Where to begin to get the best point across possible? Alamo Drafthouse Springfield opened it's door just a few weeks ago, and already, they've made quite the impression on me. Maybe I'll comment about staring down Hal 9000 and the Monolith when I walk in the front door? Or, maybe I'll make a comment about that ever-so-righteous film collage on the interior wall? The bar and the 48 beer taps, maybe? The masterfully patterned and classic-Hollywood-cinema carpet and drapery? Yeah, like all dat.
My only complaint comes from the narrow distance between the table you're served on, and the inner arm rest of your chair. I'm 6'6" and as wide as most door frames, so take my criticism of the tight space as you will. I think maybe a larger gap would have made me feel less like a fat ass while trying to squeeze into my seat without providing a serious case of ass-face to the person residing beside me. On to the positives.
I don't know how to rightly adjust to how the Alamo has exceeded my expectations. I saw Spider-Man, and though that movie is really freaking cool, my review will weigh only upon the theater itself. Firstly, the decor is visually appealing. I love monochrome, long hallways, and Roman column design. Check, check, and please have my children, Alamo Drafthouse. Yeah, it got weird.
Where the old theater used it's space to overwhelm, leaving you feeling a bit like Charles Foster Kane walking into the unfurnished Xanadu, the new Alamo is intimate, quiet upon entry. The "spectacle" in entering a large building is far removed from the old bones of the Wehrenberg Theater. That's old hat. The new hat has a better feel.
I get a sense of tranquility, and I cannot help but notice how sonically polite the new facility feels. Even in the large expansive ceiling of the bar, I am left with a oneness with my surroundings, a mixture of spacial awareness and seclusion, though it is most expressly a bar atmosphere.
I try to turn the other way when looking at my receipts for a full night out at Alamo to get the entire experience in one sitting, but the total is as expected for a couple of drinks, a good meal, and a movie ticket. My total in all was $58.74, and while it's not an optimal experience on my wallet, you'll have to understand the base value of what I had to spend to see and experience the facility and a film was only $11.39 for an online ticket purchase.
I could have bought my ticket at the box office and used my student I.D. to score an $8 ticket, but I bought online to ensure I could see the nearly sold out screening of my choice without the stress of wondering if I could make it across town before somebody bought the assigned-after-purchase seat that I wanted. That was the first time I've ever bought a ticket and had no ill will for having to pay a surcharge "handling fee", which we all know is bullsh*t. Nonetheless, the price you pay for a viewing will be between $8-10, not nearly $60.
I will add that I had a top shelf Irish whiskey shot at the bar that set me back $12, and it was a situation where I had wanted to explore that brand, and Alamo offered me the moment to get a taste. Basically, I'm saying I swung for the fences on my first date with Alamo. I bought the roses, the box of chocolates, and held the door for Alamo, and they brought the lube. I'M JOKING! I knew roughly what I was about to spend. Worth every penny...
Okay, so this was really a treat. Remember now that this review is about the Alamo itself, but this category is intrinsic to the film I saw, so I will be mentioning a lot of Spider-Man-related materials.
The pre-show was a callback to pretty much everything Spider-Man-related, and they even threw in an entire scene from the 1990's Fantastic Four, for good measure. The quality of the program and the massive amount of media they drew from was nostalgic, to say the least. There was a scene from Spider-Man The Animated Series which ranks among one of my favorite memories as a child on Saturday mornings, watching the show and becoming intimately involved with the life of Peter Parker.
Vulture is the well-known bad guy of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and certainly several clips were featured showing the Vulture in all his bald, smarmy, old guy glory, from everything to the aforementioned show to the 1960's cartoon to a very strange YouTube video where Deadpool and Spider-Man kiss.
I love that I don't have to look at the same four ad's for Montana Mike's(is it even open anymore?), MacFarlane's Restaurant (where the food is costly, and the dysentery's free), or feel a general despise for my local community because of abysmal plugging while I slurp down Coke and Laffy Taffy while some dentist shows me intimately what gingivitis is all about (feel every piece of this side-eye, Branson Meadows and IMAX). Look, I'm in love with Alamo, Ma. Don't make a big deal about it, okay?
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Holy wow, ladle me some of that tartar sauce and bring me a bucket of fish, and jalapeno hushpuppies, please? That was a damn fine choice in a meal. I'll be having pizza next time, or probably the Royale with Cheese, because what fine, upstanding Pulp Citizen wouldn't want to order the Vega boy's favorite burger at a movie theater? Beer game strong? Check. 48 deep to choose from. They got hot sauce for the fish, though? Check.
Likely Sriracha, not sure because my brain has that thing wrong with it where anything without a label attached to it tastes like everything in that particular condiment's category. It's brought in a cup, it's a dark movie theater, and the hot sauce is hot. It was the Pepsi Challenge of hot sauces. Didn't matter, sauce game strong. Solid effort. I even asked for it in that cool way they let you pass notes like you did in school. Only, this time it's not "do you like me", it's "for the love of God, I think this place is the sh*t already and I hope you've got hot sauce for my fish".
I walk in, all confused because Hal's staring me in the face, and all I can hear is his droll declarations from 2001 going off in my head, and a question appears across my inner space. I don't remember the question I proposed to the ticket man, but I remember his answer. I say, "question", he responds emphatically with "answer". Before I ever bought a single drink, he had answered me in the exact way the staff would answer me for the rest of my stay. They made me feel like I was on vacation. The vacation where money is no object and if I want to wear a hula skirt, someone will either find me one, or make it out of banana leaves themselves because they aim to please. Look, the staff was hurried, but quick, and if they'd have been slow, I wouldn't get twisted britches because of it. They're new to the game. Let there be air to breath when food arrives later than expected.
This place is f*cking awesome. Sorry, Ma. This is one of those moments where the use of "f*ck" (sorry, again) is used for impact. The world would (and will, because faith) be a better place if everyone gets to experience optimal Alamo Drafthouse conditions.