The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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New York is already a pretty sweet place to live if you’re a film lover. Not only is it among the first stops for limited releases, its popularity as a shooting location means New Yorkers are constantly surrounded by the sites of iconic movie scenes. It’s home to lots of industry movers and shakers, meaning it’s not so unusual to run into stars or filmmakers at screenings of their films. And over the next three years, it’s only getting more cinephile-friendly.

Earlier this year, the Alamo Drafthouse revealed plans to expand to New York with locations in Yonkers (2013) and Manhattan’s Upper West Side (2014). Now the Austin-based cinema chain is plotting a third New York spot in downtown Brooklyn. Called Alamo Drafthouse City Point, the theater is on track to open in 2015. More after the jump.

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The more often you go the movies, the more snobby you become. Everything has to be just right: the seat, the picture, the sound, everything just a certain way so you can enjoy the film. What this (admittedly selfish) mindset also does is create a long list of pet peeves: other people talking during a movie; checking their phones; or arriving late and asking if those middle seats you got by showing up 30 minutes early are open. I am guilty of being one of these snobs.

Few things are more distracting when a movie starts than people who arrive after the show has started and the Alamo Drafthouse is doing something about it. Starting January 3, they’ll be implementing a strict policy that no one will be admitted into a theater once the movie has begun. If you’re running late, you can get your money back or a ticket to another showtime but everyone must arrive on time.

“Bravo,” is my immediate reaction. What’s yours? Read their full blog and comment below. Read More »

Earlier this year, the Alamo Drafthouse took one step closer to making New York cinephiles’ dreams come true by announcing a new location planned for the Upper West Side. Six months later, plans seem to be well on their way, as the community board has approved a two-year liquor license for the theater. New York audiences will get to enjoy a dinner and drinks delivered right to their seats, just like Drafthouse patrons in other cities.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is that the renovations are taking somewhat longer than expected, to the point that the opening has now been pushed from 2013 to 2014. This means the Alamo Drafthouse location under construction in in Yonkers, which is just north of New York City, will be the first location in the tri-state area to open its doors. More after the jump.

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In the two years since its launch, Drafthouse Films has compiled an enjoyably eclectic lineup ranging from the retrofuturistic break-dancing apocalypse comedy The FP to last year’s foreign film Oscar nominee Bullhead. But even by those standards, their latest release Trailer War is a little bit different. It’s not so much a movie as it is a feature-length compilation of trailers — gloriously bizarre, gleefully tasteless vintage trailers from low-budget exploitation flicks, in the vein of the old 42nd Street Forever compilations. Hit the jump to read more, check out the poster, and watch the NSFW trailer.

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As the debate about texting in theaters rages on, TheWrap‘s Chris Davison has proposed one possible compromise between the two sides: Designate screenings as either “texting” or “non-texting,” and deal with glowing screens accordingly. That way, movie theater purists can be assured an experience free of those disruptive lights, those who don’t mind them can Tweet / email / text to their hearts’ content, and industry folks can rake in the dollars from both types of viewers.

However, at least one guy in the business is adamantly against the suggestion, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it’s Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League. The Austin-based chain is renown among cinephiles for (among other things) its hard-line stance against talkers and texters, and League’s now put out a letter expressing how “horrified” he is by the idea of introducing text-friendly showings. Read about his stance after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Even as Austin-based cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse continues its expansion into new markets across the country, its distribution arm Drafthouse Films is heading right to your front door. The label has just launched a new subscription club called Drafthouse Alliance, which gets members a series of Drafthouse Films Blu-ray (or DVD) releases delivered right to their houses in exchange for a flat fee. If Drafthouse Films’ taste in movies tend to coincide with yours, it’s a pretty sweet deal and a great way to support their efforts. More details after the jump.

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Conan the BarbarianThe ThingPoltergeistThe Road WarriorStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tron, and that’s just the beginning. Yes, the Summer of 1982 was probably the best one in the history of movies and that’s why the Alamo Drafthouse is celebrating with a summer long, 30th anniversary celebration screening a slew of the most exciting films released that year. Plus, there’s now a significant update jumping off last month’s announcement.

Tickets for the first screening, Conan the Barbarian, go on sale Tuesday morning along with a limited number of passes that’ll get you into eight of the screenings. Second, the series has expanded significantly, adding films such as The Dark Crystal, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Vice Squad, The Secret of Nimh, Friday the 13th Part 3, Q: The Winged Serpent, Pink Floyd: The Wall and more. Third, Blade Runner will not be screened (bummer).

And finally, in accordance with the /Film sponsored screening of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on June 8 (tickets on sale May 25) we’re proud to exclusively debut the Mondo poster for the film by artist Dan McCarthy. Check out the poster, the important links, full lineup and more after the jump. Read More »

As the Austin, TX-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has become one of the major templates for a movie theater chain that pleases filmmakers and audiences alike, film lovers in other cities have hoped the company might find a home in places outside Texas. An early expansion of the chain didn’t exactly go without a hitch, as founders Tim and Karrie League sold the brand name, which led to some expansions in Texas that weren’t quite up to spec.

In 2010 Tim League came back on as CEO of the Drafthouse, and since has been running it as the premiere boutique cinema chain. The current Texas theaters will soon be complimented by expansions announced for San Francisco, Virginia, and Colorado. Today the company announces a long hoped-for New York City location.

The Alamo Drafthouse New York will be in the former Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway, on the Upper West Side. The company promises that the new five-screen location will feature all the things fans like about the Drafthouse: the strict no talking and texting policy, the food and beverage selection, and the creative special events and repertory programming that goes alongside the booking of new films.

After the break read the press release from Alamo; we’ve also updated with comments from Tim League. Read More »