Alamo Drafthouse Wednesday announced the opening of its Manhattan theater as the chain expands it footprint in a slowly recovering arthouse market.
Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan, in the financial district, plans a soft launch through Oct. 21 with guest discounts on concessions as staff trains and gets up to speed. It’s the company’s third New York-area location after Yonkers and Brooklyn and the first in Manhattan. And it opens ahead of a string of new Alamo Drafthouse locations due late this year or 2022 in Washington, D.C.; Arlington, VA; St. Louis, MO; and a Staten Island theater with a kung-fu themed video store and bar co-designed and curated by Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA.
The new NY location, 37,000 square feet beneath a landmark building at 28 Liberty Street has 14-screens and 578 seats. It includes The a new feature called The Press Room, a museum, a letterpress print shop, bar a private event space.
“The last eighteen months have been a rollercoaster for our industry, but through it all we’ve believed in the future of this industry,” says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. “Opening our Lower Manhattan theater is an expression of our belief that audiences will always seek elevated, communal moviegoing experiences like ours.”
The Press Room bar’s archive of over 60,000 vintage newspaper movie ad plates spans the history of 20th century cinema, and is a testament to Alamo Drafthouse’s ongoing commitment to making moviegoing a truly special experience,” said Alamo Drafthouse founder and executive chairman Tim League.
Alamo Drafthouse theaters have been consistently cited by indie distributors in recent months as a bright spot in the specialty market as it struggles to revive from Covid with patrons younger that the average arthouse crowd. The company’s release noted that at the bar, in addition to a tap wall of 48 draft beers, guests will be able to customize their own bespoke cocktail or choose from a list of original craft cocktails designed by Alamo Drafthouse NYC Bar Manager, Vince Favella.
The Austin-based chain, which pioneered the concept of combination of theater and restaurant, has struggled like the rest of exhibition with as theaters shut last year. It filed for bankruptcy to reorganize and emerged from it last summer with the completion of the sale to Altamont Capital Partners, funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League.
It plays tentpole films, which have been faster to recover, along with specialty fare and noted the resurgence in moviegoing with No Time To Die, Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The new location opens into Halloween Kills, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island. Other anticipated upcoming releases include Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, and Chloe Zhao’s Eternals.