Take a look inside Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston, opening in the Seaport

Boston's newest movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, begins tearing tickets November 17.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston opens November 17 in the Seaport.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston opens November 17 in the Seaport. Drea/13 Photography

After three of the city’s movie theaters closed during the pandemic, Boston is getting a bit of cinematic magic back with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston, which opens Nov. 17 in the Seaport.

The 10-screen, 780-seat theater will open at 60 Seaport Blvd. in the space previously occupied by the ShowPlace ICON Theater, which closed permanently in 2021. For those who visited that theater during its short run, the layout remains largely the same, minus space behind closed doors that has been converted into a full kitchen for Alamo’s famed in-theater dining service.

Watch: Boston.com’s Jillian Dara talks Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on “Boston Globe Today”

Founded in Austin in 1997, Alamo Drafthouse has long been a pioneer in enhancing the moviegoing experience for audiences.


Many of its innovations, such as adding a full bar and restaurant and offering the ability to order from your seat, have since been copied by other theater chains. What still sets Alamo Drafthouse apart, however, is its commitment to movie theater etiquette. Think of it as a movie theater for adults who actually act like adults.

For those who have been to other movie chains, some of Alamo Drafthouse Boston’s “House Rules” may come as a shock. No talking and no texting rules are strongly enforced by staff, who stay in the theater throughout the entire movie. Theatergoers are asked to come 30 minutes early, and won’t be admitted after the listed starting time. (Those who arrive late can exchange their tickets for another show time.) Audience members under the age of 18 won’t be admitted without a guardian, and children under the age of 3 are only admitted during special programming.

Inside a theater at Alamo Drafthouse Boston in the Seaport.
Inside a theater at Alamo Drafthouse Boston in the Seaport. – Drea/13 Photography

Tim League, the founder of Alamo Drafthouse, told Boston.com that the company’s rules arose after his first month in charge, when a midnight screening “got out of control.”

“If you ask people why they don’t go to movies, some say it’s too expensive, but most say it’s because people are jerks around them,” League said. “Our rules will never go away. It’s probably the most important thing about who we are. We’re on the bleeding edge of actually meaning it when we say we’re going to kick you out if you violate the social contract.”


That’s not to say that Alamo Drafthouse is all rules and regulations. At the Boston location, you’ll be greeted by a fun atmosphere as you ascend the escalator at 60 Seaport Blvd. At the top of the stairs is a giant statue from the 1999 animated film “The Iron Giant,” which ushers viewers to The Press Room, Alamo Drafthouse Boston’s full-service bar.

The Press Room bar at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston.
The Press Room bar at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston. – Drea/13 Photography

Beyond serving up an extensive list of local beers, craft cocktails, and wine, the Press Room serves as a museum of sorts, spotlighting a collection of 60,000 mid-century movie ads that ran in newspapers like The Boston Globe.

Adorning the walls are original posters for films you’ve heard of (from the James Bond franchise, for example) and many you haven’t — little-seen international knockoffs that made League smile.

Posters adorn the wall of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston.
Posters adorn the wall of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston. – Drea/ 13 Photography

Tickets for opening-day screenings and beyond are on sale now, with League expecting that the theater will offer a balance of about “70 percent commercial, 20 percent indie, and 10 percent classic” movies on a weekly basis.

Some of that 10 percent includes repertory programs like Weird Wednesday, featuring action and exploitation films from the ’70s and ’80s; Terror Tuesday, featuring classic horror films; and Champagne Cinema, a weekend brunch series that “skews female” in its programming, according to League.


Alamo Drafthouse hopes that its personal touches and community-focused approach to moviegoing will inspire Bostonians to sign up for its Season Pass, which gives viewers the opportunity to see up to one movie a day for $29.99 a month, along with other perks.

Though the theater’s opening was slightly delayed while they awaited necessary permits from the city, Alamo Drafthouse’s community manager Alex Shebar has kept busy, running scavenger hunts and hosting screenings across the city, including showings of “Shrek” and “Hocus Pocus” at Fenway Park that drew massive crowds.

“The outpouring of support we’ve gotten over social media and at the local events we’ve already held has been overwhelming,” Shebar said. “Now the doors are almost open and we’re as psyched as you are.”


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