On Friday, July 22nd, Austin-based cinema-eatery Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will welcome film lovers from the Island and across the tri-state area to their brand new theater, Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island.
During the “soft opening” period running through July 27th, guests will receive 25% off food and non-alcoholic beverages while staff trains and gets up to speed. Occupying 44,726 square feet of The Boulevard Shopping Center at 2636 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY, the 9-screen, 893-seat theater is the company’s fourth New York-area location after Yonkers (2013), Downtown Brooklyn (2016), and Lower Manhattan (2021). The theater is easily accessible by car with ample free parking and is convenient via multiple means of public transport. The new location will also house Flying Guillotine, a kung fu-themed collaboration with legendary Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA that’s part bar and part martial arts museum. It opens ahead of a string of new Alamo Drafthouse locations due late this year or 2023 in Arlington, VA; St. Louis, MO; Boston, MA; and Chicago, IL.
“Our Staten Island theater has been a long time coming, and I think we’ve got something that’s really going to wow our New York guests,” says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. “We’re committed to providing an elevated moviegoing experience that serves the great Staten Island community, and this new theater is a perfect expression of that commitment.”
Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island opens amidst the continuing resurgence of the cinema industry that’s seen SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, THE BATMAN, and TOP GUN: MAVERICK open to record-breaking box office success, and just in time for Oscar-winning writer/director Jordan Peele’s new horror epic, NOPE. Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island is also committed to celebrating and empowering independent films such as the record-breaking EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE from Daniels and A24, the first Drafthouse Recommends title of 2022.
As is only fitting for the cinema company’s first location in ‘Shaolin’, Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island will collaborate with Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA on Flying Guillotine, a kung fu-themed bar and museum all-in-one.
Like the century-old wax figure exhibits thoughtfully curated throughout Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn’s House of Wax and the vast archive of over 60,000 letterpress film advertising plates adorning the walls of Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan’s The Press Room, Flying Guillotine will feature posters and memorabilia spanning the history of kung fu cinema.
“Bringing the coolest movie experience to ‘Shaolin’,” says RZA, “with a bar designed with the aesthetics of the Wu-Tang vibe – like Flying Guillotine – and an extensive collection of memorabilia, this location will surely be a place of many fun memories for Staten Islanders.”
“The modern action genre was undeniably born out of the kung fu movie explosion of the early 1970s,” says Tim League, founder and Executive Chairman of Alamo Drafthouse. “After ENTER THE DRAGON, audiences craved more of this new visceral excitement, and the movie studios responded and were forever changed in its wake. Without this influence, there is no MATRIX, there is no MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and there is no action genre as we know it today. We love this legacy and want to celebrate and share its rich history throughout the walls of the Flying Guillotine bar and the theater itself."
In addition to a tap wall of 45 draft beers, guests will enjoy two unique sections of the cocktail menu: Shaolin, featuring nine classic cocktails, and Wu-Tang, with nine original craft cocktails designed by bar manager Vincent Favella, previously of Brooklyn’s House of Wax and Lower Manhattan’s The Press Room. Flying Guillotine will also feature a giant 16’ Flying Guillotine overtop of the entry to the bar and board-breaking photo opportunity designed and fabricated by Dimensional Innovations, an award-winning experience design firm based in Kansas City. Any purchase at the bar gets you a token for the exclusive Flying Guillotine claw game, and there are exact replicas of the three different Flying Guillotines (designed by Pretty in Plastic) used in all the flying guillotine films. For more info about Flying Guillotine – including a sneak peek at the menu – visit flyingguillotine.com.
Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island Signature Programming
One of the programming centerpieces is the “RZA’s Saturday Shaolin Theater”, a Saturday afternoon weekly series inspired by RZA’s personal hard-hitting martial arts favorites. The series also takes a cue from the popular Black Belt Theater programs that ran on WNEW Channel 5 in New York on Saturdays in the 80s. The series will kick off with ENTER THE DRAGON. Future titles include MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING (the film that gave Wu Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah his name), Jimmy Wang Yu’s 1976 classic THE MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, which served as the inspiration for the theater’s bar, DRUNKEN MASTERs I & II starring Jackie Chan, Janus Films’ new digital restoration of THE HEROIC TRIO and many, many more.
Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island will also continue the exhibitor’s long tradition of repertory programming and memorable live events. Summer of Darkness: The Films of John Carpenter, a retrospective on the legendary genre stylist, continues with beloved classics such as THE THING and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK heading back to the big screen later this summer. Families can enjoy a fun and affordable time at the movies with their summer Kids Camp series, offering $5 tickets to family-friendly films spanning from ‘80s favorites to recent animated hits.
Alamo Sizzle Reel