Starplex Cinemas Westpointe showers stadium seating with first-run movie action playing across 10 wall-to-wall screens. Two tickets grant moviegoers access to the stadium seating of a film of their choice to have heartstrings plucked by engrossing plots and eye sockets vibrated by the digital projection. A bag of popcorn fuels minds trying to unravel the subtle implications of a Frankenstein fighting and then falling in love with a giant robot. Many films are also shown in RealD 3-D, though a small extra fee applies. View the schedule up to a week in advance to plan theater trips accordingly.
The San Antonio Film Festival unearths cinematic treasures and provides a platform for artists to unveil their works to a diverse audience. College and high-school categories showcase the future of filmmaking, and documentaries drag real-world issues—such as the epidemic misuse of the word "literally"—into the light. Festival-goers literally never stop between viewings, keeping busy while meeting some of the filmmakers, soaking in words of wisdom from panelists, and participating in workshops.
The San Antonio Highland Games Association's annual Celtic culture and athletics festival traditionally draws thousands of real and would-be Scots for an action- and bagpipe-packed weekend each year. Male and female athletes grown bored with sports that don't involve lead hammers or young trees have traveled from as far away as Japan and Sweden to test their mettle in the athletic field’s traditional Scottish strength competitions. The association's founders trace their lineage to numerous Scottish clans, and encourage others to explore their Celtic genealogy with festival workshops.
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. 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."
Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
The San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival ushers in summer with its three-day explosion of outdoor music, art and food. Ears watch the sonorous stylings of bands hailing from all over Texas from the comfort of covered VIP seating while enjoying refreshments and, on Saturday and Sunday evenings, tucking into a full dinner. After flexing fingers around forks, attendees can browse art stalls showcasing the talents of local painters, craftsmen and highly trained paintbrushes. In addition to a mental scrapbook's worth of memories, patrons leave with swag including a souvenir badge, autographed posters, and a jazz pin.