Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open its first Minnesota franchise at the Woodbury Lakes shopping center in May.
By spring, the soon-to-be-redeveloped shopping center in Woodbury will boast nine movie theaters, 1,000 recliners, plus an attached bar and restaurant offering 32 local beers on tap. The Woodbury Lakes site, at 9020 Hudson Road, is being renovated by developer Ramco-Gershenson Properties.
Alamo will lease the space next to the center's Crave Restaurant and near retailers such as DSW Shoes, H&M, Gap, Michaels and Trader Joe's.
By spring, Alamo plans to hire 175 workers for the site but is now looking to fill about eight managerial positions both for the theater and restaurant.
"As a guest of Alamo since 2001 and an owner and employee since 2011, I love this brand and cannot wait to bring it to this great state," said Bill DiGaetano, franchise owner and Alamo Drafthouse Minnesota chief operations officer.
DiGaetano and his team declined to disclose project costs.
Alamo's entrance into Minnesota stokes an already intense competition among Twin Cities cinema players. Its arrival pits it against traditional movie houses such as the Woodbury 10 Theater. Marcus theaters and others have added an expanded menu, beer and wine. And CMX, a subsidiary of Mexico-based Cinemex, the sixth-largest cinema chain in the world, is bringing its high-end dining and movie concept to Mall of America. CMX also has bought a cinema in Burnsville.
Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said she's not concerned about the increased competition.
"People are always looking for more dining and entertainment options," she said. "So we are excited to have them come. It's a good addition to the community here."
Alamo offers customers a mix of new, classic and independent movies as well as special events and repertoire programming.
DiGaetano said the new Woodbury location will sport top-of-the-line digital 4K projection and sound systems, luxury recliners and footrests so guests experience "unparalleled comfort."
The site also will feature a large format theater with Dolby's Atmos sound system.
To appeal to Minnesotans seeking fun, retro or a die-hard movie immersion, Alamo's business model will offer its signature "Movie Party celebrations," with crowd favorites such as "Elf," "Princess Bride" and "Ghostbusters."
The menu also will include fringe flicks; family-friendly Kids Camp; and low-cost screenings that help local charities raise money.
Founded with a single location in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has became known for its strict no-texting, no-talking policy and its employees' ability to quietly serve food and drinks while a movie is playing.
Today it has 29 locations in cities including Los Angeles, Kansas City and New York.
There are plans to open five or six more Alamo cinemas nationwide before the end of 2018, a company spokesperson said.