By James Hibberd
May 07, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT
  • Music

Alamo Drafthouse fans, there's an exciting new addition to your quarantine viewing options.

The creative Texas-based theater chain is launching an online video-on-demand service loaded with titles curated by the company’s programming team.

The programming is a mix of Alamo-recommended rentals, recent box office hits (Knives Out, John Wick 3), indie titles (Call Me by Your Name, Burning), exclusive content (the premiere of a new documentary, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl), cult movies (Forbidden Zone, Tammy and the T-Rex) and rare and restored genre films (Take It Out in Trade, Ninja Zombie).

“Every title on the platform has a champion on the Alamo programming team,” says Sarah Pitre, Alamo Drafthouse’s senior director of programming and promotions. “Alamo On Demand is a curated library, with each film nominated and personally recommended by a programmer.”

“Many of us learned about movies thanks to the staff picks at our local video stores," added Henri Mazza, Alamo Drafthouse vice president of content, sponsorships, and events. “That’s the spirit of what we’re trying to do."


Particularly exciting for those familiar with Alamo's live programming, the channel will have content from the company's Master Pancake Theater movie-mockers, which have been named Austin's best live comedy/improv troupe eight times. Master Pancake is like a live R-rated (or at least PG-13) variation on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, only instead of mocking old Ed Wood-style B-movies they typically tackle popular hits (such as Terminator 2, Forest Gump and 50 Shades of Grey). The service launches with one Pancake-mocked title, the infamous 1981 film Roar, and additional titles will be added to the service at a later date. (The troupe's fans have been lobbying for an online mock of Cats, hopefully that can happen).

Alamo operates 41 locations in the United States. The chain's physical locations are currently closed, even though some states in which the company operates, such as Texas, have allowed theaters to re-open at reduced capacity. Alamo has said they're working on entirely new operating procedures so that when the theater does open it can ensure a safe experience.

“I’ll describe the scenario that sold me on the ScreenPlus platform,” said Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder and executive chairman. “Alamo Drafthouse has been promoting Portrait of a Lady on Fire to our guests for months. We love people to see films in the cinema first and foremost, but the reality is not everyone can always make the time for every movie they want to see. This platform allows us to remind folks who watched the trailer in the cinema or saw our enthusiasm for the film online but didn’t manage to see it at the Alamo before it left theaters. Alamo On Demand helps us to continue the conversation past the theatrical window and recommend movies we love to our community. And in these shuttered days and beyond, these rentals and purchases help support your neighborhood theater.”

Alamo On Demand is currently live online, and there are apps for iOS and Android coming soon.

Related content:

Alamo Drafthouse

  • Music