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Movie Theaters That Are Smart About the Kid Factor

Movie Theaters That Are Smart About the Kid Factor

We all know the many ways we can get irritated at the movies. People talking, cell phones going off, cell phone lights on-and yes, screaming babies and disruptive kids that just shouldn’t be there.  Well, Alamo Drafthouse Theaters have policies that make sure you aren’t pulled out “of the magic of the movies.”   The problem:

They are only in Texas and Virginia! Here are the company policies in a nutshell:

1. No ads are played before the film.

2. If you persist on texting or talking, they will throw you out.

My favorites:

3. No children under 6. CEO Tim League says, “If the movie is a non-crossover kids movie, we sometimes flex this age down to 3 and up, and we also have select “Baby Day” screenings each week for infants and small children. If you want to take your 4-year-old to see “The Hangover 2″ at 10 p.m., however, you’ll have to go somewhere else.”  Yes!

4. They do not allow unaccompanied minors. “We don’t allow it ever. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and if they act up, they will be thrown out.”

The results of these policies? Non-disruptive movie experiences that have created a loyal following.  I know of another theater company that has a way to keep the disruptive kid factor down-Sundance Cinemas, owned by Robert Redford. It offers a section for those 21 years old and over. You can bring food from the theater’s restaurant (not the snack bar–real food) and bring in alcoholic beverages from the bar.  So no minors, and the likelihood of seeing babies in this section is kept to a minimum; I have yet to see a baby in this section yet.

Sundance is only in two locations, San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin. Both theater companies need to be in more locations!

I am writing Mr. League to encourage him to grow to other cities. Do you want a movie theater in your area with his policies? Do the same!

Do you know of other theater companies that have kid policies or do other things to keep disruption down?

94 Responses to Movie Theaters That Are Smart About the Kid Factor

  1. I believe there is a time & a place for everything & everyone. I personally never wanted any children, but do have 2 and am super happy they are self-reliant now. However, I completely agree that small children should not be allowed in a theater after a certain time. There’s nothing wrong w/ leaving them behind with a sitter for a couple of hours.

  2. I’ll just add my vote FOR the Alamo policy of no kids allowed at adult movies and I’m a parent as well. My son is now 20 years old, and neither of us wish to listen to screaming babies or toddlers when we do go to the movie theater. I just wish we had this theater in our city.

  3. What’s the average amount of money needed to start an alamo franchise (their initial interest form doesn’t state).

  4. Someone above posted a question about how kids are supposed to learn proper movie behavior without going to movies. I have an answer: AT HOME.

    My parents staged all kinds of events for me and my sister to have at home in preparation for the real thing. I remember at least three practice movie nights, in which all four of us sat on folding chairs in a row and watched a movie very quietly and ate popcorn in the dark in our living room. We had practice restaurant dinners, too, when we dressed nicely and ate quietly in the dining room with nice silverware instead of eating at the kitchen like usual. (And of course, basic table manners and quiet voices were required no matter where we were eating.) My parents went out of their way to prepare us for new experiences so that we would know just how to act–and you know what, we always did. People used to compliment my folks all the time because the two of us were so quiet and good. And we loved it when someone told us how grown-up we acted! Too many parents today seem unable or unwilling to put in this kind of time or effort, which tells me that they weren’t prepared to have kids at all.

    • Ang, What a great thing your parents did. I like most that you were taught how to respect the nature of certain public situations and the people in it. We need more of this for people of all ages….; )

  5. Unfortunately the Sundance in Madison does not have the 21+ theaters that they do in SF. It is still a favorite place for us to go. The $1 extra per ticket for reserved seats seems to limit the number of kids in a theater and the real food and drinks is a real plus.

  6. I absolutely ?love? this theater-pub trend!
    It seems to be gaining momentum. I live in Vancouver, WA, near Portland, OR where there are several ( Lookin’ at you, Laurelhurst theater! :)
    I went to one in Longview, WA – they had GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA – and gluten free beer!! Outstanding! :)
    My bet is if you punch ‘Theater pub’ into a search engine with the nearest city, you’ll find one.
    This has been a child-centric country for a while now, and it’s not a surprise to me that there would be an equal but opposite no-kids backlash.

  7. “No Kids Allowed” is a dangerous trend that is beginning. These movie theaters are participating in discrimination against children. I think they are close to a compromise; however, there needs to be better rules in place so kids do not feel they are unwelcome. Why are adults not understanding that kids are impressionable, they sense what you are feeling, their experiences shape their future and ultimately ours. There needs to be a better way than the extreme of “NO KIDS ALLOWED.” Why not impose a No Kids Allowed (even with an adult) to R rated movies? What about a No Kids Allowed (even with an adult) for PG-13 movies unless the kids (with or without the adult) are 13 yo? This would be a MUCH easier ban to swallow since we already have such parameters set in place to help keep our kids safe.

