Now a 24-location chain of cinema restaurants, Alamo Drafthouse just opened its only NYC outpost at the City Point complex
by Matt Scanlon • Photos by Victoria Stevens
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom-and-pop repertory theater in Austin. Nineteen years later, the now 24-location chain has been named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired.
Scheduled for a late November opening is its newest outpost, a sprawling, multi-screen entertainment, bar, and restaurant facility in Downtown’s City Point complex. It features seven theaters (40 to 188 seats), all featuring Sony 4K Digital capability, three with RealD 3D systems. Scheduled to employ more than 150 New Yorkers, the business’s concept is steeped in the preservation of an old-school movie going experience, in part through its blessed “no talking/no texting” policy. All 796 seats are assigned (no mad door-opening scrums), and can be reserved at the time of ticket purchase online or in-person at the box office.
Films will run from Hollywood blockbusters to art-house titles (Creative Manager Cristina Cacioppo previously worked as the Film Program Director of 92YTribeca). Repertory and specialty programming will include monthly series like Girlie Night, featuring slumber party favorites, and Video Vortex, a VHS-embracing series of low-budget flicks.
A particularly unique aspect of the Brooklyn location will be Alamo’s House of Wax Stand Alone Bar and associated mini-museum, for which Vincent Favella will serve as beverage director (he formerly managed the beverage program for J.M. Restaurant Group and the Hyatt Hotel in Union Square). The bar will feature 48 draft lines, with 39 beers on tap (the other four taps will be wine), along with three draft cocktails, one draft cold brew coffee, and one draft root beer. A rooftop bar area is also part of the fun. Based on the panoptica touring attractions of the late 1800s, House of Wax exhibits a rare selection of original German waxwork sculptures, including life-size displays of human oddities, animal attractions, and death masks of loved (and infamous) celebrities.
The Brooklyn kitchen will be helmed by native New Yorker Fernando Marulanda. Born and raised in Harlem, the executive chef and his team created a menu that is, he explained, “wholly singular sourcing inspiration, with ingredients that are proudly unique, like the city itself.” Examples include fresh-made edamame hummus served with crispy wonton chips; made-toorder flatbread pizzas in authentic styles (like “Trish’s Turkish,” a combo of spiced lamb, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, golden raisins, and shaved radish, topped with fresh arugula and lemon); updated takes on classic street fare such as Cuban-style “Ropa Vieja Beef Tacos”; and burgers and sandwiches like the 50/50 chuck and brisket “Williams burger” topped with garlic aioli and all the fixings, and the spicy Jerk Chicken Sandwich with cool coconut lime dressing. Menus can be found tucked under each table and orders are placed using slips of paper (with small pens provided).
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
445 Albee Square West in the City Point complex
718.513.2547 / drafthouse.com