Rebuilding the Alamo

Alamo Drafthouse announces redevelopment plans for South Lamar location and Highball

Alamo Drafthouse announces redevelopment plans for South Lamar location and Highball

The will-they-or-won't-they wait is finally over. They answer is yes: The South Lamar Alamo is staying, and you're gonna love it.

The Alamo Drafthouse officially announced Tuesday that The South Lamar Plaza Shopping Center, the location of both the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse and The Highball will be shut down and renovated throughout most of 2013, giving rise to a larger and more accommodating Alamo experience.

The current Highball location will close on Nov. 17 of this year (thankfully after Fantastic Fest!), while the Drafthouse will remain open until Jan. 3 of 2013. Both are expected to open, this time adjacent to one another in the third quarter of 2013.

"As much as I love the current shopping center, the redevelopment of South Lamar Plaza will enable us to execute much-needed lobby renovations and increase the parking capacity for the complex," Alamo owner Tim League said in the press release Tuesday. "I am very excited about the design of the new space and I feel that after a brief closure we will re-open with the best Alamo Drafthouse yet." 

Indeed, the rendering released by the Drafthouse of the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture-designed complex appears to be the shiniest, prettiest, most entertaining-est place you could ever go to drink a beer and watch a Jean Claude van Damme movie marathon.

The new Drafthouse will still feature movies in 4k digital and 70mm projection, and will be able to do so on three additional screens. The Highball will lose the bowling lanes but gain plenty of open-air seating next to the movie theater. Most importantly, both locations will benefit from a significantly expanded parking lot.

What this means for all of the other businesses in the South Lamar Plaza Center remains to be seen, but the new designs appear to offer retail space throughout the complex. We'll be watching for those developments as they occur.

Rumors of change have persisted for years, and many feared that the South Lamar location would close permanently in favor of new high-rise condos or that The Highball would get moved across the street or further down Lamar.

Fortunately, the two bastions of unmitigated fun will remain at their home location, closer than ever. We can toast to that.

Austin Photo: News_Mike_Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar_Renovation
Couresty of Michael Hsu Architecture
News_Alamo Drafthouse Cinema_logo
Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema