Sony Pictures Entertainment returns to the theater business with the acquisition of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Sony Pictures Entertainment is acquiring Alamo Drafthouse Cinema shortly after the boutique theater chain shuttered six locations.

Sony Alamo

Sony Pictures Entertainment should be fitted with a cape because it’s coming to rescue Alamo Drafthouse Cinema from an uncertain fate. Today, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced that SPE has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema!

According to SPE’s official press release, the company will be managed within SPE under a newly established division, Sony Pictures Experiences. The deal reinforces SPE’s long-held commitment to theatrical exhibition and continued initiatives in experiential entertainment.

Alamo Drafthouse’s Michael Kustermann will remain CEO of the pioneering dine-in movie theater chain and head Sony Pictures Experiences, reporting to Ravi Ahuja, President and COO of SPE. Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate all 35 of its cinemas across 25 metro areas under the Alamo Drafthouse brand. Alamo Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, the world-renowned genre film festival, is included in the acquisition and will continue to be operated by Alamo Drafthouse. The company’s headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

“We believe strongly in engaging entertainment fans outside the home in fun and distinctive ways as seen most recently with our Wheel of Fortune LIVE! traveling tour, and the opening of Wonderverse in Chicago,” said Ahuja.  “Alamo Drafthouse’s differentiated movie-going experience, admired brand and devoted community fit well with this vision.  Our Crunchyroll business also aligns well with their audience’s interests. We look forward to building upon the innovations that have made Alamo Drafthouse successful and will, of course, continue to welcome content from all studios and distributors.”

This is fantastic news for Sony and Alamo Drafthouse, especially after last week’s news about the closure of six locations after the franchise filed for bankruptcy. The closures include five locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a Minnesota theater in Woodbury, leaving 35 locations remaining. With Sony Pictures Entertainment stepping up to the plate, Alamo Drafthouse’s place as a boutique theater experience is more secure. Sony knows the importance of theaters in delivering memorable entertainment experiences for audiences, and Alamo Drafthouse provides theatergoers with a unique viewing experience. In addition to offering a heightened dining and viewing experience than most cinemas, Alamo Drafthouse hosts movie marathon events, special screenings, and events that change how people talk about film outside the home.

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

“Alamo Drafthouse has always held the craft of filmmaking and the theatrical experience in high esteem, which are fundamental shared values between our companies. I’m jazzed that our company is doing this,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.

Are you excited about Sony stepping in to help keep Alamo Drafthouse an essential part of the movie-going experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Alamo Drafthouse

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.