    • Sheila–thanks for writing. The alamo theaters do not say no to kids all together–as I understand it, there are just different days/times for kids and their families. They are not shutting them out completely….

  8. Let’s get some things straight. Alamo does not hate kids nor does it ban children completely. The Alamo is established as an adult entertainment theater. There are several things that it does to accomodate parents and children, such as baby days. On these certain days children 6 and under get in FOR FREE to the first showing of any movie. During the summer time some Alamo’s even show kid movies that are FREE for everyone. Alamo also sometimes shows PG and G New Release movies that will be deamed ALL AGE MOVIE (with parent) on their websites and in the theater. Doesn’t sound like a place that hates children to me…Let’s continue. The Alamo has a strict no one under 18 allowed in without parent. How many times have you been to a movie with disruptive teens and preteens and no parent in sight to keep their children behaving as one should in public? You will not find these kids screaming, yelling, throwing things, being sexually disgusting, being rude to adults, etc. Alamo has seems to have solved that problem. As for disruptive adults, they are not allowed either. If you have an adult in your theater, or group of adults, being obnoxious, loud, lewd, or anything else that is taking away from the experience that you paid for, all you have to do is let your server know and they will be asked to stop and/or immediately escorted from the theater. win win situation for all.

  9. Obviously, the comments are not about hating children. Alamo doesn’t hate children, they just want to offer undisturbed service. Children are still allowed into kids movies, just not under 3 usually. And older children can still go into any other movie with an adult. They even offer free kids movies during the summer. However, why should anyone listen to a screaming child over the movie they are watching? Pretty sure not even kids want to hear some other kid crying.

    If you have an underage child you are more than welcome to go to another theater. This is not the only option in town. It’s not like there aren’t other theaters.

    Just like you wouldn’t bring your children to a nice restaurant, why should you all of a sudden be allowed to bring your child to a DRAFTHOUSE cinema? There is alcohol.

    Stop complaining about how everyone’s anti children.
    They just want the option of going somewhere where children won’t be.

  10. Native Austinite and Alamo Drafthouse superfan here. I will tell you that I wish Alamo had never franchised. They were best staying small, local, and unique. Over branding simply causes a breakdown in product quality. :) That being said, I’m glad that people can come to this fab city and have some fun experiences. The Alamo Drafthouse is a true local treat.

  11. I lived 8 mins away from an Alamo Drafthouse in San Antonio, TX and if the movie i wanted wasn’t playing at a time i preferred,I would wait til another day just to go to that theater. Absolutely love it. I am also a parent. I took my daughter to the movies when she was about 2 mths old. It was a weekday in the afternoon and w/ the exception of 2 other ppl we were the only ones. At 2 mths old not much crying going on; lots of sleep. That was the only time I took her to the movies as a baby/toddler because I didn’t want to be THAT rude parent. Babies cry, children get restless, I know this first hand but what I don’t care for are parents that either don’t discipline their children or aren’t considerate enough to take their crying baby outside or to a lobby to calm them down in any public venue. Parents shouldn’t feel snubbed by child restricted venues, if anything they should be kept in mind when its time to have date night =)

  12. Well we black folk have more or less worked out issues and women can vote and gays can get married so since selfish, egotistical extremeist always need someone to exclude and blame for the world’s problem so now its children???? That’s really, really funny!!! Hey let’s go after tall people next, blocking all of that sunlight for us short people! Only thing keep going after the kids one day they will be the adults who be changing YOUR diapers again. Better think for about that! You guys are a hoot though!

  13. First of all, there are plenty of places for the breeders and their brats to go.
    As someone who is voluntarily childless, I don’t see why I should have to deal with undisciplined brats. I promise you that if it comes to it, I will yell at a child for being an annoyance. If I’m yelling at your child, that means you screwed the pooch when it comes to discipline.
    Also, there are situations where an undisciplined brat can pose a safety hazard. On an air flight, a brat refused to sit down and be buckled in. The parents refused to do anything. They were simply going to wait out the child’s tantrum. As you know, a plane can’t take off unless everyone is buckled in. The air crew had no choice but to kick the family off after waiting 30 minutes for the family to deal with their stupid brat. The parents complained about how insensitive the flight crew was, but they were the insensitive ones. The other people on the plane had connecting flights to catch and those parents wouldn’t do a damn thing to discipline the child. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the child who has to earn the right to interact with the public. I’ve already learned how to behave. Maybe the people who don’t like the child-free zones have problem children and don’t like the fact they’re going to have to parent properly for once.

