Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Theater Heads West to…San Francisco!

By  · Published on February 17th, 2012

Today has been a pretty fantastic day for me in regard to movie-related news. First, I received an incredibly hard to find DVD of one of my favorite films of 2010, Sound of Noise, complete with English subs. Next I got to schedule an evening with friends with the express purpose of exposing them to the joy that is Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (and maybe a little drinking, too). Then I found out I’ll be seeing my most anticipated SXSW film two weeks before SXSW.

These are all things you couldn’t care less about.

But some news just broke that is sure to please thousands of movie lovers… Austin’s famed Alamo Drafthouse Theaters are branching out to the West coast and opening a theater in San Francisco. There’s no time table yet, and it probably won’t even open it’s doors until late 2013 at the earliest, but sweet Jeebus, this is glorious news!

Rumors have been swirling for a while that Tim and Karrie League were looking for an opportunity in San Francisco, but today Tim made an official announcement on the Alamo blog that confirms it. They’ve purchased the New Mission Theater, an old but beautifully designed movie house in need of much love and affection. The plan is to work with the city, and more specifically the neighborhood, to restore the theater back to its original glory…with some Alamo-inspired modifications of course.

We are planning on a full and complete historic renovation. Even though our plan is to subdivide the balconies into small boutique theaters, we will be doing it in such a way as to preserve nearly all of the amazing architectural details of the space. We would still preserve the massive downstairs screen and transform that space into a potential premiere venue with state of the art sound and picture. We have been working hand-in-hand with the both historic and neighborhood groups to make sure that our restoration plans meet with their approval. The great news is that the theater interior is largely in good shape. A large percentage of the interior details have been preserved and even most of the light fixtures are intact.”

This is great news all around, as anyone who’s been to an Alamo Theater can attest. The theaters take the audience experience seriously and work to make it a memorable and enjoyable one for all. From top notch film presentations, to a strict no-talking/cell phone policy, to a delicious menu that caters to all tastes (including vegetarians like myself)…to the hilarious and often inappropriate reels that play between movies. San Francisco already has a handful of great theaters, but you can never have enough of them willing to show films outside the megaplex norm.

We will be featuring a mix of classic film programming, our unique alternative content and live events, foreign films, independent films as well as some studio films. Just like in Austin, we will be eager to partner with any and all film festivals and film appreciation groups who are interested and will be making the space available to neighborhood schools and community groups. We will be hiring a local San Francisco programming staff when we get closer to opening , so like-minded movie nerds please stay tuned, we will be hiring!”

Check out the full blog post here, and join us in celebrating this ridiculously awesome news. Just don’t mention it to Kate Erbland…she’s still sulking about it down in Los Angeles.

Related Topics:

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.