Attention movie buffs: The renowned theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is opening its first-ever New England location in Boston.
The Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport, which will occupy the space previously occupied by the ShowPlace Icon Theater at 60 Seaport Blvd. will be a 10-hall, 767-seat theater when it opens in early 2023.
The Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport will offer luxury seating in each auditorium and a mix of debut and repertory programming, and will also serve a food and beverage menu prepared from scratch, according to a company press release.
The news comes at a moment of uncertainty for theater chains across the country. Total attendance has slowly increased but remains about 40 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to ComScore. Variety reported that patrons classified as “frequent moviegoers” — those who visit movie theaters at least once a month — have returned in healthy numbers.
That kind of audience is the be-all and end-all of the Alamo Drafthouse. Founded in 1997, the company was an early pioneer in providing a superlative theatrical experience, serving meals to accompany its films and strictly enforcing cinema etiquette guidelines.
The Alamo Drafthouse Seaport plans to host its fair share of indies, foreign films, documentaries, and other cinephile catnip, alongside standard blockbuster fare. Each theater at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston Seaport will also be equipped with 4K projection and surround sound, allowing for 35mm switching projection so that both classic films and new releases will be shown. In addition to catering to film fanatics, the Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport promises a repertoire program featuring fan favorites like “Elf” and “Legally Blonde,” as well as family-friendly events like Kids Camp screenings at discounted rates.
“Each weekend brings a welcome reminder that audiences are enjoying the theater experience in droves and responding to the unique passion Alamo Drafthouse brings to the industry,” said Shelli Taylor, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring our love of film, food and beer to Boston, a city with rich culture, deep history and a vibrant cinema scene.”
Alamo Drafthouse shares 60 Seaport Blvd. Building owned by WS Development containing Scorpion Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, Flight Club, Kings Bowling and Equinox.
“We are very pleased to welcome the Alamo Drafthouse [the] Seaport and home to its first Boston location,” Ariel Foxman, general manager of Seaport Boston WS Development, said in a statement. “It is a premier theater that brings together films and restaurants to create an all-round exceptional and fun experience for all.”
The addition of another theater in Boston is welcome news for the city’s moviegoers. During the pandemic, the city lost two upscale cinemas when both the ShowPlace Icon Theater in the Seaport and the ArcLight Cinemas on Causeway Street closed permanently.
In addition to the food and beverages available for the theatrical experience, the Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport will also open a separate full-service bar called The Press Room. The bar serves craft cocktails, wine, and local craft beers, and doubles as a film museum of sorts, with a working book printer and displays featuring more than 10,000 vintage film promotional signs.
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