  14. I for one love this idea and hope it spreads to other businesses. Those people who are up in arms about kids not being allowed in some places need to think about others and realize that people, even those with kids, sometimes want an adult night out without any around whatsoever. There is nothing wrong with that. Banning kids from a few hundred or thousand places across the globe is NOT going to cause the human race to die off. Reading some of the rants on here you would think that 99% of the businesses out there are banning kids! Talk about being overly dramatic about something…

    • Mike–thanks for making this point….the rant on this is surprising to me! You are right–it is a segment of the theaters, and many many parents like the idea too…

  15. You know it’s sad that people have been basically banned from enjoying themselves like others just because they have little ones. I thought this was america. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Wow, we are seeing more and more each day our civil liberties being yanked away.

    Why can’t you have a seperate viewing screen just for those who don’t want the kids there in the same theatre. Have a seperate area of your resturant just for those who don’t want to be bothered with children.

    This is just sad. Others have worked hard and have earned a right just like each and everyone of us.

  16. I live in Austin, and love The Alamo Drafthouse. I saw Harry Potter there last night and took my 10 year old. For what its worth, I have had way more problems with rude and self-centered adults in movie theaters (and other places) than I have ever had with kids. One of my favorite things about Alamo is they have rules to keep the stupid adults in line.

  17. I think it is fine to have a theater that has a no-kids policy as long as there is a competitive theater in the same town/region that welcomes kids and families (and perhaps has more family-friendly pricing). There are a lot of movies that parents should not be bringing their small children to in the first place. When we saw Harry Potter, we brought our well-behaved 9 year old, but left the 5 year old with a sitter – both for our benefit and hers.

    Anyway, I think it’s fine to have adult-only areas in theaters, hotels and restaurants. And let’s make some theaters, hotels and restaurants for FAMILIES ONLY. Maybe we’ll all be happier.

  18. Yes, I agree that many children are BRATS, BUT some of us know how to discipline our children, and have taught them what is, and what is not acceptable behavior in public. No, kids should not be in movie theaters after 8 or 9 PM, but get rid of the teens too! They annoy me more than anyone else!!!!
    Parents of brats should just be asked to leave, POINT BLANK! Do not punish the rest of the well behaved children because of incompetent parents.
    Not to mention the fact that you are seriously tip toeing on the line of DISCRIMINATION here. Maybe we should get the ACLU involved. Wasn’t SEGREGATION outlawed???

  19. There are always children who misbehave. The same can be said for adults. I’m sure all of you have behaved perfectly as children, therefore you have no patience for those who have yet to learn. My husband and I rarely get to go anywhere without our children because we have a extremely tight budget and do not have family who can babysit often. I understand having adult only places to go. But please remember that you were once children too and had to learn how to behave, our children deserve to learn too.

  20. So when should kids be allowed out in public? There are attempts at banning kids from being outside at all in some places, grocery stores that don’t allow kids, restaurants that don’t allow kids, etc.. I think those of you in favor of child-bans are really immature. Do you really expect kids to be kept home all the time because YOU are too immature to deal with having to share the world? How do you expect kids to learn how to behave in public if they’re never exposed to the public? Yes, there are some kids who are monsters because their parents suck, but guess what. There are plenty of adults who are loud and obnoxious too.

    If YOU don’t want to deal with the PUBLIC, then YOU stay home. It’s extremely self-centered and immature to want to ban from public places those people you personally don’t like.

  21. - “I think this is all misplaced anger. The things that ruin the movie experience for me is not kids around or under the age of 6. The movie is far more likely to be disrupted by teens and pre-teens anytime they are in a group larger than 2.”

    Perhaps you should learn how to read. Young children are only one of the issues dealt with. Read the list of rules for the Alamo chain and you’ll find that other disruptive behavior is covered as well.

  22. - “Baby haters are evil. Simple as that.”

    If you’re too stupid to understand the difference between not wanting poorly-supervised children disrupting the movie-going experience you paid for, and “hating babies”…I can only hope that you haven’t reproduced yourself.

  23. Alamo Drafthouse is AWESOME. I just moved to Phoenix and I miss it terribly. I am a mother to a 3 y/o and I cannot imagine doing 90% of the thing I see other parents do, when it comes to movies/restaurants, etc.

    Check out YOUTUBE and search ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE for some hilarious clips, including an irate message left by a drunk lady kicked out for texting/answering her phone during a movie.

    LA VIVA DRAFTHOUSE AND GET YOUR BUTT TO ANTHEM / PHOENIX, AZ!

  24. Man I wish there is such a theater in my area. I’d go out to the movies more often.

    The kids should be banned from all PG and above movies. I remember we went to go see an R rated movie and one of the scene had an explicite sex scene. Just as we were about to leave, we saw a 6 year old girl with her parents. We all thought WTF.

  25. screaming kids! I’m all for not having them. But it’s the parents not the kids fault so by removing the kids and or the problem “parents” that’s all fine with me. Time for parents to take responsibility for there actions!!!!

  26. To those of you who keep saying all this crap about the human race dying out if we don’t have any more kids, get over yourself. We as a species are not going to go extinct any time soon.

    As far as no kids in theatres are concerned, I’m all for it. But I’m talking anyone under the age of 17 after 7 pm, not just the crying baby with the crappy diaper.

    When I went to a movie as a child, I was supervised by reasonable adults and if I acted a damn fool, I was taken out of there. I was also almost 8 the first time I saw a movie in the theatre.

    What we need is parents being held accountable for their childrens behavior. Trust me, you humilate mommy because one of her puppies spills their cheerios and throws a fit over it, mommy wont let the little whelp do it again. Shame, it’s a very powerful motivator.

  27. Hey everyone, I worked at an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin Texas (great experience, I had to leave for the college semester). The Alamo Drafthouse is by far the best place to go see a film. The food is great, and prices are decent, they have plenty of beer on draft and selections from micro-breweries around Austin. And yes, no children allowed!! Only on specific baby days which are during the week and not peak times for screenings. No screaming children, no one to kick the back of your seat. For adults, if there are noisy people in the theater you can put up your order card and have a manager take care of the problem. I love the Drafthouse and if any of you ever get the chance to go make sure to check it out – Alamo offers a great experience.

  28. I live in Austin and ONLY go to the Alamo — beyond the cool events they do, the artisan beers (and mainstream beer too) and the very decent food they serve, the movie experience is GREAT because of these austere quiet-policies.

    The Alamo theaters are so popular MOST of the movies sell-out, on any given day, at any given time. It’s kinda ridiculous, but well worth the extra effort to secure a ticket. You also have to show up to the movie about 45-60mins early in order to get a good seat.

    Soon the Alamo will take over the entire country — this IS the way movies should be viewed these days. ;-)

  29. Imagine, I read your article and went to Alamo
    Draft House last night here in San Antonio (not the home of Alamo Draft House- but the real home of The Alamo) It was so nice to not have youngins crying for a coke climbing first on mama, then on dad, then back on mama. There are over 50 other theatre screens in San Antonio that welcome children to come in, and just two theatres that do not – so it is not like families with children have no place to go. I raised my 3 kids, I love them, and I raised them (along with my spouse) from 0 to college graduation, I have the wrinkles, grey hair, and shot nerves to prove it. At this stage of life I like a quiet setting where I don’t have to do 2 things, listen to kids make noise of any kind, and ask me questions all day long.

    I get grandkids on weekends, and my nerve pills last about the length of their visit.

  30. I’m lucky enough to have an Alamo Drafthouse less than 5 minutes from my house and I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I have two kids and love them dearly but when I go out childless, the last thing I want is to be around some misbehaved brats! Alamo Drafthouse is the way to go for movie going, if not there…Netflix at home!

  31. Baby haters are evil. Simple as that. The human race continues because we have babies. If you don’t want them, great, don’t have them. Don’t be jerks about other people’s kids though. They will be the one’s taking care of you at the nursing home (since you won’t have your own kids to take care of you when you become a decrepit old broad)

  32. “UGH, baby makers and breeders!! Why don’t they read Swifts a “Modest Proposal” and take it to heart!! Kids are a burden to everyone and people should stop having them!”

    This was Tiffany’s comment from above. First, I will say I don’t know the work she is referencing. For all I know, there might be some valid points. But, is she serious?! If people stop having kids, the human population would die out and then be completely extinct.
    I understand the appeal of wanting child-free adult entertainment, by all means it’s cool to have that option.

    Need I remind Tiffany that were all children once?

  33. I work next door to an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema here in San Antonio, TX. I love the no-kid factor. There are nights when I get off of work and would like to go see a movie so I head next door (and use my free ticket I get from Alamo for working in the same shopping center) and watch a movie. Its great going in and sitting in the theater and ordering a beer and relaxing and not getting bombarded by ads before the movie. Oh yeah, NO SCREAMING CHILDREN!!! It is so refreshing to be able to go to a movie and relax. I don’t have kids of my own and I don’t plan on having any in the near future.

  34. LOVE this concept! Kids are actually quite entertaining and part of my movie-going experience…but only when I am viewing a kid film. Please, please bring these type of theatres to Houston. Please.

  35. Being a houstonian, Alamo isnt all its cracked up to be…mainly in the food dept; they could definatley use some room for improvement.

    i dont have kids so ive honestly never noticed the lack of children but now thats its mentioned, nope no kids there. they do have obnoxious teenagers which are sometimes worse than crying 2yr olds….

  36. I live in Austin, Texas where the Alamo theaters started. They provide a wonderful experience.
    They removed every other row of seats and have a little bar top in front of the seats for the waitstaff to deliver your food and drink. I feel more comfortable having a glass of wine without some kid staring at me.
    They ban children and other people who are disruptive. I feel they make up for this by having screaming baby days. They also offer free movies for kids at times.
    I think business’can cater to both families and adults without kids. The companies that can figure out a way to do this will be the most profitable and well liked by everyone.

  37. When I was young Saturday afternoon was kid’s movie theater time. All the children would line up around the show and then spend a whole afternoon watching movies and cartoons. Only adults, were allowed in the evening. Children naturally make more noise. Give children their times and adults their times and all will be happy once more.

  38. Best Children friendly idea that I have come accross is here in Bridgeport/Fairfield, CT. Two movie theatres accross the bridge from each other and they play different genre’s of movies. One has over 75% adult flicks, and the other has 75% children flicks with more mantinees, earlier movie times, children rates, ect. It works well.

  39. There are three Alamo’s in San Antonio and one of them is 5 minutes from my pad! This is the only theater my wife and I go to, not only for new releases, but they also play classics (Blue Velvet next month with free flowing PBR!). As for being crowded, new releases are just as crowded as anywhere, but your average weekday movie or weekend matinee are usually not too crowded. Great food and an awesome line-up of craft beers makes the Drafthouse the place to see movies. Plus no kids!!!

  40. Alamo is cool, not just with their children policies, but also texting and talking.

    And if you get kicked out because of texting don’t call to complain unless you want your call to be played (as an example to others) before the movies:

    (warning: links below contain adult language… although in a theater that bans little kids, it’s okay to play them before a movie)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs

    And if you talk you might get put to sleep or worse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKNqAtxmlac&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibxc-IU5EXI&feature=related

  41. I think this is all misplaced anger. The things that ruin the movie experience for me is not kids around or under the age of 6. The movie is far more likely to be disrupted by teens and pre-teens anytime they are in a group larger than 2. The bigger the group, the more disruptive. And while we’re instituting bans on things that make the cinema experience less than perfect, can we place bans on tall hair-dos, hats, bodily odors, strong perfumes, fidgety legs, coughs and sniffles too? I say suck it up, you choose to go to a public venue, you deal with the public.

  42. There’s another theatre in Texas just opened a month ago, called Flixbrew House. It’s a microbrewy that brew’s 6 of it’s own beers as well as provides 40-something other types of beer; has a full menu and offer’s food service to their customer’s during the movie and of course also has the no child 6 and below rule. Infact, their rules are so strict, that minors must be accompanied by someone 18 or older for matinee’s and 21 or older for evening showings. Even their own employee’s, who some are minors, are required to follow the theatre guidelines. I know this because my child is employed there and wanted to see Captain America, he offered to pay if me or my husband would be willing to go. It’s about time business owners started seeing that not everyone want’s to deal with other people’s obnoxious, noisy kids. I recently had to deal with 5 small child, 5 and below, at a local hair salon. I was impressed when one of the stylist stepped up to one of the children, in front of their mom and informed them that they needed to sit down and be quiet and stop running around. People aren’t as afraid to say things to kids, as they used to be.

  43. When I went to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a lady was there with her son. The movie, as you know, is subtitled. And the kid couldn’t read. So…she read the entire movie to him.

  44. I’m from Austin, and not only does the Drafthouse have no-talking, no-texting, no-children policies, but they have the cheapest ticket prices in all of Austin. Since they sell a full menu of food, drinks, desserts and local or imported beers and cocktails, they can afford to have cheaper movie tickets for regular Hollywood blockbusters, smaller ‘indie’ films, Austin-area film premieres, special events and the world-famous SXSW film festival.

  45. This article caught my attention almost immediately, because I work for Starplex Cinemas – a Texas based movie theater chain (although there are various other locations scattered across the U.S.), and we have a 16-and-up policy for any movies starting 6 p.m. and after, enforced by I.D.s. For any minors (under 16 years of age) after 6 p.m., they HAVE to be accompanied by someone that’s at least 21 throughout the entire movie (also enforced by an I.D.). Before we got this policy, we’ve had a lot of problems with parents just dropping their kids off at the movies at night, and we’re stuck with a bunch of unruly kids/teenagers running all over the place and causing problems. Since we’ve had this policy, it has drew mixed reactions from patrons – ranging from angry and defiant teenagers/parents, to praise and gratitude. I personally think it’s funny how parents/minors try to trick us (the box office workers) by either the parents buying the tickets for the kids without the kids being present, or by the teenager (after we TOLD them that they couldn’t get in without an ID) going inside to buy the tickets from the kiosks, and then getting stopped by Door at the podium because they didn’t have I.D.s. Then, they come out and get mad at us (the box office people) because they couldn’t go in to watch the movie. WE TOLD YOU THAT! YOU REFUSED TO LISTEN! AND NOW, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK, AND IF YOU KEEP UP THE ATTITUDE, YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOUR BUTT TOSSED OUT OF THE ENTIRE MOVIE THEATER!

    …Sorry, went on a bit of a rant there, but my point is, I love this policy. I have no problem with keeping minors out. We are a business, not a baby-sitting service.

  46. I love the Alamo Drafthouse! You can have food besides popcorn, hot dogs, and candy! Plus, there aren’t any 13 year old kids chatting it up, being loud and defeating the purpose of going to a MOVIE theater and actually watching the MOVIE! FYI, there fried pickles are really good!! =]

  47. UGH, baby makers and breeders!! Why don’t they read Swifts a “Modest Proposal” and take it to heart!! Kids are a burden to everyone and people should stop having them!

  48. so when they say no unaccompanied minors are the literally meaning no one under 18 or no young children? i mean it seems kinda silly to require a 16 or 17 year old out on a date to have to bring mommy or daddy along to go see a movie, lol.

  49. alamo is also the same theater that got national attention for their “don’t talk” psa of a phone call from a belligerent customer who was kicked out for repeatedly texting during a film. here’s a censored version:

    http://youtu.be/JVz-fO7kxcQ

    they take their movie-going experience seriously. this theater rocks!

  50. I live down the street from an Alamo Drafthouse and it’s awesome!! I love going there. The food is great. Yes at some times it can get crowded but I don’t mind that. It’s better than hearing a screaming baby or a talking toddler.

  51. I live in Austin, and I love going to Alamo Drafthouse!! It’s so nice knowing that no one will be talking on the phone, screaming out, having side conversations, etc. The best thing is, the people who work at Alamo actually walk through the theater to make sure this doesn’t happen, instead of (like at other theaters in town) me having to get up, find someone who works there, complain, and then the person who gets talked to or thrown out knows it’s me. Not having children there is nice, because that element is just taken care of. I love it!

  52. Well personally I think its a crappy idea on the “no kids allowed idea” You cant punish children just because of the fact of people complaining. I can make a ton of complaints about adults being worse then children and you do not see anything being done with them. My son is 3 months old, and me and my husband make sure he isnt loud when out eating or grocery shopping or anywhere we go for that matter, but even that sometimes children do cry, it may not be for long, but sometimes they cry and parents are doing everything they can. I understand some of you guys might hate when children come to the movies but how else do you teach them to learn how to be quite in the movies if you are banning it from them. What else are you going to take away from children?? Afterall there really isnt a lot for children to do anyways, esp where I live in Texas. Children should not be punished for otheres being loud and if you ban them up to 6 years old when they finally get to go to a movie, they wont have any idea how to act and well never learn. Its not right to the kids, punshining all of them because some parents dont know how to take care of there children?? Doesnt seem right!

  53. I live in Austin (home of the Alamo Drafthouse). I do not go to other theaters if I do not have to. I have noticed some concern about pricing at other theaters offering similar services. Here, the Alamo costs the same as other ‘ordinary’ theaters, sometimes less.

    The food is amazing. The picture is even better (I have yet to visit a theater with a better looking screen, not even IMAX comes close) Here in Austin, the Alamo has implemented sharp looking Sony 4K screens. No clue what that means, but it makes a heck of a difference. (imagine watching a tv show on your big plasma screen then going to your old box sdtv. pretty much the difference with these screens)

    And yes, you usually have to purchase your ticket ahead of time, because the Alamo is always packed (which I consider to be a good thing) and this never detracts from the excellent experience. Alamo movie goers always seem to follow the rules.

    sorry if I sound like an Alamo promoter. I just love this place so much. I literally groan when I have to see a movie in a place that does not have an Alamo.

  54. I live in Austin (birthplace of Alamo) and will not see movies anywhere else. It’s gotten a little more corporate over the past 12 years but all in all still a great place.

  55. I’m a loyal Alamo Drafthouse fangirl here in Austin and yes, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the best movie-going experience EVER!!! No talking teenagers or screaming babies, no stale popcorn smell or boring trivia before the show. The Alamo has great food, tons of different beers, ales and wines, and amazing themed movie events that go all over the country (The Rolling Roadshow). Silent ordering means your food and drinks are brought to you in your chair while you enjoy the movie, and no one around you is disturbed. And the admission cost is about the same as other local theaters, with special events and live shows being a bit higher. I’ve been there at least 3 times in the last 30 days, and I can’t remember when I last saw a movie anywhere else. Honestly, I’m ruined for all other theaters. :)

  56. The worst experience was a time when my date and I arrived early, got good seats only to have a couple and their “brood” come in at the last minute. Five minutes into the flick the toddler pooped his pants. The stench was apparent and fifteen minutes later it became obvious that the neither parent had any intention of taking the child out and changing him. My date and I had to move! I eventually became reluctant to attend movies at all. I tried going to later showings, and later showings in the middle of the week (what should be school nights). There were always disruptive kids.
    Kansas and Oklahoma both have a Warren Theatre. They have a balcony section which is close to the bar and no one under 21 is admitted upstairs. The balcony seats cost more, but the seats are the big comfy reclining kind and you have a little table with a button which will call an attendant to take your order and bring it to you! The downside is that there are only two auditoriums with balconies so the movie selection is limited. I was still overjoyed to hear about the “no kids” section.
    No more “lighted shoes”, whining or poopy pants!

  57. I live in Austin and love the drafthouse.
    I am pretty sure you can franchise them out, so if you want one in your city buy that up quick, because they are making bank here

  58. I got married at one of the Alamo Drafthouses in Austin. We hired babysitters for kids under 5, and they made it the most amazing experiences for everyone in attendance. It is one of my favorite places on earth for precisely the reasons mentioned.

  59. The alamo drafthouse is one of the reasons that I love living in Austin, TX. I’ve been spoiled and now I avoid other theaters like the plague.

  60. I am amazed. I came to this site not expecting this! All this against children. Kids are kids. Mine are grown and almost out of the house, but it really amazes me how there are so many scroogy people out there. I know there are children who are loud and need dicsipline, if parents aren’t doing their job, they should be asked to leave, but to just boot them out altogether. I have seen plenty adults louder and much ruder than my children would ever have thought to be. Some of those old folks need to realize the world doesn’t owe them just because they have lived.
    Thanks. Just thought I would add.

  61. Cinebarre has a 18+ Policy (except when specified otherwise) in 4 locations
    Asheville, NC
    Mt. Pleasant, SC
    Thornton, CO
    Salem, OR

    AND 21+ (always) in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    They also do a cool Preshow where anyone can submit a short film instead of traditional adds

  62. I just spent 23 hours at an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin for Potter-a-thon (all the first 7 back to back ending in the midnight release of the eighth). I am a Potter addict and have vowed to go see it 12 times (one for each year since I first met Harry). I have been to 8 other theaters and have yet to have an experience like the Drafthouse. The audience is so respectful of the policies, the staff is amazing and the atmosphere is so fun (they played Potter related youtube videos in between movies). I live in Dallas and I wish they would get a theater up here. BTW food is fantastic!

  63. We have an Alamo in my city and we love it! You are supposed to get to the theater about 30 minutes before the showtime to pick your seats and order your food. They show clips of old television shows while you wait. The drinks are good, although they only serve wine and beer (no liquor). The food is good as well. You can order standard popcorn or big boxes of candy as well as chips and salsa, potato skins, fried pickles, personal pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Not gourmet cuisine, but at the same level of Chili’s or Applebees. It is a lot of fun! They also show older movies and have television watching parties. We like it because we can get dinner and a movie all in one place. No driving from here to there and having to worry about service being slow at a restaurant.

  64. My hubby and I have 4 young kids. We love kids. But we will ONLY go to the Alamo on date night! We don’t pay a sitter to watch our kids just to deal with other people’s. Plus, yummy food and drinks!! Love it. LOVE it!

  65. I am lucky enough to live near Austin, and so have access to 3 Alamo Drafthouses. It is my wife and my locale of choice for a date. We’re empty nesters with 5 grandkids at age 50. The beer selection is superb, the food excellent, no ads before movies but instead some of the most hilarious and quirky short clips from old similar films (example, a sci fi movie will have about 20 minutes of the tackiest ’50s sci fi scene cuts imaginable). The food and drink is served at your place, and that is an old multi plex theater with every other row removed to insert the narrow table you have in front of you. They run not only the “top” current hit movies, but also many classics and genre events. To include “free” movies in the daytime during the summer, for child care givers to take their charges to. A plate of nachos or chicken fingers for the kids, and all is profitable for them. My wife recently took her day care kids (3 of them) and a few daughters and grandkids to see “Flight of the Navigator”, and it only cost her 50 bucks in food and sodas for about 7 or 8 people. Get there early though. It is a super experience, at once intimate, casual, and satisfying. But public transportation / designated driver can come in handy when the film makes one particularly thirsty! A regular ticket costs the same as at a regular cinema, but it is easy to walk out with a tab for food and drink of 50 to 60 bucks on top, so be warned. Think of it as “dinner and a movie” in one easy package, or a great Saturday or Sunday date/ matinee/ dining experience.

  66. I only go to the Alamo Drafthouse these days because I’m assured that I’ll have a good experience. Downside: This place is always packed. As in, you have to buy your tickets a head of time for the most part, unless it’s a matinee and the movie has been there for some time. You also have to get there really early to get a good seat. Apparently, the concept of “no minors” is extremely popular — moreso than I thought. I can go to any other theater in town, and it’s only half capacity. The Alamo: there can be only one! (Oh, and the food totally rocks!)

