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.
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.
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.