Hey Austin Texas! You have a new Alamo Drafthouse theater, and this one promises to be more family friendly. That’s not to say that it won’t still offer great films and experiences for more mature audiences, but now it’s striving to provide family-focused content during the days. Located in the Mueller development near the Thinkery, a popular children’s museum, Alamo Drafthouse Mueller will partner with the museum to provide special events, including a Parent’s Night Out. In addition, other community partnerships will include Dell Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. The latter provides housing for families with children in long-term medical treatment. In order to give the families a break, anyone with a badge indicating that they are part of that program will just show their badge and get to see a movie. These are just some of the community partnerships that demonstrate the Alamo Drafthouse’s philanthropic nature. More than a movie theater, it’s a true pillar of the community.
If that doesn’t inspire you to visit the theater and support it, maybe reading about all the coolness that’s packed inside will.
The lower level of the building offers the Barrel of Fun area during the day which converts into the Bar of Fun at night. Featuring a double-sided menu with kid-friendly foods and non-alcoholic beverages on one side and adult-friendly versions of foods and beverages on the other, Barrel/Bar of Fun takes the theme of barrels, wood, and carnivals as inspiration. Sourcing lots of local food, making syrups in-house for soda fountain drinks and high-end cocktails, and offering 45 beers on tap, the Drafthouse provides something for everyone. Funhouse style mirrors and carnival themed items decorate the room.
Heading out of the Barrel of Fun, you’ll ascend the staircase to visit the theaters. The reels decorating the banister are original Goldberg film reels acquired from the American Genre Film Archive, who has digitized those films to ensure they live well beyond the life of the print.
As you make your way down the hallway, you’ll pass three sections of posters. The first includes the Drafthouse Recommends section, displaying posters for films that the Drafthouse strongly supports and wants to promote. The second is the Mondo section, or as I call it, the visitation room, where I can come to visit the beautiful posters I don’t own. The third consists of French/Italian original one-sheets from the 50’s and 60’s dedicated to westerns that are part of the American Genre Film collection.
Evan Boyles of The Neon Jungle, who designed the original Alamo sign in 1997 created all the neon signage for this location, marking 20 years of working on Alamo Drafthouse projects. Passing under the neon sign into the theater, you’ll notice clear changes.
The theaters are things of beauty with luxury seating and a front row that partially reclines allowing a more comfortable viewing experience from that vantage point. Each seat has its own table to provide for a less awkward experience than sharing a table with an unknown seat mate.
The theater is now open and running staff training. Check out a movie here. You’ll be glad you did.
The first big family event will occur on March 25, when Barrel of Fun will hold a Beauty and the Beast Family Party. If you have kids, there’s no reason not to go. Unless they’re grounded.