Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
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The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an American cinema chain founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, USA that is famous for its strict policy of requiring its audiences to maintain proper cinemagoing etiquette. It has screens in nine locations across Texas in addition to locations in Winchester, Virginia, Kansas City, and Littleton, Colorado, with others to be built in San Francisco, New York City, Yonkers, New York, Ashburn, Virginia, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Its headquarters is located in Austin.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded by Tim and Karrie League at 409 Colorado St, in an Austin, Texas warehouse-district building that was being used as a parking garage. The company began as a second-run movie theater, and distinguished itself by the food and drink service offered inside the theater, including cold beers. The seating is arranged with rows of cabaret style tables in front of each row of seats, with an aisle between each row to accommodate waiter service. Customers write their orders on slips of paper, which are picked up by black-clad waiters. Soon after opening, the original downtown theater began offering occasional unique programming such as silent movies scored by local bands playing live accompaniment, food-themed films such as Like Water for Chocolate served with a dinner matching the meals shown on screen, and retrospectives of various directors and stars.
In 2001, the Leagues renovated a four-screen art-house theater at 2700 Anderson Lane in North Austin which had recently closed, and opened it as an Alamo Drafthouse which specialized in first-run movies. With this new Alamo Drafthouse Village, the downtown location ceased showing second-run movies and began to concentrate almost exclusively on unusual programming including classics, cult classics, independents, documentaries, special guest appearances, and audience participation shows.
In 2003, the Alamo Drafthouse, under the direction of new CEO Terrell Braly, moved even further north, to 13729 Research Blvd in far northwest Austin. The Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek has seven screens, all dedicated to new movies. Almost simultaneously, the Alamo granted their first franchise, which opened in the West Oaks Mall in Houston, Texas.
Company sold 
In July 2004, Tim and Karrie League sold the brand, including the brand name, intellectual property and rights to all future Alamo Drafthouse expansion to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas CEO Terrell Braly, John Martin and David Kennedy, but retained an irrevocable license for the Austin locations (Village, Lamar, Downtown), which includes their Rolling Roadshow. In May 2003, Travis Doss opened the first Alamo franchise location (West Oaks Mall) in Houston, Texas with six screens. In August 2004, the largest Alamo (Westlakes) opened in San Antonio, Texas with nine screens. Since February 2005, the new company has purchased the original franchise unit from Doss, opened a theater in the Katy Area and in Harris County, Texas and has built a new-build multi-screen theater in the Rio Grande Valley; though it was announced in 2006 and scheduled to open in 2008, the building has remained unfinished since the original owner was foreclosed upon in November 2008. A second San Antonio theater opened in 2009 (Park North), with six screens. A third San Antonio location (Stone Oak) opened November 5, 2010, with six screens. In 2009, the first outside of Texas was opened in Winchester, Virginia.
In June 2010, founder Tim League was brought back in as CEO of the franchise operations.
- Mainstreet Theatre - Kansas City (6 screens; taking over operations from AMC Theatres June 21, 2012)
- Alamo Drafthouse Downtown – Austin (single screen; opened 1997, closed 2007 to move to Ritz location)
- Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz – Austin (2 screens; opened November 2007)
- Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar – Austin (6 screens; opened March 7, 2005, closed January 3, 2013 as the 1950s era Lamar Plaza shopping center is demolished and rebuilt. Planned reopening in third quarter of 2013 in new building with 9 screens on the same site. )
- Alamo Drafthouse Village – Austin (4 screens; opened July 2001)
- Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek – Austin (7 screens; opened May 2003)
- Alamo Drafthouse Montecillo Town Center - El Paso, Texas (under construction, opening 2013)
- Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks Mall – Houston (6 screens; opened May 2003-closed June 25,2012)
- Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park - Houston (7 screens; opened February 2013)
- Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park – Katy Area (7 screens; opened February 2006)
- Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes – San Antonio (9 screens; opened August 2004)
- Alamo Drafthouse Rio Grande Valley – Edinburg (6 screens; the building, originally planned for a 2007 opening, has remained unfinished and unopened as of May 2012)
- Alamo Drafthouse Richardson - Richardson (under construction) 
- Alamo Drafthouse Park North - San Antonio (6 screens; opened November 2009)
- Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak - San Antonio (6 screens; opened on or after November 5, 2010)
- Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane - Austin (8 screens; opened on March 8, 2012)
- Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow - Mobile unit operates worldwide
- Alamo Drafthouse Winchester - Kernstown, Virginia (10 screens; opened October 2009)
- Alamo Drafthouse One Loudoun - Ashburn, Virginia (9 screens; opened April 2013)
Downtown theater 
Of the first seven theaters, the downtown theater was unique for being the host of many important film events in Austin, such as the Quentin Tarantino Film Festival and Harry Knowles's annual Butt-numb-a-thon.
