Alamo Drafthouse -- South Lamar

Address: 
1120 South Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78701
Phone: 
512-476-1320

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Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar reopened in August 2014 after a major remodeling of the strip mall in which it was located -- which is currently a giant mass of construction surrounding the theater. However, the Drafthouse and its adjoining parking garage are completely done and available. Alamo South Lamar is a popular location for many local film festivals.

Right now, the rest of the development is still under construction. The theater and bar look great but they're surrounded by a lot of chain-link fence and during the day, large machinery.

Pros: It's an Alamo Drafthouse, so the audience is generally well behaved (put up a flag if it's not). And of course you can enjoy food and a variety of beverages with your movie. Seating is reserved.

Cons: It's popular, so order your tickets online if you can. The garage can get really warm -- Don jokes that it's the oven for the theater's kitchen. The outdoor patio is gone, and there's really nowhere comfortable to sit outside the theater.

Screens and Capacity: Nine theaters with stadium seating, varying in size from 46 seats to 198, all with Sony 4K digital but still capable of showing 35mm films (#1 and #2 seat 46, #3: 63, #4 and 5: 198, #6 and #9: 126, #7 and #8: 86).

Parking: Park in the adjacent garage, which you can (and should) access from Treadwell. If it's full, be careful about parking in the neighborhood -- most of the streets are now permit-parking only.

Distance: You can't walk to downtown movie theaters (or bars) unless you're into serious hiking, but you can take a bus or find a friendly Austinite with a car. A cab from the theater to downtown isn't expensive, but taxis are unlikely to hang around, so be prepared to phone. Make sure the cab service has your name so they won't drive off with some other film geek.

On-site dining options: South Lamar has a full bar and dinner menu, with a brunch option early on weekends and special occasions. You can view the regular menu and current specials on the South Lamar menu. Whether you're vegan or need more meat on your fries, you can always try hacking the menu.

Nearby dining options: The Highball is immediately adjacent to the theater -- in fact, there's a door connecting them now. You can get small plates and a few entrees. Other nearby options:

  • Walking distance: Luke's Inside Out trailer right across the street for griddled sandwiches; Verts for cheap and filling kepabs (German sandwiches with kebab fillings); Odd Duck for fancy-ish small plates; Uchi for trendy spendy sushi.
  • A short drive: Kerbey Lane is open 24 hours and has great pancakes and burgers; Barton Springs has a whole row of restaurants including Green Mesquite (bbq), Chuy's (Tex-Mex) and Shady Grove (chili cheese fries!); the flagship Whole Foods at Lamar and 6th has a lot of prepared foods available, including made-to-order sandwiches, and is a great stop for vegetarians and vegans. And if all fails, there's always Taco Cabana.

Coffee (and wireless) break: About two blocks further south down Lamar (away from downtown), you'll find a Starbucks in a strip mall across the street from Saxon Pub. Further than a walk, drive north to Barton Springs Road, then turn right to Austin Java.

[Photo credit: Alamo South Lamar by Mike Saulters, all rights reserved.]