Mysteries Revealed -- The Fate of the Alamo Downtown Sign


­Alamo Downtown sign ... at South Lamar

One question I heard several times as I worked on the Alamo Downtown Blog-a-Thon project was, "Do you know what Alamo is going to do with the old sign?" People sure did love that Alamo Downtown sign -- I know I've taken dozens of photos of it myself over the years. One of the saddest sights from the Last Night at Alamo was the image of the sign being taken down and hauled away. I found out what happened to the sign on Sunday, and it was entirely coincidental that I was there when it was happening.

We saw Sicko with a group of friends at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar on Sunday. As we were walking out of the theater, trying to decide where we wanted to go next to discuss the movie (aside: someone really ought to put a coffee shop or ice-cream parlor right next to that Alamo, preferably with free wireless), we looked up and ... wow. There was the old Alamo Downtown sign, being mounted on the side of the South Lamar theater (more after the jump).

I was pretty sure that the old sign wouldn't be moving to the new location, as I know Alamo wants to incorporate the Ritz name into whatever sign they put in front -- the theater is being referred to as "Alamo at the Ritz." (If you've been to an Alamo theater in Austin lately, you might have seen the cute promo for the new theater that cuts together multiple versions of the song "Puttin' on the Ritz" from various films.) The South Lamar location didn't have any Alamo branding on the front of the theater, so this works out well for both the old sign and the new theater. But looking at the sign does make me miss the downtown theater a little.

We left before they started putting up the Mondo Tees sign from downtown, but you can see it at the bottom of the second photos. Mondo Tees has moved to the old box-office spot in the South Lamar location -- I don't know if that's temporary or permanent. 


Mondo move permanent

Zack C. at the Alamo tells me by e-mail that the South Lamar Mondo Tees will remain where it is. There will be another one at the Ritz location when it opens.

I first saw that sign ...

I first saw that sign when I came to work on Sunday evening. At first glance, it was kind of jarring. I guess I always took that sign for granted whenever I went to work downtown. But from far away, it looks kinda awkward; too small for that wall it is attached to. On the other hand, it really does work with the art deco design of the building.

On another note, the Ritz sign will be staying up and unaltered. From what Tim has told me (this was a while back so obviously subject to change), the entire facade of the Ritz will not be changing (I think I remember this being a part of trying to get historical landmark status for the building). Instead, there will be an Alamo sign somewhere above/around the door in the entrance area.

And there will indeed be a Mondo at the Ritz. The most recent plans I heard of will have it in the lobby area, squeezed under the stairs that lead to theater 2.