In 2006, due to rising rent in Downtown Austin, theater owners took steps to hand the theater over to a non-profit group called the "Heroes of the Alamo" foundation, operating the theater as a cultural arts center. However, with the historic Ritz Theater on 6th Street offered as an alternative location, the original Alamo was closed. The final event at the original location consisted of a special triple-feature event the evening of June 27, 2007. The final movie shown was Night Warning, with star Susan Tyrrell attending. At the conclusion of the movie, audience members were allowed to disassemble their seats and take them home as mementos of the theater.
After six months of construction, the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz opened on November 2, 2007 with a triple feature of Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People, with a five course mushroom feast; a sneak preview of No Country For Old Men; and a Terror Thursday screening of War of the Gargantuas, introduced by Quentin Tarantino who flew out from Los Angeles for the night to attend the opening.
Alamo Drafthouse is famous for enforcing a strict policy on behavior while in the theater. Children under the age of six are not allowed, nor are unaccompanied minors. The cinema also prohibits talking and texting during the film. Anyone who violates this policy is subject to warning and potential removal from the premises. Alamo made national headlines in 2011 when the rantings of one angry customer who was ejected for texting were included in its "Don't Talk or Text" PSA shown before films. "When we adopted our strict no talking policy back in 1997 we knew we were going to alienate some of our patrons," Tim League posted on the cinema's website. "That was the plan. If you can't change your behavior and be quiet (or unilluminated) during a movie, then we don't want you at our venue."
Austin: every year in September, the Alamo South Lamar location throws a week long film festival called Fantastic Fest dedicated to the horror, sci-fi, fantasy, Asian and "cult" film genres; Alamo Lake Creek holds the annual Zombie Film Festival (Dismember the Alamo) and the Off-centered Film Festival; The Ritz and South Lamar locations also participate in the SXSW Film Festival in March.
Other events include:
- Action Pack - patrons are armed with cap guns in order to shoot at the screen during fun action films (often in-house pyrotechnics are performed as well)
- Austin Air Guitar - each competitor has 60 seconds to perform air guitar to a song of one's own choosing
- Austin Air Sex - same as the above except for sexual acts
- Big Screen Classics - classic movies shown on a Cinemascope screen
- Butt-Numb-A-Thon ("BNAT"), an annual 24-hour film marathon in honor of Harry Knowles's birthday.
- Celebrity Guests - special event where a famed film industry person or star speaks
- Cinema Cocktails - bar service with at-seat waitered service during movies at the Ritz location
- The Dionysium - monthly arts variety show including debate panels, lectures, forums, and socializing
- Fantastic Fest - annual genre film festival (third week of September since 2005) at the South Lamar location
- Filmmaking Frenzy - ongoing filmmaking competition with annual awards
- Food & Film Events - special meal service for certain movies
- Foleyvision - films which replace original audio with live commentary; formerly "Buzz Moran's Kung Fu Masterpiece Theater"
- Kid's Club - free children's movie screenings last Saturday each month
- Master Pancake Theater - live movie mockery; a panel of comedians mock a movie as it is shown with live comedy voice-overs, real-time commentary, and some pre-selected movie editing; a successor to the former special event "Christmas Show"; content frequently Rated R. Previously called "Mister Sinus Theater", until a cease and desist court order filed by Best Brains, holder of the Mystery Science Theater copyright, brought about the name-change.
- Mondo Mystery Movie - infrequent event where the movie is unknown until it's played. Typically admission includes a poster.
