While I was wasting time on the internet the other day (as we all do), I came across this intriguing job ad for a manager of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema—in a new location in Yonkers.
Easy now, I thought when I found it. Don't get too excited. A job ad is just that. It doesn't mean that an Alamo Drafthouse is definitely coming to Yonkers. It's not signed-and-sealed paperwork or an opening-night announcement, and there's a million ways for this to not come to fruition. But that was shouted down by the bigger, louder, less rational part of me that was screaming WHEEE! AN ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE IN YONKERS!
For those of you who don't follow movie exhibition trends in Texas, here's why you should be excited, too. The Alamo Drafthouse is a small chain of theaters (they currently have seven locations up and running, in Texas, Virginia, Colorado, and Missouri) with a sterling reputation. The most distinguishing characteristic is that it serves food—and booze!—to you at your seat during the movie. (You write down your order on little slips of paper, and servers silently pick them up and bring you your food. It's like magic.) And we're not talking stale popcorn and freezer-bag chicken fingers, either. The menu for the location in Austin, where the chain is based, runs about eight pages long.
The dinner-and-a-movie gimmick might bring people into the theater, but the reason they go back is because the Alamo Drafthouse is a theater chain that, well, is good at showing movies. They care that the movie is being presented in the right way. (No, seriously—they write blog posts about their theories on projection technology.) They come up with interesting programs, like the awesome-to-the-max "Summer of 1982" series, where they showed all of '82s big summer movies—The Road Warrior, E.T., Poltergeist, Tron, etc.—in the same order they came out that year. And, my personal favorite, they KICK OUT patrons who text during movies. Watch this PSA (that contains some very coarse language—you've been warned) they were showing before their films.
So you can see why movie fans should really, really want this to come to Yonkers.
It's not out of the realm of possibility. A New York City location has already been announced—at 99th Street and Broadway, which is only a little more than 10 miles from Yonkers—so they're clearly not against expanding in New York. If one does open in Yonkers, taken along with the announcement that there's going to be a Robert Redford Sundance Cinema in Dobbs Ferry, the Rivertown area is looking like quite the corridor for movie-watching.
Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.