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Alamo Drafthouse brings movie theater, beer hall to Raleigh

Posted May 16
Updated May 19

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – a movie/tavern concept famous for audience-participation events – is coming to North Carolina. Alamo announced plans on Tuesday for an 11-screen theater, bar and restaurant at 2000 New Bern Ave. in Raleigh. It should be open by the end of the year.

"It's taken us over five years to find the ideal location for an Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh, but we feel like we've found it at the Longview Shopping Center," said Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League. "We love Raleigh. We have family here and have spent a lot of time in North Carolina."

Rendering: Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

Alamo is known for more than movie programming. Other locations regularly host Quote-Along events, where fans can yell out their favorite lines, and monthly Girlie Night presentations featuring movies like "Dirty Dancing" and "Clueless."

Raleigh's own Skip Elsheimer, founder of the AV Geeks film archive, said, "No other theater has come close to how awesome and creative they are with their screenings. Alamo Drafthouse was created by film fans, for film fans and Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh will be no exception, as it will introduce theatergoers to new films, directors and genres that would never play in the Triangle."

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was named the "Coolest Movie Theater in the World" by Wired.com and the top theater in America by Entertainment Weekly, in part because of a unique approach to movie-going.

No ads, no texting at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Like other movie tavern concepts, Alamo offers in-seat food and drinks, delivered during the show. It also has two strict rules that put the focus on the audience:

1. Alamo doesn't show commercials or ads before the lights go down. "Instead of ads or mind-numbing content named after the number of minutes you have to sit through it if you get to the theater early, we create custom pre-shows with content themed to most of the features we program," according to Alamo's website.

2. And don't think about using your phone during a movie, the theater boasts zero tolerance for cell phone use and even used an angry customer's voicemail as the basis for a public service announcement to warn others that the theater will kick someone out for breaking the rule.

Alamo expects to hire about 160 people in Raleigh for service and management positions. Most of those roles will be filled closer to the cinema's opening.


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  • Jeffrey Morris May 16, 8:54 p.m.
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    From NC, but live in VA where there's an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema & I love it. I do think they're arriving in Raleigh a few years late now that Raleigh Grande and others are offering a similar experience.
    The pre-show that the Alamo puts together is sometimes more entertaining than the film.

  • Michael Thompson May 16, 11:23 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    True story. Really weird choice for location.

  • John Franks May 16, 10:24 a.m.
    user avatar

    "It's taken us over five years to find the ideal location...we've found it at the Longview Shopping Center,"

    Ha! Obviously these people are not from Raleigh. This is a disaster in the making.

  • Todd Schray May 16, 9:55 a.m.
    user avatar

    I love the idea of no texting / cell phones. I think the very important people of our town, that cannot be off of their phones for more than a few successive minutes, will have a hard time accepting the rules and that they're not "special". I am going!

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