Long hailed as the best movie theater in the country, the famed Alamo Drafthouse — where patrons can have food and beverage brought to their seat while they take in a film — is coming to New York City. Alamo founder and CEO Tim League announced today that the Austin-based company will be moving into the former Metro Theater location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just a few blocks south of Columbia University.
“My often-stated top priority for the Alamo Drafthouse has been to open a venue in New York,” said League in a statement. “When we discovered the availability of the historic Metro theater, we immediately knew we had found the perfect location for our new Manhattan home.” The theater is set to open in 2013.
Although Alamo has 11 locations in Houston, San Antonio, and Winchester, Va., as well as Austin, this marks a significant expansion of the Alamo brand. Over the last decade, the company has been making some aggressive moves to further its reach beyond Texas. Along with its regular series of specialized movie posters, since 2005 the Alamo has sponsored a series of outdoor roadshow screenings. In 2010, the company founded an indie film distribution arm, Drafthouse Films. And several of the Austin-based locations have been significant venues for the SXSW film festival.
Aside from its practice of serving food and alcohol during screenings, however, the Alamo is likely most famous for its ironclad no-talking-or-texting policy. Before every film, the theater plays a strongly-worded message that audience members will get just a single warning about talking or texting before they’re ejected from the theater. Last year, in fact, the Alamo famously made a mock PSA out of an angry voicemail left by a patron who had been kicked out for using her cell phone. It’s embedded below.
So how will New York City moviegoers take to such a strict policy? Only time will tell. But would you like the Alamo to come to your town?