- Music Monday - weekly Monday music-related film showing
- Open Screen Night - weekly; patrons show their own videos
- Quote-Alongs - patrons can sing, quote, and perform along with a movie, typically a cult film
- Rocky Horror Picture Show - weekly live performance tribute to the movie of the same name
- Rolling Roadshow Tour - somewhat annual 35mm movie screenings of famous movies in famous film-related locations across the United States
- Sing-Alongs - patrons sing along to musical films or a collection of music videos
- Terror Tuesdays - weekly horror movie showing
- Weird Wednesday - weekly eclectic movie showing for $1 at midnight
Rolling roadshow 
The original Alamo Drafthouse team hosts 35mm screenings of famous movies in famous places all over the world with their traveling portable projection system and a blow-up screen. Past events include: Fistful of Dollars at Cortijo el Sotillo, Spain, A Christmas Story in Cleveland, OH, The Lost Boys in Santa Cruz, CA, It Came From Outer Space 3D in Roswell, NM, The Goonies in Astoria, OR, Close Encounters of the Third Kind at Devil's Tower, WY, The Warriors in Coney Island, NY, Clerks in Red Bank, NJ, Jaws at Martha's Vineyard, MA, Field of Dreams at the Field of Dreams, IA, The Shining at the Stanley Hotel, CO, Poseidon Adventure on the Queen Mary, CA, Escape from Alcatraz on Alcatraz, CA just to name a few.
Past event details 
Burt-a-thon / Smokey & The Bandit Scavenger Hunt
August 14–15, 2007
August 14, 2007 at the Starlight Six Drive-In  in Atlanta the Rolling Roadshow presented Burt-a-thon, a triple-feature of Burt Reynolds movies. Showing were Smokey and the Bandit, White Lightning and Sharky's Machine. All three movies involved Atlanta, Georgia and Texarkana, Arkansas. People who came to the event in Pontiac Trans Am's we allowed VIP parking, and drinks. Event was sponsored by Ain't It Cool News, New Line Cinema,  and Dewars Scotch Whisky. 
The next day on August 15, 2007, six teams met with the Rolling Roadshow  crew to go on the Scavenger Hunt. They met at 8 am at the Starlight  and were given a list of items to take pictures of related to the film, Smokey & The Bandit. Originally the owners had said they would only allow 20 teams to participate, and closed the registration a few weeks prior to the event. A total of 16 teams signed up at $25 each. However, only 6 teams showed up on the day of the event. This may have been in part to the previous night's films running until nearly 3 am. Not much is known about all of the participants, but there was a team who drove to Atlanta from Baltimore, Maryland, getting in at 6 am, only to have to meet up and leave again at 8 am. One team consisted of three men in costume (including crash helmets, fake mustaches and opera capes) the entire trip. One team was made up of only one person. His partner had dropped out the night before. One team was made up of four women, the self-titled "Team BANDIT". All teams were issued the photo list and their registrations were taken from them and put into a sealed bag. This was an attempt to keep the teams from speeding and getting in trouble with the law. For, if opened, the team would be disqualified.
The teams were to meet up in Texarkana (one of the two named cities in the original film) at the Four State Fairground by 9 pm CST.  There, the Roadshow crew would be showing "Smokey" again, for free. The teams arrived as close to 9 pm as possible, after driving over 700 miles from Atlanta. After checking all the photos submitted by the teams, and each team doing one last 'event', a conversation on microphone in 'trucker lingo' in front of the assembled crowd of hundreds for the last 107 points, it was announced that "Team BANDIT" had won the prize. The first-place prize was a 1979 Firebird Trans Am with over 378,000 miles on it.  It has since been named "The Alamo", in recognition of the people who gave it to them, as well as they would always, "Remember the Alamo." The second-place team won a Tomtom GPS unit with directions narrated by Burt Reynolds himself.  The third place team was the one with only one driver. Though there was not an official prize for 3rd place, he was awarded a lot of Dewar's Scotch Whisky.
- Smokey and the Bandit Road Rally (July 27, 2003) - Teams were assembled at the Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek in the morning. They were instructed to seal their driver's licenses in an envelope and handed several sealed numbered envelopes with their clues. At the sound of the starting gun teams raced to their cars, Le Mans style, and they and opened the first envelope. Each team, by solving a puzzle in the envelope, were directed to a location where they received a number representing the next envelope they needed to open. Along the way participants were also instructed to collect scavenger items representing key themes from the movie. The final destination for the teams was Austin Film Society's studios at the former site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport where the Drafthouse collected the scavenger items and scored the teams. Any team who had to open the envelope with their driver's licenses (due to traffic tickets; or porn, alcohol or cigarette purchases) had points deducted. Smokey and the Bandit was projected on the side of an old airport after an opening show from Scott H. Biram.
- Camp HackenSlash (August 9, 2003) - A day camp for adults featuring crafts (e.g. duct tape wallets, T-shirt embroidery) and games (e.g. dodgeball, sloshball).
