After years of planning, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today a “soft launch” in early July for its new downtown Los Angeles location. The theater chain also disclosed that its Alamo Season Pass subscription beta test will be expanded to the new location.
Founded in 1997, the Texas circuit has experienced strong growth in recent years boasting 38 locations and counting. Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles, the chain’s first location in the megalopolis, will be located at The Bloc, an open-air urban retail and entertainment hub in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles is a state-of-the-art facility with twelve screens each equipped with 4K laser projectors and one auditorium with 35mm film projection where moviegoers can enjoy a slate of indies, blockbusters and cult films. Moreover, patrons will find a full bar and kitchen and will be able to rent Blu-Rays and DVDs for free at the video store Video Vortex.
During the soft launch, a small group of moviegoers selected from a waitlist will also be able to watch a movie and reserve seating for a monthly fee with the Alamo’s subscription plan. This will mark the third location for the plan’s beta test roll out after a pilot program was launched in mid-2018 at its Yonkers, New York, location and expanded to its location in Raleigh, North Carolina, earlier this year.
Alamo’s plan to launch its own subscription program dates back to 2017 after MoviePass dropped its prices to $9.99 per month. According to Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO, Tim League, the circuit’s higher concessions per capita allow it to turn the subscription plan into a viable business model. However, League opted for a cautious approach with limited location tests rather than a circuit-wide expansion. “We’re trying to avoid launching something and then, three months down the road, increasing the price or changing the program,” he asserted in an interview with Boxoffice. “We want to find something that works for our customers—and that doesn’t drive us into bankruptcy.”
Leading the new Los Angeles location is Rachel Walker, head of creative and programming with years of experience in the film festival circuit and as a genre content consultant for studios, networks and indie filmmakers.
“Getting to put together a programming experience that blends the sensibilities of Los Angeles and the Alamo Drafthouse is a dream come true”, said Walker. “My colleagues and I look forward to working with the community to create a home for all different types of film fans”.
Walker will be joined by head of marketing Anam Syed, general manager and Alamo Drafthouse veteran Leslie Newell, Claire Brooks, who will oversee private and corporate events and former Geek and Sundry producer Ash Minnick, who will shape Alamo’s tabletop gaming community initiative.
“The reason Alamo Drafthouse exists and continues to grow is to support the movies that we love,” said Tim League. “After SO MANY years of planning and development, to be opening in Los Angeles with such a strong team of movie-lovers at the helm is absolutely thrilling.”