Phoenix residents have a bit of arthouse envy when it comes to the quirky, iconic businesses that put towns like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, on the alt-culture map. Voodoo Doughnut, McMenamins and Alamo Drafthouse are among the two cities’ most famous locales. While we have FilmBar, iPic and AMC Esplanade, there’s nothing quite like Alamo, a chain of dine-in theaters with a full kitchen serving frothy beer and pub grub straight to your seat.
After more than a year of media teasers about potential Phoenix Metro locations, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is finally coming to Arizona. In January, the company announced plans to open a 9-screen theater and bar in a mixed-use retail space at Chandler Crossings at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Road in Chandler.
"I have always wanted Chandler to be the first Arizona location for the Alamo Drafthouse," says partner Craig Paschich of Paschich Alamo Holdings LLC. "I wanted this to be my neighborhood theater that I can share with the community. I also wanted it to be close so I can be there as often as possible and meet as many people as possible." Paschich’s family home is less than a mile from the site.
The Chandler location is slated to open sometime in 2016, showing first-run films in nine theaters with seating for 975 patrons. Auditoriums will include state-of-the-art digital projection and hi-def sound systems. Dining tables in front of each row provide better viewing, not to mention a place to set down those draft brews.
Phoenix residents will also have to adapt to Alamo’s “zero tolerance” talk & text policy, reinforced via adorable little public service announcements that play at the beginning of each movie. Founders Tim and Karrie League, who built the first Alamo as a second-run theater with a single screen, have had a strict “no talking policy” in effect since 1997.
Customers talking loudly or blabbing on cell phones are given one warning before being ushered out of the theater; a move often followed by a round of applause from fellow moviegoers. “Ma'am, you may be free to text in all the other theaters in the Magnited States of America,” Tim League says on the cinema’s website, “but here at our ‘little crappy-ass theater,’ you are not. Why, you may ask? Well, we actually do give a f*$k.”
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