Moviegoing in a Pandemic

Alamo Drafthouse lifts the curtain on highly anticipated reopening date

Alamo Drafthouse lifts curtain on highly anticipated reopening date

Alamo Drafthouse Katy theater
Alamo Drafthouse will open its Slaughter Lane location in Austin on August 21. Courtesy photo

Austin's favorite movie theater chain is back. Alamo Drafthouse will open almost half of its 41 locations nationwide starting Friday, August 21, including the Slaughter Lane location, with special evening screenings on August 20.

The Lakeline location will open shortly thereafter on August 26, with the openings of the other Austin theaters (the Ritz, Village, Mueller, and South Lamar) still to be determined.

Alamo will offer the first chance to see Bill & Ted Face the Music, scheduled to open on August 28, with early free screenings on August 26. Tickets are now on sale for that film, as well as The New Mutants (opening August 28). The theater will soon offer tickets for Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which is scheduled to open on September 3.

The reopening will also feature two repertory programs: Making Up for Lost Time, featuring movies like InceptionBack to the FutureBill & Ted's Excellent AdventureDonnie Darko, and Edge of Tomorrow; and Masks!, a cheeky acknowledgment of our current reality, featuring movies like Batman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Set It Off, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Mask of Zorro, and The Silence of the Lambs.

If you'd rather not share a theater with anyone you don't know, Alamo recently launched “Your Own Private Alamo,” an option to rent a personal theater starting at $150. More information can be found at drafthouse.com/personal-theater. Alamo will also continue to offer films for rental or purchase at home through Alamo On Demand, including Bill & Ted Face the Music.

In a post published on June 24, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League laid out the movie theater chain's plans to keep moviegoers and staff safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, promising to enact policies that will make the locations “safer than a supermarket.”

"We intend to make it so that you can leave your car, make it to your seat, enjoy your food and drinks, and be able to leave having never come within six feet of another person other than when your order is delivered," said League in the post.

The measures Alamo is putting into place include sanitizing chairs and tables with an electrostatic fogger and disinfectant between screenings; limited capacity at each screening, with at least two buffer seats between groups; a face mask requirement for all staff and guests (masks will be provided for free if needed); and all online ordering of tickets and food.

Unlike normal operations, anyone who wants to order food must do so online when they purchase their tickets. Drink and popcorn refills will be done via the usual order card system, but otherwise, interactions with staff will be kept to a minimum.

Fans can go to drafthouse.com/welcomeback for full information on Alamo Drafthouse's reopening plans.