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Alamo Drafthouse to debut in Naples with a twist: Indoor mini golf

Following a trend to find ways to draw people to movie theaters, the Alamo Drafthouse at Mercato will have a nine-hole miniature golf course and a lounge in the lobby when it opens.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:30 p.m. March 14, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Alamo Drafthouse is adding mini golf at its new theater in Naples.
Alamo Drafthouse is adding mini golf at its new theater in Naples.
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  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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Movies, beers and now golf.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is opening at the Mercato in Naples in the spring, is getting a miniature golf course. And it won’t be outside the front door or around the side. It’ll be in the lobby.

The Austin, Texas, theater chain says the Naples location is one of several of its properties to get the attraction, adding another element to an already different experience from what most people are used to when heading to the movies.

The concept is called HappyLand Movie Miniature Golf, and according to a statement, each of its nine holes is “inspired by some of our favorite films, with each one featuring a different Hollywood creature incorporated into the putting challenge.”

The chain says HappyLand in addition to the putting greens will have a full bar with 24 beers and a “golf-themed” signature cocktail list, including an alcohol-free option. It also will carry Naples-based Riptide Brewing Co.’s, Olde Naples Blonde Ale under a private label named Chubbs’ 19th Hole Blonde Ale.

The lounge and golf course will fit 50 people and be available for rent. It will open 30 minutes before the first movie of the day and close just after the start of the final show of the evening.

Adding an attraction like this is part of a larger movement to draw people to movie theaters at a time when moviegoers have so many more options — including staying at home and streaming. While setting up a golf course in the lobby is further than most will go, movie theaters are increasingly adding more comfortable seating, adding bars and sitting areas in the lobby, and serving food far beyond the traditional popcorn and Junior Mints.

When it opens, Alamo Drafthouse’s 33,652-square-foot theater will have 11 auditoriums with about 650 newly installed reclining leather seats and 4K digital projection. Its food will be from a scratch-made menu.

While food and drinks are brought to a patron’s seat during a movie, the wait staff is trained to not disrupt the movie experience.

Alamo Drafthouse, which already has 40 locations, is replacing Silverspot Cinema. Silverspot closed in July after 14 years at Mercato. It too operated an elevated movie concept with high-end dining, an enhanced interior design and concierge services.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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