San Antonio-based movie chain cancels plans for Westlakes

San Antonio-based Santikos Entertainment is renovating and redesigning the Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes cinema, which the movie chain previously owned almost 40 years ago. The local chain is expanding what was a 40,363 square foot property into a location large enough for an arcade and bar. With the added zones, the square footage added an additional 3,904 square feet.

It has been difficult to update the systems installed in a building built in the 80s, but the company is happy to be back in its old playgrounds, Rob Lehman, COO for Santikos, told MySA. The company opened the theater near Marbach Road on December 7, 1984. Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse purchased the venue in 2004 and became the chain’s first San Antonio location.

Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse purchased the location in 2004 and became the chain’s first San Antonio location.

B. Kay Richter

When Alamo Drafthouse finally closed its Westlakes location in April – a month after the chain filed for bankruptcy, Santikos Entertainment burst in and acquired its second Alamo Drafthouse location. The first purchase was the New Braunfels establishment, which opened in August.

Santikos bought what was once the Alien Worlds comic book store next door to convert it into a new 12-tap bar with at least seven TVs. Alien Worlds has moved a few stores to the same mall as Westlakes.

The company used the same method for the arcade space, speaking with the owner of the mall to allow him to purchase an old office space next to the Westlakes location. Santikos plans to offer 27 to 30 modern games, according to Dan Fonseca, director of games at Santikos.

The bar will be located in what was once the Alien World comic book store, which has moved a few stores to the same Westlakes mall.

The bar will be located in what was once the Alien World comic book store, which has moved a few stores to the same Westlakes mall.

B. Kay Richter

A former office space will be transformed into an arcade room with more than 27 games.

A former office space will be transformed into an arcade room with more than 27 games.

B. Kay Richter

“We wanted to get it right,” Lehman says. “We’re just adding to the standard theater to bring it to a different level and make it more family-oriented. The circle has come full circle. It will be better than ever.”

The red walls will turn blue, the floors will be carpeted and the famous Alamo Drafthouse graphics will be gone. Lehman says the theater will also have updated reclining seats with a cooler for all nine theaters, two of the famous popcorn serving stands (available at Mayan, Northwest, Galaxy, and soon at Embassy and Cibolo locations), and the express pick-up option.

Santikos Entertainment plans to demolish the red walls of what was once the Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes.

Santikos Entertainment plans to demolish the red walls of what was once the Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes.

B. Kay Richter

Andrew Brooks, executive director of sales and marketing for Santikos, says the company understands that Alamo Drafthouse has his true loyal customer base. But Brooks is hopeful those people will experience the new theater with the “exciting” upgrades.

“Our mission is completely different from that of Drafthouse,” says Brooks. “When they buy a movie ticket here, when they buy that popcorn, when they buy Legacy Lager (beer created by Santikos), those profits go back to the community they live in, not to someone who lives. in Austin or Dallas or whoever. It will really be their experience. “

Santikos Entertainment will offer the updated reclining seats with a cooler for all nine theaters.

Santikos Entertainment will offer the updated reclining seats with a cooler for all nine theaters.

B. Kay Richter

Julian Wagstaff, who started a petition when Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, says he’s disappointed the original Austin channel couldn’t save Marbach’s location. He’s skeptical of Santikos adding to his atmosphere, but he says he’ll definitely give him a chance.

Santikos is hoping for an opening in early spring 2022, just in time for what appear to be two major releases of The batman by Matt Reeves and Top Gun: Maverick by Joseph Kosinski.




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