You may already know that the hottest new San Francisco cinema destination (where you can have a Pisco Punch and Bourbon-Glazed Ribs delivered right to your seat) is a dreamy grown-up date spot, but did you know that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is also the place for family friendly flicks and fun? From hosting international kiddie film fests to screening their favorite PBS shows on the big screen, this awesome new addition to the Mission District has something for everybody.
Shuttered since 1993, the New Mission theater had been dark (and steadily crumbling) until the folks from Alamo stepped in a couple years ago. After a $10 million renovation, the theater opened last month, just in time to be among the first theaters to screen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now the gussied up space boasts five screens, from intimate viweing rooms with just 34 seats to a huge screen fronted by 320 seats. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a popular boutique chain, with locations around the country. What the brand apart from other movie theaters is the gourmet, table-side service that theater goers get to enjoy all through their cinematic experience. From an extensive beer, craft and wine menu to bites ranging from salads to pizzas to sandwiches to mac n’cheese (and even thick and creamy Strauss milk shakes) there’s no need to rush through dinner down the block in order to make your movie time.
While the films for grown-ups demand grown-up theater etiquette (absolutely no talking or cell phones—a complaint from a fellow movie-goer will result in a guided tour straight the to the exit), the family events are more casual affairs. Coming up next week (January 23 and 24) is the New York International Children’s Film Festival’s Best of the Fest: Kid Flix 1, a 60-minute collection of animated short films suitable for ages three to eight. On various weekends in February, Alamo will be screening a Studio Ghibli retrospective featuring showings of Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. Also in February, “PBS KIDS at the Alamo” kicks off, where they’ll screen popular PBS Kids shows like Nature Cat and Odd Squad and host special activities. And for new parents who are sick of watching flick on the sofa, there’s Baby Day every Tuesday. During the first show of the day, parents can bring their babies to the movie; the theater will keep the lights up a bit, the sound a little lower and they’ll suspend their signature no-talking or texting policy.
Remember the food and drink we mentioned? Well, it’s serious business. The theater has its very own kitchen that rivals that of some of the area’s best restaurants, only this place will bring you piping hot pizza, perfectly grilled shishito peppers or mouthwatering burgers right to your seat mid-movie. And for classicists, there is plenty of fresh popcorn, topped with your choice of truffle parmesan butter, housemade kimchi powder or sriracha flakes. As for beverages, as the name implies, they pride themselves on their craft beer selection, but there is no shortage of wines and creative cocktails either. Catching an early flick with the kiddos? You better believe they have coffee (De La Paz, Nitro cold brew and hot), as well as teas, virgin mixed drinks and root beer on tap. How do you order a meal without making a peep you’re wondering? Just fill out one of the cards at your table and stick it on the rail for the server to pick up. Watch, eat, repeat.
Have you been to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema yet? Tell us about it in the comments below!
All images courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas