The classic “dinner and a movie” date received a major upgrade when the Alamo Drafthouse opened in 1997 (there are now four Austin  locations, listed below). The concept is genius in its simplicity: offer restaurant-quality food (and beer) to movie patrons. Each alternate aisle of seats is replaced with narrow tables, allowing waiters to take orders and deftly navigate the theater without disturbing viewers.
Menu items include the “Royale with Cheese” burger and “Poultrygeist” pizza, and cold draft beer and fine wines offer an ideal accompaniment. The food is often paired with the movie (spaghetti westerns, or recreating meals from “Big Night” and “Like Water for Chocolate”) and there are clever promotions galore—screening bad ‘80s movies with appearances by the starring has-been actors, a karaoke-style movie scene re-enactment contest called “videoke,” singalongs, open screen nights, and rolling road shows.
Film festivals are de rigueur, with several hosted by notable industry types such as director Quentin Tarantino and Austin-based online film critic Harry Knowles. If all that weren’t enough, Entertainment Weekly named the Alamo the “best theater in America.”
The Alamo’s tremendous popularity is a proud Austin  success story, and it allowed the franchise to expand from its original location in the Warehouse District to four theaters throughout the city and several others across Texas.
The Austin locations are Alamo Downtown (320 E. Sixth St.), Alamo South Lamar (1120 S. Lamar Blvd., 512/476-1320), Alamo Village (2700 W. Anderson Ln., 512/476-1320), and Alamo Lake Creek (13729 Research Blvd., 512/219-8135). Information about show times and events at all locations is available at www.drafthouse.com .