Located in The Bloc, an open-air development in downtown Los Angeles, the Drafthouse aims to be not just a movie theater, but a gathering place for a new community of film, tabletop, and pop culture fanatics. Earlier this week, I got a sneak preview tour of the new Alamo Drafthouse DTLA, and I am excited to report back that it not only captures the magic of the Austin Drafthouses I fell in love with, but it promises to be so much more. Keep reading to learn about the new Alamo Drafthouse DTLA, see some photos, and more.
Video Vortex Is A Cool Pop Culture Store
To enter the Alamo Drafthouse, you first go into Video Vortex, a relatively new retail, community, and food concept from the company. This is only the fourth one they’ve ever created, and each looks and feels different.
Let’s help paint a picture: there’s a prominent wrap-around bar with a front display enclosure featuring tons of old VHS tapes. In front of that is a small store featuring the geekiest and coolest pop culture collectibles. There is a variety of collectible statues like Spider-Gwen, the monster from Colossal, and an Alfred Hitchcock scaled figure; some of the collectibles are produced by Mondo, and others are fun things curated specifically for this space. On the counter, you can find packs of The Dark Crystal and Terminator 2 trading card packs. Next to that, you can find a variety of enamel pins produced by Mondo. As for the wall of Mondo posters, they are limited edition and long sold out – but here you can take them home for $225. When one is sold, they pull another random screenprint from the back and hang it up in its place. It’s unclear what the rarity of some of the prints in the back are, but I’m sure some Mondo poster collectors will be making regular trips to Video Vortex to window shop the wall of posters.
As for merch, there is a lot to buy, and a lot that I want to buy. There is a selection of T-shirts, some of which are Alamo Drafthouse branded, others Mondo produced (remember, Mondo started as a T-shirt company) and other film nerd-tastic options, including some for Vidiots (with the proceeds going to Vidiots). And if you like one of the games you play there, you can buy a new copy and take it home. Yep – games are a big part of this Drafthouse location.
Creating A New Community Of Film Fanatics & Tabletop Gamers
The back wall is lined with eight retro arcade machines, classics that range from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Brothers to Centipede. Next to it is a full wall of classic Mondo prints from the past. A screen in the back plays one of the many movies in the collection, and six tables with eight seats each function as an activity space. The tables have classic lobby cards underneath the glass tops. A disco ball spins on the ceiling, providing a fun twinkling light ambiance. Drafthouse will be using this space for Triviadome (a fun pop culture trivia competition), karaoke, and even tabletop events.
The space is also open for special event rentals, so if you were a filmmaker who wanted to do a cast and crew screening and party, you could theoretically do it all in house.
Six additional four-top tables sit right next to the tabletop library, which comes with a selection of a few dozen board games that are open and available to play to anyone. The tables themselves are built for board games, with cup holders extending off of the play area. The game collection ranges from gateway games to party games like Two Rooms and a Boom and Codenames to deeper strategy games like Arkham Horror and The Thing (a game produced by Alamo-owned Mondo Games). The games sit on a shelf which helps divide the room, and decor on the other side looks like huge VHS tapes.