Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Luke, it is your theater

Alamo Theater
The Omaha area is home the one of the newer Alamo theaters.

This is the theater you’re looking for.  In less than 20 years, Alamo Drafthouse theaters have made their mark with movie fans. They offer a fun, clean atmosphere for people to watch movies. They, also, do not tolerate talking or cell phones during feature presentations.

We’ve been to two of the about 30 locations. The chain opened a new location in LaVista, which is a suburb of Omaha, about a year ago. It quickly became a family favorite. It’s a short drive from our house, as well as our daughter’s place.

Each Alamo theater has its own unique décor and presentation. The LaVista location made national news last December, when it was featured for its “Star Wars” theme. Episode VII was being released, so news organizations focused on its lobby design. The lobby has a huge Death Star replica several feet above the ticket counter. It’s an actual working Death Star. OK, maybe not a REAL working one, but if you press a button, lights illuminate giving the impression that the laser from the star is destroying a planet.

Alamo Theater
“Star Wars”-themed Death Star model.

In addition, you can sit in the Emperor’s Throne. It’s from here that you can push the Death Star button OR other buttons that will light up the throne and make “Star Wars”-related sounds. It’s great to be a kid again…at least when we go to the Alamo.

Alamo Theater
Emperor’s throne.

The second location we’ve visited is located in downtown Kansas City. In fact, that was the first Alamo Drafthouse we saw a movie in. The theater is located in the heart of KC’s Power and Light District – an exciting retail and entertainment area.

Alamo Theater
Kansas City’s Alamo theater.

We saw “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The pre show caught our eye, as each pre show has a theme related to the movie. This one had cartoon versions of “Guardians,” old black and white cheesy movie clips, as well as some in color. It was a fun way to whittle away the minutes before show time.

The KC theater uses a Hollywood theme as its decor. Banners featuring classic actors and actresses, such as Marlon Brando, hang from the walls. Movie quotes are located on the lobby floor.

Alamo Theater
The KC lobby is decorated with movie quotes.

Need to use the restroom? Check out the actors and actresses in the entrance. They will let you know which room you’re heading into. LOL.

Alamo Theater
Need a restroom? Look for the actors or actresses.

Speaking of show time, as soon as the new movie previews are completed, visitors are warned to put their phones away and not to talk during the movie. You get one warning before you’re booted from the movie – without a refund. They want you to have fun and enjoy the movie, but not to disturb your fellow viewers. It’s a fair request.

However, there are times talking – even singing – is encouraged. The theater hosts “quotealongs” and “singalongs” as special events. We have attended a couple of “quotealongs” – “The Big Lebowski” among them.

Alamo Theater
Alamo offers the chance to check out older films on the big screen.

The theater also shows older films, especially as part of a theme month. When “The Hateful Eight” was released, the Alamo in La Vista had a Quentin Tarantino month. Some of his older films were shown on the big screen. We watched “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” there.

The Alamo was among the innovators to offer in-theater wait staff and dinners. Menus are located at each seat’s table. The menu is updated every few months to keep it fresh. Guests place their orders on a small piece of paper and place it upright in a slot on the table. If you want a drink refill, do the same. This way, the servers don’t have to disturb you or your neighbors during the movie. Service is usually good. There are a couple of times we’ve had to follow-up on a refill or check the status of the meal. But, those are the exceptions to the service.

Alamo Theater
One of my favorite decorations at LaVista’s Alamo.

The Alamo Drafthouse is a fun place to check out movies. We’ve had an enjoyable movie experience each time we’ve been there.

We encourage people to check out the theaters in your area. For more information and locations, please visit www.drafthouse.com.