Dear LAist: Is The Alamo Drafthouse Ever Going To Open In LA?

A rendering of what the Alamo Drafthouse at the Bloc in downtown L.A. is supposed to look like when completed. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

WE'RE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS ABOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THAT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT. IF YOU HAVE ONE, ASK IT HERE.


Good news, Los Angeles! The Alamo Drafthouse is coming to downtown Los Angeles.

DON'T LEAVE! We promise this isn't news from years ago although it probably feels that way.

The prestige theater chain announced that it was coming to Los Angeles back in 2014. It was supposed to open in 2015.

LAist reader Eric wrote in, demanding answers: "When is the L.A. Alamo Drafthouse opening? Every year, they say next year. It's been three years. What is going on?"

There have been several construction delays along the way, according to the theater, but the end may be in sight. Drafthouse announced earlier this month that they had the keys and had finally started construction inside their new location.

A view from the theater level of the new Alamo Drafthouse, currently under construction. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

The theater is set to be part of the Bloc shopping center in DTLA. According to Drafthouse, the Bloc had been working to get the building up to code.

"We haven't been able to start building out our space until very important fire and safety work was completed," Drafthouse said in a recent construction update.

The top two white spaces are set to be the Drafthouse's lobby and bar. A new staircase, escalator, and elevator leading to the theater's level have been installed, according to Drafthouse. (Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse)

Everything's set then, right? Not so fast.

Drafthouse says they're still sorting out a few "minor" items before heavy construction can begin. If all goes according to plan — and that's a big "if" — moviegoers should be able to enjoy an L.A. Drafthouse... soon.

When they say it's gonna happen "soon," when exactly do they mean? Drafthouse says they're aiming for the second quarter of 2019.

Los Angeles film fanatics have longed for a Drafthouse for years, something that could give the Arclight a run for its money with great movies, great presentation, great food, great booze and even a drink and popcorn refill service in the theater. Plus, the Alamo Drafthouse is ruthless about enforcing its anti-obnoxious moviegoer policy.

As they say on their site: "We have zero tolerance for talking or using a cell phone of any kind during films. We'll kick you out, promise."

They also don't allow infants or young children unless they host a special screening to accommodate families. They don't even allow unaccompanied minors, except for teens ages 15 to 17 who are part of the Drafthouse's rewards program. Similar to Arclight, they also don't show paid advertising before films. Instead, they screen a custom preshow video.

Based in Austin, the theater chain has expanded outside of Texas in recent years. They have more than 40 locations, from New York to Newbraska to Colorado. There's even another California location, in San Francisco.

Alamo has faced controversy in recent years after women made sexual assault allegations against two people involved with the company, Devin Faraci and Harry Knowles. They've ended their relationships with both men and earlier this year introduced a code of conduct.

They've also made headlines with special events like women-only Wonder Woman screenings.

Are you excited to check out the L.A. iteration of the Alamo Drafthouse? Let us know. If you have any more questions you want us to look into, ask us here.


You made it! Congrats, you read the entire story, you gorgeous human. This story was made possible by generous people like you. Independent, local journalism costs $$$$$. And now that LAist is part of KPCC, we rely on that support. So if you aren't already, be one of us! Help us help you live your best life in Southern California. Donate now.