On Thursday, the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet premieres a brand-new look and menu.
The dine-in multiplex, the first Kansas City location for the rapidly expanding Austin, Texas-based movie theater chain, took over the AMC Mainstreet space at 1400 Main St. in July. Three months later, it closed for renovations that overhauled everything from the concession stand to the seats and projectors.
The Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet reopens just in time for one of the biggest movie events of the year: the premiere of the “Twilight” finale, Thursday. To celebrate, the Alamo’s showing all the “Twilight” movies back to back leading to the premiere of “Breaking Dawn Part 2.”
Tickets to that all-day marathon are sold out, but there are plenty of other events this month. Among them: A sing-along to R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet,” a Boulevard beer dinner paired with the 1983 Rick Moranis film “Strange Brew” and an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner in honor of the ultimate spaghetti Western, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
If you see “Twilight” or the cult vampire flick “From Dusk Till Dawn” at the Alamo this week, save your stub, which gets you $3 drinks at the Alamo’s Vampire Prom on Saturday. The bloodsucker-themed party starts at 8 p.m. inside The Chesterfield, a bar attached to the theater.
Here’s a preview of what else is new at the recently dismembered (and reanimated) Alamo.
The theaters: All six of the Alamo’s theaters are now dine-in, so you can order food and drinks from every seat. Each seat has a table within arm’s reach. Write your order on one of the provided slips of paper, then place it in the slot on the table (as a rule, talking is discouraged at Alamo screenings, but the theater makes exceptions for rowdy movies like “Magic Mike,” quote-alongs and sing-alongs). Once you place your order in the slot, black-clad servers will nab it discreetly and return later with your food or drink.
Also new inside the theaters: Vibrators that rumble your seat during action scenes and a pair of 35-mm film projectors for movies shot on film, such as “The Master.”
The concession stand: It has been replaced with a bar where you can order beer, wine and specialty drinks matched to movies. When we went last month for a screening of “The Big Lebowski,” White Russians were $5. This week, with “Twilight” in mind, the Alamo’s selling “blood bags” full of sangria, said creative manager Ryan Davis. Looking for Milk Duds and popcorn? You’ll have to order them from your seat in the theater.
The lobby: There’s a new arcade with a pool table, and classic games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are on order. Gone are the tapestries with sepia-toned images of Charlie Chaplin and Forrest Gump. Davis says the Alamo’s movie icons are more in line with Godzilla, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Raquel Welch and The Dude from “The Big Lebowski.”
Back in September, when the old tapestries were still in place, manager Nick Vega said he was really looking forward to redecorating.
“Will Smith’s face up there?” Vega said as he pointed to one of the tapestries in the lobby. “We love what you did for us in ‘Men in Black.’ But the second and the third one? Get outta here.”
The menu: Pizza and beer are the Alamo’s specialty, but the menu has everything from basic bottomless popcorn ($5.50) to fried pickles ($7.50) and gluten-free and vegetarian entrees. Several items have clever movie-inspired names. The Royale with Cheese ($10.50) is a cheeseburger inspired by “Pulp Fiction.” The pizza menu includes veggie-heavy pies named Wild at Artichoke Hearts ($11.50) and My Big Fat Vegetarian ($11). For the carnivores, there’s the Raging Bull ($10), a pizza named after the Scorsese/DeNiro film. For dessert, there’s fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies ($6) and milkshakes made with Guinness or Boulevard’s Bully Porter beer ($7).
The bar: The Chesterfield, a 1920s-themed bar decorated with plush leather couches and vintage cigarette advertisements, now has a larger stage and a trapeze swing for Friday night performances by Burlesque Downtown Underground. It also has its own menu of appetizers. The bar is attached to the Alamo, but you don’t have to see a movie to drink there.