Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Will Open 10-Screen Movie Theater In Midtown St. Louis
News that has been rumored for several months is now official. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a 10-screen movie theater in the City Foundry development to be constructed in the Midtown neighborhood of St. Louis.
The Austin, TX-based movie theater chain officially announced today that it will build its newest location in St. Louis. The 10-screen, 942-seat Drafthouse will be located near Saint Louis University in Midtown.
The movie theater will be a centerpiece in the Lawrence Group’s City Foundry development. The Lawrence Group is expected to spend over $230 million on the City Foundry development. Alamo Drafthouse was among the first batch of companies announced today as the first tenants signed on for the project.
The theater will officially be part of City Foundry’s second phase. The Lawrence Group has said it expects to start construction on the first phase of the development in the coming months and construction on the second phase not long after.
The other companies announced as tenants along with Drafthouse are Punch Bowl Social and Fassler Hall.
These tenants are in addition to the “food hall” that will feature space for local St. Louis restaurants. The will technically be the first phase of City Foundry.
The Alamo Drafthouse Experience
Alamo Drafthouse has come a long way since being started in an Austin parking garage in 1997. The first theater was opened by the company’s current CEO, Tim League, and his wife, Karrie. They wanted to create a space where people could enjoy quality movies while also enjoying quality food and drinks.
That one theater in a converted parking garage has now grown to 29 theaters across the country. As far as Missouri, the company has existing locations in Kansas City and Springfield.
It’s hard to believe that Alamo Drafthouse started out kind of like Keller 8 Cinema in South County, showing second-run movies on the cheap. The chain is now one of the premiere theaters in the country, hosting special events and screenings alongside some of the top players in the movie industry. For the upcoming release of Black Panther, the theater is offering presale tickets that come with a glass designed exclusively for Alamo Drafthouse.
The chain’s locations also feature full menus of “award-winning” cuisine and full bars. The St. Louis location, for example, plans to have 48 craft beers on tap. Food menus vary by location, but all locations feature some staples like the Royale With Cheese burger and Omnivore pizza.
The company will also do special menus around certain movie releases like this one they recently did for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. That menu featured the Meat Grinder Burger as well as a Hot Brown Sandwich.
In addition to the announcement of the St. Louis location set to open in 2019, the company also announced plans to open its first location in Los Angeles, California in 2018 recently.
No Texting During The Movie At Alamo Drafthouse
A hallmark of the Alamo Drafthouse experience is the company’s strict policy banning talking and texting during the movie.
Alamo released a YouTube video back in 2011 to serve as a public service announcement about the policy. The video used an actual voicemail message left by an angry customer that had been kicked out of a theater for violating the policy. As of this writing, the video has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.
Alamo Drafthouse Talking & Texting PSA
Alamo also recently featured a “Don’t Talk” PSA starring country superstar George Strait.
CEO League recently showed Alamo Drafthouse’s commitment to the cause, and society, be offering to directly compensate a man who sued his date for texting during a movie, if he would drop his suit to “save the time of the courts”. In talking about the move with the American-Statesman, League also referred to the woman’s texting during the movie as a “threat to civilized society.”
The City Foundry Development In Midtown
The Lawrence Group is building the City Foundry development on the site of the former Century Electric Foundry complex.
Century Electric got its start in St. Louis in 1900 when it began selling hand-built motors and can at least be given partial credit for the refrigerator that is in your kitchen today. In 1930, it opened the Foundry complex and the site was operational until 2007, according to a Lawrence Group overview of the project. Century Electric was also the original tenant of the building at 1831 Chestnut Street in downtown St. Louis now occupied by Momentum Worldwide, among other companies.
Lawrence Group was recently awarded incentives in the form of 95% tax abatement for ten years and 50% abatement for five years by St. Louis Redevelopment Corp. It previously won approval on a tax increment financing (TIF) package valued at $19.4 million for the project.
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