For years now, New York’s film community has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of its very own Alamo Drafthouse, the vibrant independent theater chain based in Austin. And now, it seems, it may actually happen. But when? “Soon,” said founder and CEO Tim League during a discussion at IFP’s Made in New York Media Center on Tuesday.
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While the Brooklyn venue was expected to arrive months ago, League explained that the delay had been caused by a fire alarm control panel that somebody accidentally blew up. “We’re ready to go — the projectors have all been tested and it’s very nice looking inside.” The 25th location for the chain will have seven screens and is located at 445 Gold Street, near the Atlantic Avenue terminal in Brooklyn.
Like all Alamo Drafthouse theaters, the newest location will show a combination of repertory films and new releases, such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” scheduled for December, and Andrea Arnold’s Cannes Jury Prize winner “American Honey.” Alamo recently partnered with Something Weird Video to acquire some of the Seattle-based distributor’s back catalogue. “We’re going to be doing screenings of some of the restored classics that have never gone out on theatrical or HD versions,” League said.
Also speaking on the panel were Alamo’s Senior Marketing and Promotions Manager Mike Sampson and New York Creative Manager and Programmer Cristina Cacioppo, who talked about some of the long-running Alamo series that will be coming to Brooklyn. These include Video Vortex, which shows movies made exclusively for VHS, Terror Tuesday, and Weird Wednesday. “Mostly it will be a way to promote some of what we have in our American genre film archive as a lot of insane rarities that would really be lost to the world,” Cacioppo said.
In addition to serving alcohol, Alamo is famous for its food offerings that audience members can order from their seats. “We’re going to be making food from scratch, great cocktails and great local beers,” League said, adding that at least 80 percent of the beers at the Brooklyn location will be from New York breweries.
Though the theater is located in a brand new building, Sampson explained that the location has its fair share of cinema history. “Yes, it’s a new development and there’s a Target, Trader Joe’s and Century 21 in the same building,” he said. “But it’s actually on the site of the old RKO Theater, so it’s got the ghost and spirit of an old movie theater coursing through it’s veins.”
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New York filmgoers anticipating the opening of the Alamo don’t have to wait for its door to open. They can catch a pre-opening screening of the sexy shocker classic “Blood Thirsty Butchers” as a part of its Something Weird series, at Manhattan’s Anthology Film Archives on August 9.