The wait is over. An Alamo Drafthouse location is finally opening in Los Angeles, with the cinema chain announcing on Wednesday that construction on its downtown L.A. location is nearly complete.
The new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Los Angeles will have 12 screens and will open with a soft launch in early July featuring a slate of independent and blockbuster movies, as well as several repertory titles of classics and cult films.
Also expanding to L.A. is Alamo Drafthouse’s Alamo Season Pass, the company’s subscription-based service that is currently in a beta test. The plan is not unlike what was pioneered by MoviePass and has led many theater chains to follow suit. Members of the subscription plan can watch a movie a day and reserve their seats in advance for a low monthly fee.
The beta test will roll out in Los Angeles during the soft launch period, beginning with a small group from a waitlist, with the program expanding membership in the near future.
The Austin-based theater chain has been a popular attraction for cinephiles for its food and drink service and its hard-line policy against cell phones during movies. Construction on a Los Angeles location was originally announced in 2014, and it was meant to be a prime tenant as part of the shopping area in downtown L.A.’s Financial District known as The Bloc, which is located just off the Seventh St. and Metro Center train stop. Construction was delayed several times, and the Drafthouse had previously announced in 2017 that the location would be ready by last year.
“The reason Alamo Drafthouse exists and continues to grow is to support the movies that we love,” Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said in a statement. “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.”
Rachel Walker will serve as head of creative and programming at the new Los Angeles Alamo Drafthouse. Joining her is Anam Syed as head of marketing, Leslie Newell as general manager, Claire Brooks, who oversees private and corporate events, and Ash Minnick, who is behind the theater’s tabletop gaming initiative.
“Getting to put together a programming experience that blends the sensibilities of Los Angeles and the Alamo Drafthouse is a dream come true,” Walker said in a statement. “My colleagues and I look forward to working with the community to create a home for all different types of film fans.”
The Los Angeles location will also feature 4K laser projectors and one 35mm film projector. It will also include a full bar and kitchen, as well as the bar and video store Video Vortex, where Blu-Rays and DVDs are available for free rental.