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Alamo Drafthouse Teams With Legion M Crowdfunded Studio Startup

Indie theater chain and film distributor Alamo Drafthouse has thrown in with Legion M, a studio startup that’s selling stock in the company to individual investors online, to develop new entertainment projects.

Under the pact, Alamo Drafthouse will work with Legion M to identify scripts and talent for potential investment for projects including feature films, shorts and virtual-reality experiences. Execs from Alamo Drafthouse also will serve on Legion M’s advisory board to help evaluate potential projects.

The parties tout the pact as a revolutionary model for financing productions, with fans as key stakeholders having an interest in Legion M’s success. However, any projects that emerge will be relatively low-budget endeavors: Legion M has raised $400,000 from accredited investors and $129,000 from fans since launching on wefunder.com last week, while it also has received non-committed reservations of more than $2 million in stock from more than 2,000 additional users.

Legion M is selling shares in the company at $7 per share, calculated at a $12.6 million pre-money valuation. The company is taking advantage of new rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the 2012 JOBS Act, which went into effect earlier this month. The change is designed to make it easier for smaller companies to raise capital via public stock offerings.

Alamo Drafthouse joins Legion M’s previously announced creative partners, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, 42 Entertainment and Meltdown Comics. Drafthouse Films, Alamo Drafthouse’s distribution division launched in 2010, has released more than 40 titles including Oscar-nominated films “Bullhead,” “The Look of Silence” and “The Act of Killing.”

“Alamo Drafthouse strengthens our expertise in film while adding the critical third component of the process: distribution,” said Legion M CEO and co-founder Paul Scanlan. “We are bringing fans, creators, funding, and now distribution together to reinvent the production and distribution paradigm.”

Added Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League, “We’ve built relationships with filmmakers all over the world, all of whom are looking for bold, innovative ways to get their films financed and distributed. Our partnership with Legion M is revolutionary as it will allow us to do this in a way that empowers both the filmmaker and the fan in a completely unique way.”

Legion M is offering those who pony up the minimum $100 investment a “VIP Pass” to get “behind-the-scenes access” to all of its projects. So far, the Emeryville, Calif.-based startup hasn’t announced any films or other productions.

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