I walked into Alamo Drafthouse for the very first time. "Not bad," I said to myself. Though this movie theater has been around for two years, its draw isn't the movies, and it's not the Glass Half Full Bar that serves draft beer or even the food made in a kitchen. It’s the atmosphere; and atmosphere means everything. You know the saying "Looks aren't everything," well that applies to people and not places. Think of it like this; you go to a place that showcases music. The type of music being played by a certain artist can attract followers, thus creates an atmosphere. When you think of Taylor Swift, what's the first thing that pops into your head?
Now think of rock band Disturbed. What pops into your head now?
You can only imagine the atmosphere these performers can create when they're in town and as hilarious as it would be if they toured together. This does help to explain the importance of atmosphere when you're running a business, especially when it's a movie theater. 2015 may be the most advantageous year yet for film theaters; the summer movie season is fast approaching and many theater chains look for creative ways to maintain film-goers. Yes, a movie can bring people to places like Alamo Drafthouse, but what will make them come, if you do not have blockbuster? Or if it's not Summer? Alamo may have found a way. Which brings me to our story of why I came to Alamo Drafthouse last Wednesday night.
In a previous article, I talked about getting sucked into a game that I played while at an Anime convention last year - Cards Against Humanity (CAH) they call it. An adult-styled version of Apples To Apples, where you complete a sentence or a question with the most insane card responses ever.
Let this video explain:
I never knew that I was a sociopath, but playing CAH that day really answered a lot of questions about myself and my perception of other people who also play. I was thankful enough to buy a box set of CAH. However, I have not had the opportunity to host a game night at my apartment, yet. I do play the online game, but it's not the same. Recently, I got wind of Alamo Drafthouse hosting a weekly game of CAH. This I could not pass up.
Alamo Drafthouse's Cards Against Humanity Game Night is the best reason to come to a movie theater and not watch a movie. Sure they have other game nights, but CAH is so popular that it has its own night. They have makeshift rules, but they're not the Ten Commandments. You can come alone or with a friend, but expect to be seated at a table with a bunch of strangers. It brings new meaning to the term, "getting to know someone," when you're reading cards containing the words "Micropenis" or "Dead Parents."
Another rule about the CAH game night is that they only go for five rounds and twenty minutes a piece. Sooo that video you saw, the people in it look like they could go all night. The CAH game I played last year, lasted four hours.Alamo can spare only a hour and a half of play time. You don't have to go home after CAH game night at Alamo, but don't expect everyone to keep playing, when the Game Master starts picking up cards. Speaking of cards, throughout the game, the Game Master (not a real title) switches up the card decks. If you have a good hand, hold them. Nothing sucks more than having deck of cards you can't use, or worse, get a card that's already been played.
I was the loner in a table of strangers whom each had a partner in crime. It's a little awkward at first, but when the game starts, the ice begins to break. It may not look like it, but it felt like we knew each other for years, and that's the unexpected appeal of the game. People's true colors begin to surface and their personalities take center stage. As much as people enjoy raising eyebrows with an off-kilter responses, there's nothing quite like the smell of gift cards and free movie passes fresh from Alamo Drafthouse.
I wish that I could say that I won the game, got a few gift cards and what not, but no. I made some interesting friends, told some jokes, ate some popcorn, and secretly plotted payback for next time like any other red-blooded competitive person that loves winning so freaking much would do. Five rounds may not be enough to satisfy a hardcore addict of CAH, but a weekly fix may have to do, just to keep the skills sharp. I would recommend inviting a friend along with you to play. I'm not sure if you could have a first date doing this. Well, you're having a date inside a movie theater though? Anyway, practice good judgement when choosing the best (wrong) answer when playing the game, and don't bring your own cards, decks will be included and also expect for some cards to have written answers. I recommend to check it out at least once before you die of old age.
Cards Against Humanity Game Night
Wednesday Nights at
100 S. Central Expressway
Richardson, TX 75080