My latest visit to the site shows some progress on construction of the new complex. One crane is up (there will be more) and the forms for some of the foundations are being constructed on one of the buildings (the one to the south of the Alamo).
As you can see, however, there’s still a very long way to go before serious building construction begins. And if you look at the image below, you can see the huge mounds of dirt (that’s Owen Egerton down there posing for scale) that had been just sitting, waiting to be moved off site. The problem then (this was two weeks ago) was that, from what I’ve been told, the growth in Austin has caused a surplus of this dirt, and the process of getting rid of it had pretty much ground to a halt. Several hundred tons of dirt have been removed from the South Lamar site alone, and there are at least 9 or 10 other construction projects, some bigger than this, going on just around central Austin right now. But as you can see by the most recent picture linked here (taken 5/23), those huge piles of dirt are gone, crisis averted! And the area of the complex where two more buildings will be situated in front of the Alamo is beginning to take shape.
But as is relevant to us here, work has yet to start on the Alamo portion of the construction. However, I have been in contact with the architects and they have shared some information with me about what we can expect to be happening with regard to the theaters, the lobby, and the Highball.
As you may already know, three new theaters are being built in the space of the former lobby. The seating and tables will be similar to the Slaughter Lane theaters. These theaters will be rather small, with two of them seating 48 and one seating 65. One of the smaller theaters will be capable of screening both digital 4K and 35mm content. Four of the existing theaters are also getting a minor face lift, with the first row being removed to help improve viewing angles. The new lobby will be situated between the theaters and the Highball. I don’t have a ton of information on what it will look like, but the spaceship theme will remain, with some elements coming from the former lobby, and a new “mother ship” is being created to go along with them. The murals in the corridor that leads to the theaters will remain, with Mondo posters moving there.
In my next post I will have information on the layout and some of the design elements of the new Highball. So check back soon!