Attention, cinephiles: Renowned theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is opening its first-ever New England location in Boston.
Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport, which will take over the space previously occupied by ShowPlace Icon Theater at 60 Seaport Blvd., will be a 10-screen, 767-seat theater when it opens in early 2023.
Featuring luxury recliners in every auditorium and a mix of first-run films and repertory programs, Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport will also serve a made-from-scratch food and beverage menu, according to a press release from the company.
The news comes at a moment of uncertainty for theater chains across the nation. Total attendance has slowly been climbing but remains about 40 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to ComScore. Variety reports that guests who are classified as “frequent moviegoers” — those who visit cinemas at least once a month — have returned in healthy numbers.
It’s that type of audience that is Alamo Drafthouse’s bread and butter. Founded in 1997, the company was an early pioneer in providing a superlative theater experience, serving meals at its films and strictly enforcing policies for movie theater etiquette.
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 Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston Seaport will also be equipped with 4K projection and surround sound, and will allow for 35mm changeover projection so that both classic films and new releases will be on view. Beyond catering to film fanatics, Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport promises repertory programming featuring fan favorites like “Elf” and “Legally Blonde,” and family-friendly events like the reduced price Kids Camp screenings.
“Each weekend brings a welcome reminder that audiences are enjoying the theatrical experience in droves, and responding to the unique passion Alamo Drafthouse brings to the industry,” Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring our love of film, food, and beer to Boston, a city with rich culture, deep history, and a vibrant moviegoing scene.”
Alamo Drafthouse will share the 60 Seaport Blvd. building, owned by WS Development, with Scorpion Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, Flight Club, Kings Bowling, and Equinox.
“We are thrilled to welcome Alamo Drafthouse to [the] Seaport and be home to its first Boston location,” Seaport Boston WS Development General Manager Ariel Foxman said in a statement. “It’s a best-in-class theater that brings movies and dining together to create an all around exceptional and fun experience for everyone.”
The addition of another theater to Boston is welcome news for the city’s moviegoers. During the pandemic, the city lost two upscale cinemas when both ShowPlace Icon Theater in the Seaport and ArcLight Cinemas on Causeway Street closed permanently.
In addition to the food and beverage available for the theater-going experience, Alamo Drafthouse Boston Seaport will also open a separate, full-service bar called The Press Room. Serving up craft cocktails, wine, and local craft beers, the bar also serves as a movie museum of sorts, with a functioning letterpress print shop and displays featuring more than 10,000 vintage movie ad plates.
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