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Sony acquires Alamo Drafthouse theater chain

Sony acquires Alamo Drafthouse theater chain
Sony acquires Alamo Drafthouse theater chain

 


Sony Pictures Entertainment buys Alamo Drafthousea popular chain of movie theaters with catering.

The studio, which recently scored hits like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “The Garfield Movie,” said it will continue to exhibit films from other studios and distributors.

The agreement also includes Fantastic party, an annual tribute to genre films, which Alamo will continue to broadcast. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Alamo began in 1997 as a single-screen movie theater in Austin, Texas. It gradually expanded to 35 locations in 25 cities across the United States, including theaters in the Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn and Staten Island. Workers at Manhattan and Brooklyn locations voted to unionize last year.

The theater chain is the seventh largest, with about 10 million visitors a year and millions of loyalty program members.

However, the company's growth was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some locations have closed and plans for new openings have been halted indefinitely. Alamo filed for bankruptcy in March 2021 before a new investment group took over months later. Michael Kusterman, who was then named CEO of Alamo, will become the head of a new Sony division focused on live experiences.

“We are beyond excited to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company's vision to be the best cinema that has ever existed or will exist in ways we can only dream of,” said Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse. A declaration. “They have a deep respect and understanding of cinema’s ability to drive growth and create lasting cultural impact, which aligns perfectly with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands for.”

The sale comes less than a week later six Alamo branches abruptly closed.

Studios were barred from owning movie theaters for decades under the Supreme Consent Decrees, an antitrust ruling that was canceled in 2020 after 72 years.

The purchase makes Sony the latest studio to purchase its own physical cinema. Netflix owns several theaters, including the Paris Theater in Manhattan. Walt Disney Co. and Amazon both own and operate movie theaters in Los Angeles.

The Sony company previously owned the Loews chain before merging with AMC theaters.

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