When the new Alamo Drafthouse opens in November, movie goers will be able to enjoy a full food menu instead of just concessions.
“You’ll be swapping out a pop and popcorn for a beer and dinner,” Patrick Russell, the assistant general manager of Kalamazoo Alamo Drafthouse, said.
“We will have everything from burgers to adult beverages,” George Yarbenet, the general manager of Kalamazoo Alamo Drafthouse, said. “A customer can get pretty much any alcoholic beverage they want, whether it’s a cocktail or a bottle of wine.”
A big reason Alamo Drafthouse settled in Kalamazoo was because of the beer culture.
“Out of 32 taps we have 21 craft Michigan beers,” Russell said. Three of the taps are Kalamazoo’s own Bell’s beer.
The Alamo Drafthouse will open up in the building that formerly was the Rave Theater in downtown Kalamazoo. However, the goal is to have a very different movie experience.
According to Yarbenet, when the customer is seated, they will be at a table where a server will greet them. The customer will order what they want and the server will bring it to them. If, during the show, the customer decides they want something to eat or drink, they will write down what they want on a card. The server will see it and proceed to get whatever it is the customer wants.
Some of the other things that set this theater apart from others around town is the no texting or talking policy. The theater does not allow anyone to be on their phones during the show.
“We want people to be able to enjoy dinner and a movie without being disrupted,” Yarbenet said.
Along with the no texting or talking policy, anyone who is under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and any child under the age of three is not allowed, according to the Alamo Drafthouse website.
Western Michigan University students are excited about the new theater in town. Sarah Morgan, a creative writing major, said that the meal aspect of the movie is great. She loves the idea of not having to go somewhere else and pay for food.
“It sounds awesome,” Mikaela Harris, a double major in psychology and English at WMU, said. “I would totally go!”
According to Yarbenet, the opening of the theater will also bring 150 job openings.
“We’re looking for bartenders, waiters, tech people and other positions that need to be filled,” Yarbenet said.
Feasts will also be served on some nights that go along with the movie the audience will be watching.
Yarbenet said that Alamo Drafthouse once served food that was themed around “The Hobbit.”
According to the Drafthouse website, all shows after 6 p.m. (excluding 3D shows) cost $9. For college students, the price is $5.50.