For college students in San Antonio who enjoy watching movies to escape the drudgery that is higher learning, there is one venue that has challenged and attacked the generic movie theater.
This venue — The Alamo Draft House, is leading the way as a cinema-friendly, pop-culture and dinner-and-a-movie experience that has film buffs and college students’ best interest at heart.
This brand of theater takes everything people love about the movie experience and amplifies and reinvigorates it. It dares movie fans to show up hours early to a film for food, alcohol and obscure preshow videos.
Founded in 2001 by movie fanatics Tim and Karrie League, The Alamo Drafthouse began as a renovation theater in Austin, Texas, kicking off a cinematic revolution that expanded to Colorado, California, Michigan, New York, Missouri and Virginia.
Since its inception, the Drafthouse has prided itself on creating the ultimate fan-friendly movie event.
In an effort to keep talking, texting and social media use down, the movie house emphasizes a “zero tolerance” policy during all films. Don’t be surprised to see people being kicked out for not respecting this policy.
Although the Drafthouse has family-oriented events, college students can revel in the “no babies allowed” rule and the prohibition of unaccompanied minors.
For those on a college budget, the Drafthouse is one of the few theaters that will give discounts to those with a college ID.
Make sure to arrive early to watch popular or never-before-seen music and entertainment videos usually billed according to the type of movie you’re watching that day.
And let me say, the videos can be strange in a wonderful way.
Besides showing the most recent blockbuster and Oscar-worthy films, every Drafthouse hosts various specialty events.
Your local Drafthouse might have an 80s sing-along event on Monday, an anime-only marathon on Thursday or a showing of a big-screen classic that harkens back to the days of black and white films on Sunday.
The theater has made film-watching an occasion to grab dinner and a drink with its row of bar-style tables in front of each seat that allows patrons to feast on freshly prepared food before or during the movie.
Even ordering is a fun process. You can peruse the menu and write down your request on provided pencils and notepads and beckon the wait staff with your flag-like signal.
In mere moments, your order is taken and it’s like your waiter was never there.
The menu doesn’t just offer the basic hotdogs and popcorn that most movie theaters offer. There is a full list of sandwiches, salads, snacks and even brunch for the early weekend crowds. It’s not uncommon to see a row consisting of prosciutto and spinach pizza, Greek salad, avocado and pesto burger or fried dill pickles all being consumed.
And what about drinks? Yes, the drinks. The Drafthouse is known for its support of local breweries, and it’s reflected in the menu. The variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks seems never-ending.
Beer items are sorted by headings such as “Smooth & Balanced,” “Weird & Wonderful,” “For Hop Heads” and “Crisp & Refreshing.”
For the person not so inclined to hops, try searching through the elements under the cocktails and spirits section. Whiskeys, vodkas and margaritas among others are all available, provided you are of legal age and have the proper identification.
Let’s also not forget about the wine aficionados, who can choose from sparkling, whites and reds.
Finally, try a bottomless soda, draft root beer or hot chocolate if alcohol is not your bag.
Currently, San Antonio has three locations: Westlakes (1255 SW Loop 410), Park North (618 NW Loop 410) and Stone Oak (22806 US Hwy 281 North).
For more information call (210) 677-8500 or go to drafthouse.com/san_antonio.