New theater to offer a different movie experience


Cristina Esquivel

The Alamo Drafthouse will be equipped with Sony 4K Digital Cinema Projection, RealD 3D, a stand-alone bar with selected cocktails and 35 mm projection capabilities.

Ashley Muñoz, Staff Reporter

A new theater experience will soon be available in the Sun City. The Alamo Drafthouse based in Austin, Texas, will be building one of their theaters in El Paso later this year.

The Alamo Drafthouse currently has more than 11 locations across the nation.

Neil Billingsley-Michaelsen, owner of the Lubbock and El Paso Alamo Drafthouse cinemas said El Paso was chosen because of the renaissance taking place in the city.

“The Alamo (Drafthouse)-Montecillo will mark a new foundation for El Paso cinema,” he said. “Families can expect to enjoy movie-making memories together at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.”

This new theater will offer a dining experience. Alongside the food and drinks, the famous theater is also known for its strict rules on texting and talking.

According to Billingsley-Michaelsen, the Alamo Drafthouse-Montecillo will go beyond what viewers are accustomed to, to provide an unforgettable movie-going experience.

“The theater will be state-of-the-art theater with eight screens. Each auditorium will be equipped with Sony 4K Digital Cinema Projection,” Billingsley-Michaelsen said. “It will feature selected auditoriums with RealD 3D, a stand-alone bar with selected cocktails and 35mm projection capabilities, which the Alamo will to screen rare and archival prints of select films.”

The Alamo will offer fresh food and beverages. Patrons can order their favorite wine, beer or cocktail, alongside a pizza, burger, salad or simply dessert. Given that the other theaters usually only allow popcorn and candy, the Alamo is expected to change the way viewers think about movie munchies.

“It sounds nice,” said Thomas Correa, sophomore engineering major. “This might open up more doors for other theaters. If it’s for the family to enjoy, I say it’s a combination of old and new rules. This is a twist for a theater, but I’m sure that’s what makes it different.”

However, Correa said he does not agree with the zero-tolerance policy towards talking and texting during a movie.

“I think it’s a little harsh to be escorted out of a theater. For texting, sure I can see that, but for talking, it’s a whole different story,” Correa said. “Other theaters are fine with it because the movies are usually so loud, you can’t hear anyone talk.”

The Alamo Drafthouse’s official website states that “if talking or texting occurs during a movie, the viewer will receive a warning. If it happens again, they will be kicked out without a refund.”

Billingsley-Michaelsen said that there are policies in place to provide a good experience for all movie-goers.

“We also have a strict age policy at the theater, no children under the age of 6 are allowed, nor unaccompanied minors unless it is a specific day for them, where we play movies at a lower volume and raise the lights a bit,” he said. “By enforcing this, we promote family values, kids enjoying the movie rather than being dropped off.”

The new Alamo Drafthouse Montecillo Cinema will be constructed at 5000 N. Mesa Street, and is expected to open later on this year.

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Ashley Muñoz may be reached at [email protected]