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Last week in our public call for ideas on what could inspire you to spend more time downtown, we received so much amazing feedback!  And over the next few weeks we want to explore some of your ideas!

We’re starting with one of your most requested additions for downtown Huntsville: a movie theatre!  And not just any movie theatre, a View & Brew or Pub Theatre!

We did some digging and put together this roundup of some of our favorite pub theatre concepts that we think could make an amazing addition to the downtown Huntsville landscape!  Let us know what you think!


To be fair, there are few companies that know how to run a pub theatre, better than McMenamins in Portland Oregon. With 8 unique pub theaters in the Portland area, they have taken an off the wall concept and turned it into a science.  Listed below are just a few of our favorite theaters they operate.

The Bagdad Theatre & Pub

Most luxurious of them all is the Bagdad Theatre & Pub, you can kick back in the theater and enjoy a slice of pizza and a handcrafted ale during the show, or come early and enjoy dinner in the casual pub that fronts the theater.

This once state-of-the-art theater built by Universal Pictures in 1927 was renovated to its original grandeur by the McMenamin brothers in 1991.

Located in the same building, the Bagdad Pub offers a full menu and seasonal outdoor seating on bustling Hawthorne Boulevard. The adjacent Greater Trumps Bar celebrates the ”cigar & Porto” European nightcap tradition, and the Backstage Bar, a hidden room behind the Bagdad Theater’s screen that stretches seven stories from floor to ceiling, offers pool, shuffleboard and a large viewing screen of its own.

St. Johns Theatre

Built in 1905 as the National Cash Register Company’s exhibit hall for Portland’s Lewis and Clark Exposition, this spectacular building was barged down the Willamette River after the expo to its current location in the St. Johns neighborhood, where is has served as a Lutheran church, an American Legion post, a bingo parlor and a home for Gypsy wakes. The ever-evolving domed structure was later reinvented as Duffy’s Irish Pub and finally, St. Johns Theater & Pub. Faithfully continuing in its role as neighborhood pub and gathering spot, the theater (with its excellent acoustics) shows second-run film releases with McMenamins handcrafted ales, wines and spirits and food to enjoy during the movie.

Old St. Francis School Theater

Tucked away in the former parish hall of the old Catholic school is a place much more comfortable to sit than a hard wooden pew. The Old St. Francis School Theater, with seating for up to 150, offers visitors the chance to settle into an overstuffed chair or sofa and watch a recent release, cult classic or sporting event while enjoying a slice of pizza and a handcrafted McMenamins ale.

The Old St. Francis Theater offers pizza, snacks and, of course, popcorn. The full-service bar offers a wide variety of liquid refreshments to quench your thirst – including McMenamins own handcrafted ales, wines and spirits.

The New Parkway Theatre

Of course, McMenimens isn’t the only company to grabbed a hold of the view and brew concept.  The New Parkway Theatre in Oakland California has put their own unique twist on the concept as well, creating a space that is like stepping into your own living room for a movie with friends… except with a much larger screen and way better surround sound.

Bear Tooth Theatrepub

Located in Anchorage Alaska, Bear Tooth Theatrepub is unique in the fact that the venue has removable seating and doubles as a large concert venue as well for touring bands.

Row House Cinema

Row House Cinema, an 83-seat single screen movie theater, shows retrospectives, classic films and family-friendly flicks. Each week they choose a new movie theme.  The concession stand features staples with a twist, like all natural popcorn with real butter, local pretzels, vegan options and of course, craft beer.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

And finally no View & Brew list would be complete without the big dog herself: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema began in 1997 with a single-screen location in Austin, and now has locations in Texas, Virginia, New York, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, and California.

Guests can choose from standard options such as pizzas, burgers and salads or opt from the cinema-themed specials menu. Visitors who bring a date can split a bottle of California riesling and baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies (served with a scoop of ice cream) or choose from a list of adult milkshakes such as the Maker’s Mark milk punch shake or the crème de menthe- and crème de cacao-laced Grasshopper. Alamo also offers decadent themed dinners, with plates timed specifically to a film. The Julie Delpy- and Ethan Hawke-starred Before Midnight, for example, inspired a four-course Mediterranean menu with Greek wine, while the epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy Feast was a favorite for fans who could handle a staggering 11-hour marathon of food, fountain drinks and films.

So which concept do you like the best? Did we miss any great view & brew concepts that you think would be a great fit for downtown Huntsville?

Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. […] we’ve been taking a look at some of your most requested additions for downtown including a pub theatre and barcade!  This week in our third and final installment we’re exploring coffee […]

  2. […] week we took at look at some concepts for our most requested addition for downtown: a pub theatre.  And this week we’re keeping the ball rolling with your second most requested addition: The […]

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