Hearne: Alamo Mainstreet Back in Action, Better Than Ever

They said it couldn’t be done…

No way could tiny Austin, Texas exhibitor the Alamo Drafthouse take out all the front rows, add service aisles between every row of seats in the three downstairs auditoriums of the former AMC Mainstreet and not lose half of its 431 downstairs seats.

All but impossible.

Oh sure, there’d likely be a small gain in its three small upstairs auditoriums, but with a 545 seat overall capacity – a capacity that Kansas City based AMC Theatres had been unable to turn a profit on – the loss of 200 or more seats would surely render the task impossible for Alamo.

Well, guess what? Somehow Alamo managed to get the job done.

The new, vastly improved Alamo Mainstreet managed to eke out and retain 505 out of 545 seats while adding discrete, sunken serving aisles and rumble seats for all. In part by picking up 76 seats upstairs – but retaining the intimate charm of AMC’s Cinema Suites – and only losing 130 seats downstairs.









That’s right, all of the Alamo’s seats vibrate dramatically during high intensity portions of the movie. Like when the dinosaurs started thudding about during this week’s promotional screening of Jurassic Park.

What’s that you say? AMC had the rumble seats too?

Yeah, but only for a single row of 20 seats in the Mainstreet’s main auditorium.

At the new Alamo Mainstreet everybody gets a goose.

Now a little advice before you reserve your seats for the upcoming onslaught of holiday blockbusters.

Arrive early.

At the very least get there a half hour early so you can catch an incredible array of movie shorts the Alamo features in lieu of the boring, nobody-really-watches-them-anyway advertising slides mainstream exhibitors jam down moviegoers throats.

Honestly, you don’t want to miss these, it’s half the fun.

Arrive an hour early if you want to get your cocktail action on in the redesigned Chesterfield lounge and still have time to catch the pre-movie schmooze.

Oh and one more thing…

The Alamo’s ticket pricing is not only a steal, it’s comprehensible.

Whereas AMC’s Mainstreet had 18 different tickets prices – that’s right 18 – the Alamo has but two; $7 before 6 p.m. and $10 after.

And lest there be any doubt, you get a mulligan on talking and texting at the Alamo

One warning, before they toss you out and hang onto your dough.

Seems reasonable.




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7 Responses to Hearne: Alamo Mainstreet Back in Action, Better Than Ever

  1. jon says:

    You apparently don’t show much love for AMC or didn’t get your facts straight. What a surprise.
    You state that AMC had limited vibrating rumble seats as you call them only on their back row. Incorrect Mr. Christopher. Their large auditoriums featured seat transducers throughout the auditoriums. And I’ve rumbled through several movies at the Mainstreet believe me.
    Let me quote from their grand opening press release.
    “Seat transducers installed under each seat to enhance the entertainment experience by creating a vibration through low frequency sound enabling the guest to hear and feel the bass.”
    May the ghost of Stan Durwood shake the truth out of you.

    • admin says:

      That’s what the Alamo told me, on the record. And only in the main auditorium.

      Your quote btw is out of context

  2. Mr says:

    But the truth just hit you with bulls*it force, jon. Aren’t you paying attention?

  3. Rich in KC says:

    Was there last night for Skyfall. The service was little rough since they were using a new layout and system, but its significantly better than AMC was. Writing your order instead of trying to speak to the server cuts down on distractions plus the under counter lighting and serving lane keeps everything out of your eyeline. The food is better than I expected, although it trends towards burgers and pizza. The staff said they changed the menu regularly and add specials to keep it interesting. It’s definitely the most enjoyable movie experience we’ve had in awhile. Since the ticket prices are comparable to the other traditional theaters, why not give it a shot?

  4. the dude says:

    At least I have an excuse now for when I let one rip because blaming it on the dog doesn’t fly in a theater.

  5. zak says:

    The seats are the same size as coach seating on a air plane. The seats do not recline and you share a table with the person next to you. If you sit next to a large person you are in trouble just like on a airplane. I will never go back.

  6. admin says:

    Did some dogging around and was told by sources close to AMC that the three downstairs auditoriums all had rumble seats but when AMC bailed they removed and took with them the device that made them rumble.

    Alamo told me they replaced all of the seats and now all of them downstairs and up, you know, rumble. However when they took over the plex there were no rumblers, courtesy of AMC.

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