Alamo Drafthouse Coming to San Francisco's New Mission Theater
San Fran is one lucky city! It looks like it's official that an Alamo Drafthouse is coming to the city and will take over and renovating the New Mission Theater. Reports about the new location hit earlier this week, but now Tim League himself has confirmed it with a fantastic blog post explaining how they found this landmark theater and how it will be the first theater he and his wife own and operate themselves outside of Austin. "I immediately fell in love with the New Mission Theater, and we quickly set plans in motion to make a deal with the owner to renovate and restore the property," he says. This will be quite a treat for SF.
The New Mission Theater was originally built in 1916 as a 2,000-seat movie palace (via Cinema Treasures). It's been abandoned and closed for a little while, with various parties battling for ownership, because it's a historic landmark. But the Drafthouse is moving in, and they're going to take care of it. "We are planning on a full and complete historic renovation. Even though our plan is to subdivide the balconies into small boutique theaters, we will be doing it in such a way as to preserve nearly all of the amazing architectural details of the space." He says they may also "preserve the massive downstairs screen and transform that space into a potential premiere venue with state of the art sound and picture." Which, based on the photos of this place, sounds absolutely amazing if they do that. And I already can't wait to come see movies there.
Tim explains a few more of their plans for this new Alamo Drafthouse location in his blog post:
"Our intention is to operate this much like our flagship Ritz Theater in Austin, Texas. The Ritz was also a historic renovation, where we turned the defunct 1929 single-screen movie palace into a 2-screen Alamo Drafthouse venue. We will be featuring a mix of classic film programming, our unique alternative content and live events, foreign films, independent films as well as some studio films. Just like in Austin, we will be eager to partner with any and all film festivals and film appreciation groups who are interested and will be making the space available to neighborhood schools and community groups."
Sounds awesome already. I am totally ecstatic about Tim finally expanding the Drafthouse brand, in all of its true cinema brilliance, outside of Texas. They announced a location in Colorado being built this year, and now San Francisco. One can only hope New York and Los Angeles are next? I've spent plenty of time at the Drafthouse's down in Austin and I love the experience they provide, it deserves to be found many places around the world. I'm jealous of everyone in San Fran, as this sounds like a wonderful, classic venue that will be one of the great "movie places" once again. Highly suggest reading Tim's full blog and watching this video on his beginnings. For more info and updates, visit the Drafthouse's New Mission Facebook page.