When it opens on Friday, Brooklyn's shiny new Alamo Drafthouse will make a big splash in the NYC cinema scene—and that's not even counting the theater's bar, which is bound to cause a sensation of its own. Modeled after panoptica attractions from the late 1800s, the House of Wax Museum & Cocktails features detailed—and often graphic—recreations of death masks, diseased body parts, graphic birth models and other depictions. Be forewarned: the images are highly realistic and some are very graphic; click with caution!
"These collections were of immense legitimate value to the burgeoning fields of both anthropological study and medical research. They were also instrumental in disease education and prevention," according to Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League. "Even though they were, for this reason, afforded a kind of middlebrow respectability, the reality was that deep down, [creators] the Castan Brothers were some of the world's first great showmen."
Put another way: "I have never encountered so many vintage wax vulvas before," Gothamist's Scott Heins opined.
The more unsettling of the figures will be in the "adult" section behind a velvet curtain. That's where you'll encounter the genital abnormalities, birth abnormalities, STDs, if you're daring enough to pull back the curtain.
If you're not unsettled eating and drinking surrounded by viscera, the bar features a lengthy spirit and cocktail list, but their beer selection's truly impressive in its own right. The draft list is exclusively sourced from New York State, with over 48 types from the five boroughs, Long Island and points north.
Food's of a more basic variety that seems geared towards snacking rather than a proper meal. Go all-in on the cinema setting with Truffle Parmesan Popcorn ($9) or traditional bar snacks like the Chili Lime Cerveza Nuts ($6). Heartier options include a Brooklyn Dog ($13) with sauerkraut and a Margarita Flatbread ($15).
House of Wax menu by Nell Casey on Scribd