Rejoice, cinema lovers. Alamo Drafthouse, the theater chain that’s popular for its no-nonsense approach to moviegoing, has emerged from Chapter 11.
The bankruptcy filing was announced in March as the Texas-based company, like many theater chains, was struggling to recover from closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Alamo Drafthouse has completed its sale to Altamont Capital Partners, funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League.
“We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at Altamont and Fortress, who are completely aligned with our vision for Alamo Drafthouse’s growth,” Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor said in a statement.
Along with the news of the end of its Chapter 11 process, the company announced plans to open five new theaters — with locations in Manhattan, Staten Island, St. Louis and two in Washington D.C. — in 2021 and 2022. Alamo Drafthouse had to close down a few underperforming venues as part of its bankruptcy filing and currently has nearly 40 locations in total.
“We’re so thrilled to be reopening theaters across the country and welcoming back audiences for an unparalleled moviegoing experience with films we’ve been eagerly awaiting for over a year now,” Taylor added. “It’s incredibly exciting to be back on that path so we can bring the Alamo Drafthouse experience to new locations around the country, including our very first locations in Manhattan, St. Louis, and D.C.”
Alamo Drafthouse’s long-in-the-works Manhattan location is expected to open this fall. Located in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, the 14-screen multiplex will also be home of the Press Room, a new museum, letter press print shop, bar and event space.
“The Press Room will feature an astounding collection that will serve as a museum of film and advertising history,” says League, the company’s executive chairman. “And with 14 screens, we will be able to support the important New York openings of a vast array of films. We’re so excited and can’t wait for New York movie lovers to see what we have in store for them at our Lower Manhattan theater.”
Across the country, movie theaters are finally starting to rebound after a dreary year brought on by the pandemic. With the Memorial Day weekend release of director John Krasinski’s scary sequel “A Quiet Place Part II” and Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” prequel “Cruella,” Alamo Drafthouse celebrated its biggest weekend at the box office since the onset of COVID-19.
“The question of whether audiences are ready to return to movie theaters has been answered with a resounding ‘Yes!'” Taylor says.
Notably, the company reopened its Los Angeles location this weekend. Though it still has to cap attendance to comply with safety protocols, the venue sold out every showtime for all films throughout the entire holiday weekend.
“This is likely the first time in Alamo Drafthouse history that every single film for every single showtime for a theater has been sold out across a four day period,” League said. “It’s a powerful testament to our collective desire to come together to experience the magic of the big screen again.”