Popular theater franchise opens second location in Midtown


Megan Fabry

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has officially opened its second Omaha location in Midtown to the public with the premiere of Captain Marvel March 7.

Originally a Marcus Theater, the franchise has completely redone the inside of this multi-level theater with new projectors, recliners and the addition of Alamo’s full restaurant and bar, the Liquid Sunshine Taproom. This $3 million renovation is two years in the making and was announced one year ago.

“If you look at industries in general you see that things change very rapidly, but the theater has stayed practically the same,” owner Tyler Calabrese said. “In terms of what they do and the product they sell and the culture they have it’s very much the same, but we’ve added some creative aspects to it.”

This theater, along with all the other Alamo’s across the country, has a full kitchen that creates burgers, pizzas, snacks and desserts, which are prepared fresh every day from locally sourced ingredients.

The Midtown location had a “soft opening” March 1, which allowed movie enthusiasts to check out the new theater while staff members got hands-on training. UNO student Jeff Turner is an employee at Alamo and used the staff-training week to become more comfortable with the way the theater operates.

“What I think is working the best for me is mainly being in this environment,” Turner said. “I remember during training we were given an eight page test on the menu, which seems abnormal for a lot of theaters. You’re definitely getting trained for more than working at a cinema.”

Alamo Drafthouse is a unique movie-watching experience because they created strict rules and guidelines to ensure maximum enjoyment at their theaters. Anyone under 18 is not allowed in unless an adult accompanies them and there is a zero tolerance policy for talking and phone usage during movies. Those who cannot adhere to these rules are kicked out of the theater without a refund.

Along with showing the most recent movies released, the Alamo Drafthouse also shows unique and robust films as well as themed parties. These themes are crafted by Alamo’s Creative Director Derek Dillon. Dillon has been with the Alamo franchise for four years and was the first employee hired by Calabrese for the La-Vista location.

Dillon has put together shows ranging from a Stephen King movie marathon to a showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with actual actors from the 1971 film in attendance.

“It’s the reaction from the crowd, that’s the best part.,” Dillon said. “I like to be a fly on the wall and stay behind the scenes. It’s always for the guests and that’s why I do what I do.”

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has conference rooms and spaces for private events as well as student discounts every day of the week with proof of ID.