Since its origins as a converted parking garage, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its auditoriums, even gaining a following among Hollywood legends; Quentin Tarantino has been known to host five-day movie marathons at Alamo. The theater has earned that reputation by making moviegoing a personal experience, from the menu of handcrafted snacks and locally brewed beer to the completely ad-free presentations before shows. Alamo?s ninja servers pick up written food and drink orders throughout the movie and serve moviegoers directly at their seat. The staff enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy by kicking out any offenders, falling just short of yanking them from their seats with a giant's shepherd's crook.
Both first-run blockbusters and classics are projected onto Alamo's silver screens in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Meanwhile, surround speakers immerse audiences in the cinematic soundscape, whether they're seated in one of the expansive theaters afforded to blockbuster reels or the more intimate spaces reserved for indie films wound around tiny bobbins. Despite Alamo's vow of silence, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and actors, directors, and other celebrities often attend special screenings to lead in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have led to acclaim for Alamo from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, which called it ?one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,? and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."
Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson have spent years in the entertainment industry as producers, filmmakers, and audience members. After taking on all these roles at film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and Doha Tribeca, they decided to give that same kind of exposure to a different media—television. With help from an advisory board assembled from professional producers, studio executives, directors, writers, and actors, they celebrate the small screen's history and future at the annual ATX Television Festival. Over the course of three days, festival coordinators screen celebrated current seasons, never-aired pilots, prematurely canceled series, and cult favorites—many followed by Q&A sessions or choral renditions of the show's ending credits with creators and cast. In addition to screenings, industry professionals gather for multiple daily panels on topics ranging from women in television to alternative production outlets. These same celebrity guests, spanning producers, directors, actors, and writers, also mingle with visitors during scheduled meet-and-greets. Visitors can break from the television-centric main events for live music sets and secret happy hours to coax the shier beers out of their taps.