- Zaireeka (July 24, 2005) - a pre-show from local bands Pong (at YouTube) and Austin Theremonic Orchestra (at YouTube) was followed by an exhibit of the Flaming Lips's simultaneous four CD music experiment played alongside four inflatable screens showing videos made by the Drafthouse staff and Wiley Wiggins. (Clip of event at YouTube.)
Drafthouse Films 
In 2010, Tim League founded Drafthouse Films, a film distribution company based out of Austin, Texas which releases "provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world". Drafthouse Films has released twelve films since its inception. Its third release, Bullhead, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- Four Lions (2010)
- The FP (2012)
- Bullhead (2012)
- Klown (2012)
- The Ambassador (2012)
- Wake in Fright (1971, re-released in 2012)
- Miami Connection (1987, re-released in 2012)
- Trailer War (2012)
- The ABCs of Death (2013)
- Wrong (2013)
- Graceland (2013)
- Pietà (2013)
- The Act of Killing (2013)
- I Declare War (2013)
- A Band Called Death (2013)
- A Field in England (2013)
- Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)
- Cheap Thrills (TBA)
See also 
- "Alamo Drafthouse expands to D.C.." bizjournals.com Retrieved on April 5, 2012.
- "Alamo Drafthouse to Fill Rave Cityplace 14 Space in Downtown Kalamazoo by Mid-Year, Officials Say." mlive.com Retrieved on February 15, 2013.
- "Overview Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas." All Business. Retrieved on April 4, 2010.
- 42ND STREET FOREVER VOLUME 5: ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE EDITION (DVD Review)
- Sean Gaffney. "Alamo Drafthouse expected to be sold, completed," The Monitor (McAllen, Texas), May 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- Bailey, W. Scott; Silva, Tricia Lynn (2007-04-27). "'No-man's land' reels in a new era of entertainment". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- Staff Reports (2008-04-11). "Alamo Drafthouse goes east". Austin American Statesman. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- Mark Savlov (2008-06-04). "Reunited". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- "Alamo Drafthouse Details Plans to Restore San Francisco's New Mission Theater; Founder Tim League Explains the Company's Origins | /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Alamo Drafthouse Goes to New York!
- Dinges, Gary. "End is near for Lamar Plaza". Statesman.com. Cox Media Group. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Announcing Alamo Dallas/Fort Worth! : Blog : Austin : Alamo Drafthouse Cinema". Drafthouse.com. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Cruz, Gilbert (2005-08-05). "10 Theaters doing it right". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- League, Tim (2011-06-10). "Alamo Drafthouse: Them's the rules". CNN. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- She texted. We kicked her out.
- Smith, Drew (June 14, 2007). "Don't knock it 'til you've mimed it". Austin, Texas. Retrieved July 17, 2009.[dead link]
- Brenner, Wayne Alan (August 27, 2004). "That Thinking Feeling: L.B. Deyo and Buzz Moran's Dionysium puts the fun back in cogitation". Austin, Texas. Text "publisher=The Austin Chronicle" ignored (help)
- Ash, Elliott Thomas (Thursday, June 9, 2005). "Group holds first debate: Dionysium promotes intellectual discussion in social atmosphere". Austin, Texas: The Daily Texan. Retrieved July 17, 2009.[dead link]
- Williams, Danna (November 25, 2008). "Master Pancake Theater: The Alamo's professional cut-ups get set to heckle the halls". Austin, Texas: The Onion. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
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- "Rolling Roadshow News: Bandit car - grand prize in the Smokey Scavenger Hunt!". Rollingroadshownews.blogspot.com. 2007-06-17. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "Rolling Roadshow News: Smokey and the Bandit... GPS Style". Rollingroadshownews.blogspot.com. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Ltd. - Official website; includes all Alamo locations
- Drafthouse Films - Official website; Alamo Drafthouse film distribution
- Mondo Tees, LLC - Official website; Alamo Drafthouse collectible art prints
- Alamo Drafthouse Posters - Unofficial Website; Largest Online Reference for Alamo Drafthouse Posters
- Austin Alamo Drafthouse - branches owned by founders Tim and Karrie League (Mobile)
- Dionysium.com - Official event website
- FilmmakingFrenzy.com - Official organization website
- Facebook: Alamo Quote-Alongs - Official event fan page
- Facebook: Austin Air Guitar Championships - Official event group
- Facebook: Master Pancake Theater Fan Club - Official event fan page
- Facebook: Air Sex World Championships - Official event group