Sunset Bowling Lanes opened in 1959 with 24 solid-wood lanes and a stockpile of miniature pencils to keep track of spares and strikes. The alley has since upgraded to computerized scoring systems while also maintaining the charm of classic tenpin entertainment. In addition to its open bowling and league opportunities, Sunset Bowling Lanes hosts events such as college nights—which provide students with discounts so they can save up for books or exam mulligans—and keeps its patrons fueled for the eternal turkey hunt with burgers and drinks from the snack bar.
After restoring a cluster of vintage theater speakers that he bought on eBay, Josh Frank used them to launch Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in the middle of Texas' capital city. At the retro cinematic establishment, Frank and his staff beckon moviegoers to cool their car or jetpack engines while immersing themselves in feel-good flicks, many of which are time-tested pop-culture favorites such as E.T. and The Karate Kid. Two car hostesses stay on-hand to add to the nostalgic ambience, whisking concessions such as hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels to trays perched in open car windows or inside the mouths of especially hungry visitors.
FillaseatAustin nabs unsold tickets for events at Austin entertainment venues, then offers them to members online for free. The national 19-location seat-filling service, exclusive to residents 18 and older including Austin, stuffs an online database with tickets to events as they become available. Members log on to browse and reserve tickets for whatever piques their fancy, from concerts and theater productions to family and sporting events. Since the database is a 24/7 land-grab, members rush in to snatch up the bills of entry, sometimes scoring tickets for a show that same day.
Members can bring any guest they'd like, picking up tickets at the venue's will-call window. Check the website for frequently asked questions as well as the policies and terms of membership.
Without a doubt, iPic Theater is one of Austin’s swankiest date night spots. The film house takes today's hottest trend in movie watching – food and beverage service – and runs with it, making the posh destination a perfect date spot. Guests lounge in cushy orange chairs and munch on complimentary popcorn while taking in the hottest new movies, all from a well-reclined position. iPic Theater is also an all-digital cinema, with state-of-the-art technology in sound and projection, as well as 3D screening capabilities. The theatre's location inside the Domain, Austin's upscale outdoor shopping area, makes iPic the perfect destination for a unique family outing or an all-in-one dinner-and-a-movie date, complete with an upscale feel.
From 3D spectacles to afternoon matinees to early-morning showings on weekends, Southwest Theatres goes beyond the standard duties of a cinema with their seven screens. But the facility also recognizes that what you're snacking on is just as important as what you're watching. That's why it dishes out dollar hotdogs every day, and keeps its beverage machines stocked with more than 100 flavors of soft drink. The theatre also provides free popcorn seasonings, meaning guests won't have to steal a salt lick from any horses hitched outside.
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."