Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dinner and a Movie - Austin, TX

By Claire

Yesterday was a 7 hour drive and tomorrow is 8, so we decided to completely blow off today and just relax.  We slept in, had breakfast then mostly lounged in our huge, one bedroom suite with kitchen ($84).  We are hooked on these kinds of places.

After a while, we decided we probably needed to head out for supplies:  chocolate covered coffee beans for Chuck, yogurt for me.  A latte sounded good, too, so we scoped out a Starbucks using our iPhone map and took off.

While we were enjoying our coffees, we spotted something called Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.  I thought, hmm, maybe a movie would be good.  And then I remembered something David had said--we had dinner last night with friends who live here--he told us about a theatre that serves food while you watch.  Turns out, that's exactly what this place was.  So we went for it.  Looper was due to start in 15 minutes and the man behind the counter very kindly explained that we had to choose our seats.  He showed us a touch screen and made recommendations about where to sit.  We made our choice, took our tickets and found our seats.  That's when we saw how it works.  Amazing clips from old Sci-Fi movies and TV were being shown as we walked in.  Sitting down we saw the menu and the order sheet.  We decided on Grilled 3 cheese and roasted tomato sandwiches; our order was picked up by a guy who walked in front of the tables picking them up, explaining how it works (extra lemon for your coke?) while swiping our card. 

It was all very efficient and fun.  We settled in watching the clips and previews, all done in a very fifties style--with the sound in a normal range, while various waitstaff took orders.  We noticed that the couple next to us was served a bowl of popcorn and a pitcher of beer.  The woman at the end of our row had a glass of wine.  The theatre was small and intimate and the screen size was just right.  It wasn't stadium seating but somehow no one blocked our view.  Taking out a row of seats every other row and adding a long table probably accomplished that.  One of the best features, and we noticed this at the last movie house we went to in Biloxi, is that talking and texting is absolutely NOT tolerated.  You will be removed from the theatre and there are no refunds.  I like that.  And best of all, there is an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema coming to San Francisco in 2013!

Another great, spontaneous day.  Oh, and the movie?  Fantastic!  See it.  We're off to the hot tub, now.

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.  ~ Lawrence Block