It’s going to be a whole lot easier now to go out for dinner and a movie in Littleton.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened in Aspen Grove this week, marking the Austin, Texas-based company’s first foray into Colorado. And the chain is bringing its unique brand of movie-going experience.
The concept of the Alamo is simple enough: dinner and a movie all rolled into one. Yet it’s in the execution that Alamo distinguishes itself.
“I’ve been looking forward to them opening this up since I heard about it,” said Scott Sloan, who caught a Sunday matinee of “Ghostbusters” during the theater’s staff training weekend. “Delicious food, great service, and the programming is amazing.”
The facility itself is impressive. All theaters are equipped with Sony 4K Digital projectors and feature first-run movies. Alamo is also installing a 35mm film projector to show older movies that aren’t available in digital format.
Yet it’s not just Alamo’s use of state-of-the-art equipment that distinguishes it.
Alamo has what can only be described as an ironclad rule against talking and texting during movies. Anyone caught texting or talking during the movie, after one warning, will be kicked out of the theater, no questions asked.
Just Google “Alamo Drafthouse texter” if you need proof. But make sure to listen to the censored version.
“You don’t have any tiny glowing rectangles distracting you,” Sloan said of the move-watching experience.
Along with first-run movies, Alamo features events like “quote-alongs” — when audience members are actually encouraged to talk — and classic action movies with pyrotechnics.
Each movie also comes with its own specially programmed 30-minute preshow, featuring everything from classic cartoons to Web videos, to provide an intro for the featured film, said Tom DeFrancia, a partner and creative manager for the Littleton theater.
“We sat here for 30 minutes before the movie, and we didn’t see one single ad for Coca-Cola,” Sloan said. “Instead we got to watch cartoons.”
The menu features gourmet fare like artisan cheese plates, oven-roasted pizza and fresh-ground hamburgers to go along with the usual popcorn and candy. Head chef Seth Rexroad said about 85 percent of the food is made in house from scratch and is locally sourced whenever possible.
Along with the menu, which features brunch items during the weekend early shows, the theater features a full bar menu, with beers that will raise an eyebrow or two even among hardcore aficionados.
Rexroad said the theater plans several food-and-beer-pairing dinners throughout the year, each with a designated brewery to go along with the movie. The first dinner, April 9, will feature the Steve Martin classic “The Jerk” and a five-course meal paired with Oskar Blues Brewery.
Rexroad said he is working with several other breweries, but he is keeping the menus a secret until the dates get closer.
The facility has about 900 seats spread throughout seven theaters and will employ about 150 full- and part-time employees. Considering the theater’s location in the busy Aspen Grove shopping center, manager Leslie Newell said employees are being encouraged to carpool and to use light rail to get to and from work.
“I don’t think (parking) is going to be a problem for our guests,” Newell said. “We’re going to do everything we can to minimize any problems with parking.”
Contact Ramsey Scott at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.