Think of it as an Alamo Drafthouse — with a twist.
When Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. Interstate 35 in Round Rock, opens its doors Wednesday, it will offer patrons an opportunity to order wine and beer — just a few varieties for now but ultimately 48 total, including six brewed on-site — while watching first-run movies.
"We've created something that's pretty special," said Allan Reagan, president of the theater's parent company, Hospitality Investors Inc. "We are the only first-run cinema brewery in the world and have the largest draft beer selection of any cinema in America."
Sometime next month, full in-theater food service will be in place, with a menu that includes everything from pizzas to salads to sandwiches. Waiters can be summoned with the push of a button.
The staff at neighboring HomeField Grill, which is also owned by Hospitality Investors, is helping to craft the menu at Flix. Theatergoers will be periodically treated to samples while chefs complete the menu.
"The No. 1 question at HomeField Grill has, for months now, been, 'When is Flix opening?' " Reagan said. "It has been a tsunami of interest."
"People have been calling us since January," said Alex Wright, director of marketing.
Built in what was once a Hastings Entertainment store, the 32,000-square-foot cinema has six theaters of varying sizes and a total of 808 seats.
"Bad Teacher" and "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon" are the first two flicks to be shown. Tickets are priced at $10, or $7.50 for a matinee.
Nearby, Cinemark has a trio of theaters: 20 screens to the south in Pflugerville and 22 screens split between a pair of locations in Round Rock.
"We don't feel we compete in any way with them," Reagan said. "We're far more adult-oriented."
For starters, after 6 p.m., the theater will only allow patrons under 21 if they're accompanied by their parents.
Other tenants in the Sky Ridge Plaza shopping center say they're excited to see the Hastings spot filled and hope it will help increase traffic.
"I'm thinking more people will notice our sign, and we'll get some good exposure," said Keith Hamilton, manager at Round Rock Gold Exchange.
Reagan said that's his hope, too.
"We set out about two years ago to reimagine the center," he said. "Businesses like Blockbuster and Borders aren't going to be around much longer, so we want to build more of a community lifestyle center with recreation, self-improvement and health care options."
The main focus right now is on getting Flix open on time, but Hospitality Investors isn't ruling out additional locations some day.
"We've got to crawl before we can walk," Reagan said, "and walk before we run."