Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Not Likely to Open Before December 2013

The historic neon sign, which will be restored and relit for the first time since the theater closed in 1993.

Earlier this year we heard about the plans by the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to buy and restore the huge and historic New Mission Theater. The plans include five screens, with the conversion of the single, original screen into a 348-seat main screen, and converting the upper balconies into four smaller screening rooms of 36 to 46 seats each, all of which will include food and beverage service from a main bar downstairs. The Wall Street Journal today has an update on the project, which still doesn't take its plans to the Historic Preservation Commission until this December. That puts their opening now out to late 2013 at the earliest, which may make some impatient Mission denizens sad. But the other piece of this, which will definitely be more contentious, is a deal by Oyster Development Co. to redevelop the next-door Giant Value property as a six- to eight-story condo building with 114 units. They've pledged to give $1 million to the theater restoration (which is likely to cost Alamo upwards of $10 million) if their development plan gets approved. [WSJ, Earlier slideshow]