Movie buffs have been missing their regular theater trips during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Across the country, most movie theaters are still closed as the coronavirus continues to spread. But there is an alternative option you can now consider.
The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain is allowing people to rent out an entire theater for a socially distant night out for up to 30 friends and family, thanks to its new “Your Own Private Alamo” program.
The rental is $150, and staff will even help you decorate your private movie theater to make the occasion extra special. There’s a long list of flicks you can choose from, from the old Hollywood classic “Casablanca” to the family-friendly “Uncle Buck.” And you can have pizzas, burgers, beers and popcorn delivered to your seat.
Here’s the theater’s tweet introducing the idea:
Want to go to Alamo Drafthouse this weekend? Introducing Your Own Private Alamo.
Pick a movie from our list of favorites, invite your friends, and let us handle the food, drinks, and the tidying up. Prices start at $150. Available in Austin and Denver at https://t.co/L5DslnT6gD pic.twitter.com/huSRekX5pf
— Alamo Drafthouse ATX (@drafthouse) August 6, 2020
If you want to rent, the process is simple. You go onto the Alamo Drafthouse website, choose an available date in the next three to 14 days and make your reservation. You then get an email link to a private ticketing page, which you can send to the people you want to join you.
The link allows attendees to buy tickets (and choose the seats they want) as well as order food and drinks. Everyone gets the theater number, too, meaning they can turn up for the movie as normal. Doors open 15 minutes before the movie starts.
It’s important to be aware that your $150 reservation fee doesn’t include the actual movie tickets — you have to buy them separately (at general admission prices). There’s also a minimum food purchase of $150, which doesn’t include tax and gratuity.
If you’re wondering about mask requirements, face coverings are mandatory in all public areas, including lobbies, restrooms and hallways. But it’s entirely up to you whether you and your guests wear masks inside the theater.
If movie theaters are going to remain closed for the foreseeable future, private screenings might well be the way forward, especially as the weather cools and outdoor drive-in movies become a less attractive option.