Enjoying a full-service meal while watching a movie isn’t a new thing. In fact, one of my early dates with Levi maaaany moons ago was at what was then the Bethesda Cinema and Draft House (anyone else remember it?). We’ve also enjoyed food and flicks (and live shows) across the river at the Arlington Cinema and Draft House over the years. The concept, however, is somewhat new to DC.
The Alamo Drafthouse DC Bryant Street, as its officially called, opened a little less than a year ago. The Alamo is a chain, and while there are other locations in the DMV, including one opening next week in Crystal City, this is the only one in the District. I’d heard about it awhile back — my friend, Elsa, first told me how her whole family loves it — but I hadn’t actually been until a couple of weeks ago. It was with Elsa that I caught a showing of Don’t Worry Darling for my first taste of the theater and its offerings. And even though I wasn’t there with the kids, I can say with certainty that it would be a great place to go with them.
Located in Northeast DC, just off Rhode Island Avenue, The Alamo is housed in a new modern building with more features than your typical movie theater. There are nine auditoriums/theaters that have nice leather reclining seats. One of them is the Big Show, which they describe as “freakishly huge” and apparently uses extra awesome, premium technology for an immersive experience. All of the theaers offer extensive food and drinks menus. But the key part is the food service. You order from a server, so there’s no waiting in line ahead of the film or worry that you’ll miss anything going to get food. It elevates the experience and makes for a more chillaxed time altogether.
A nice DC touch is the Hall of Presidents in the lobby with portraits of movie presidents hanging on walls and fun photo ops. On top of that, The Highbinder is a spy-themed lounge serving cocktails and craft beers (if you want to make it a KidFree outing). I didn’t hang out there, but it’s nice to know about for an evening out sometime.
Like many theaters now, you can reserve seats ahead to get your preferred spot. And even though you have seats, it’s good to get there early to get your food order in. The food I tried was tasty, and Elsa said she and her family have enjoyed many of the menu items, too. There is also a Kids Menu for little eaters. A server comes in ahead of the movie and explains the system for ordering… you write it down (they provide paper and pens), then place it in a clip at the front of your little “table” so they know you’re ready to order.
A couple of other good-to-know things:
1) You can book theaters for private events. Right now, they’re promoting office holiday parties there, but it would also be a cool place for a birthday party or other celebration.
2) metrobar dc is literally right outside of The Alamo if you wanted to do dinner and a movie and outdoor drinks after.
3) There is parking in the underground garage there with up to four hours free with validation. Just let them know your license plate number at the concierge desk in the lobby.
As for Don’t Worry Darling… don’t worry about about seeing it (my review in a nutshell). Instead, check out what else is playing at The Alamo now.
The Alamo Drafthouse DC Bryant Street
Where: 630 Rhode Island Ave. | Northeast DC
When: Daily, movie times vary
Admission: Matinee – $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior