, you may ask? Well, each table is also equipped with two pens, a pad of order cards, and a little bar to stick your order card into to get a server's attention. You simply write down what you want and a server will collect your order and bring it straight to your table!
2. The No-Disturb Policy. This has been one of our favorite features at the Alamo. You aren't allowed to talk, text, or generally be a disturbance in the theater. You get one warning - the second time you're kicked out of the theater without a refund. If someone is bothering you, you simply take an order card and write down who is bothering you. Then a server will come take your card, go back behind the scenes so as not to make it obvious who reported whom, and will return to admonish the disturber. This might sound strict, but honestly, it is such a great system and if you've ever had a loud talker next to you in a movie, you'll appreciate it.
3. The Food and Drinks. The menu is great and has a lot of wonderful options for vegetarians as well as regular meat-eaters. One of my favorites is their Impossible Burger and fries, although last night we enjoyed their pizzas. As you might have figured out, I couldn't take pictures of our food since we ate our food during the movie! In addition, for some films the Alamo will actually create new themed menus of food and cocktails to match the theme of the movie. They also have great beers (hence the name, Drafthouse) and really cool milkshakes.
Besides showing new films, the Alamo Drafthouse also does something they call their "signature series." They show old movies, be they cult classics or just great films, and do themed viewings. After the previews, the manager of the theater will come out and give you some info about the movie you're about to watch. It's a cool feature and we really appreciate it.
All in all, we highly recommend Alamo Drafthouse and, give it - you guessed it! - five stars.
Have you been to the Alamo Drafthouse? What's your favorite theater? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclosure: Alamo Drafthouse Charlottesville generously gave us two complimentary dinner tickets in order to make this review possible. Jacob and I have been to this theater and eaten dinner there many times, so this did not influence our opinion! :)
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Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!