    • Sounds like not only does Alamo need to expand to other cities, but could expand within cities as well. Love knowing they have the food thing down as well where you are~Others who have Alamos in your city–are the packed and is the food good?~L

  67. There’s a movie theater company called Cinebarre, with several locations around the US, that serves alcohol and pub food and so is completely off-limits to anyone under 21. I hope they stay in business, because I love the lack of kids.

    The Portland, Oregon area has several popular movie theaters where you can get beer and pizza and where kids are generally not allowed. I’m hoping this is a wave of the future, not just for the childfree factor, but the idea of pizza and microbrew with a movie is a great idea.

    That being said, I generally find adults much more annoying in the movies than kids, at least the ones out of toddler stage. In my experience, once the movie starts, the kids are glued to the screen much more than grown-ups are. That’s the upside of ADD — they’re hypnotized by screen images.

  68. Here in Western Australia, at the Event Cinema theatres, we have the option of a separate part of the cinema which consists of a few theatres only, it is called Gold Class. These theatres are smaller than the others, seating only 30 or 40 people, with the big comfy recliner seats that another poster mentioned, and when GC first opened, only adults 18+ were permitted, however they have sinced changed the rules so that now children are permitted, however they must be accompanied by an adult. Also there is only a select list of movies to choose from at GC.

    A restaurant style menu and alcoholic beverages are available, however one does pay for the privilege – tickets to GC cost $29.25 for one adult, and the food is quite dear with a sundae costing $11 and pizzas for $20, glasses of wine range from $7 to $15. All food and drinks are served to you in the theatre during the movie at the time that you request.

    All in all I don’t find the experience worth it anymore as they frequently show kids movies at Gold Class now and there usually are children or teenagers in the theatre, also it ends up being a very expensive night out! (The visit can easily cost $100 after only 1 drink and 1 sundae each for 2 people) I honestly prefer to stay at home with my husband and watch a DVD on our nice big 3D plasma TV which I adore, as the quality is better and we can eat or drink whatever we like and pause it whenever we like! The cinema is just too pricey in Aus and there are too many annoying patrons these days…

    • Kate, Boy Gold Class sounds like it started as a great concept (including having your food arrive at the time you request!) but adding kids to the mix, plus high costs doesn’t pencil against at-home plasma–I get it. With the costs, annoyances, and cheap stream movies available, I wonder if we will see the day when theaters will be few and far between, and people will just have the experience at home….

  69. There is a kid-free option in Toronto. Unfortunately you have to pay extra for it but at the Varsity on Bloor (and a few others in the GTA)there are VIP rooms ( http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/VIP.aspx )

    Big comfy seats, food/beverage service in theatre and they serve alcohol. Downsides….limited movie choice, smaller theatre and far to go for many.

  70. Sorry–I meant to specify that it is the Fork & Screen Cinema Suites that are 21 and up. The regular Fork & Screen theaters do allow some kids, and I think they don’t have the tiny theaters with the big comfy chairs.

    • Ang, I looked up the fok and Screen theaters, and see they are in Atlanta, Dallas, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix as well. Those who want the no kid movie experience, take note!

  71. The AMC Fork & Screen theaters are great. They have two in the KC area; I don’t know where else they are. The tickets are more and you have to pay for dinner, but the food is actually pretty good and not that expensive, you can get alcohol, and it’s only for 21 and up. Also, you get to sit in these big comfy recliners in a small theater. It’s like watching a movie on your couch while you eat dinner, except that there’s a server and the movie just came out. Totally worth it.

  72. The “No ads played before a film” is a good idea whether there are kids around or not. I can barely stand going to movies any more because of the barrage of stuff shown before the movie starts. I believe in New York City they passed a law stating that the advertised starting time must be adhered to and not mean “when the previews and other stuff starts.”

    I just saw “Bad Teacher” starring the childfree Cameron Diaz and the advertised starting time was 7:45 yet the actual movie did not begin until 8:03, following a ton of previews and ads for non-movies. And I paid $22 (me and my ladyfriend) for this privilege.

    • At Sundance, they only play two trailers then the move starts. No “behind the scenes” aka pre-trailer trailers (!), no ads. BUT you pay an extra $2 per ticket for this! I don’t mind paying a bit extra for the quiet with a nice meal while I watch the movie, but to have to pay Not to see the ads is a bit aggravating. ~L

  73. Wow, I wish we had something like this in Toronto! I’ve basically given up on going to the movie theatre because of the expense and previous bad experiences.

  74. FYI, a third Sundance Cinema location is scheduled to open later this year in Houston. If it’s successful perhaps more will open in other cities.

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