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Alamo Drafthouse plans The Press Room, a museum and bar of movie ephemera

Emma Orlow

This winter, Alamo Drafthouse will not only bring a movie theater to the Financial District, but, along with it, a new concept called The Press Room. The space will function as part-museum and part-bar at the eagerly anticipated downtown New York theater. 

After watching a documentary called The Collection that debuted at SXSW in 2017about Marilyn Wagner and DJ Ginsberg, who stumbled upon 50,000 items of vintage movie ephemera without knowing their initial worthAlamo Drafthouse founder and CEO, Tim League was inspired to buy the collection himself and give it a home within his theater so that the public could enjoy it, too.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Press Room

When the new Alamo opens later this winter, The Press Room will house the impressive collection that spans items from Casablanca to the The Lone Ranger. The selections on display from the archive will include letterpress film plates from the 1930s through 1980s. During the weekends, The Press Room will bring the letterpress to life, putting it to work to produce new postcards that guests can take home as a souvenir (letterpress classes will be offered as well). League and his team will also be putting together their own movie about the collection's history. Meta. 

“These plates tell such a unique story, not just of film history but the history of advertising and movie marketing,” says League in a press release provided to Time Out New York. “I cannot wait to share this astounding collection with the movie lovers of New York.”

It seems The Press Room will function similarly to House of Wax, the bar inside Alamo's location at City Point mall in Downtown Brooklyn, where wax figures on display complement the bar's kitschy interiors (There's a rug that looks like the geometric orange carpeting from The Shining.) The new location of Alamo will be in the same building as restauranteur, Danny Meyer's Manhatta and hopes to bring a similar nostalgic feel.

As for what you can expect from the drinks, there will be 48 craft bars on tap, in addition to a cocktail menu developed by Alamo Drafthouse’s Bar Creative Manager Tacy Rowland. For more information on The Press Room, head to their site.

In the meantime, Alamo is currently selling Halloween movie-themed postcards from the letterpress. 

The Press Room will open at the Alamo Drafthouse's new location at 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 11201. Following the launch, another location will open in Orlando, Florida. 


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