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Sony Pictures Entertainment Acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

They aim to build on its successful innovations and continue welcoming content from all studios and distributors
Photo: Mitch Lazorko / Shutterstock

On June 12, 2024, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced its acquisition of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, integrating the unique movie theater chain into the newly formed Sony Pictures Experiences division. 

Michael Kustermann, the current CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, will continue to lead the company while also heading the new Sony Pictures Experiences division. Alamo Drafthouse will maintain its operations across 35 cinemas in 25 metropolitan areas under its established brand. Additionally, Fantastic Fest, the genre film festival owned by Alamo Drafthouse, will also continue under its management. The headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

“We believe strongly in engaging entertainment fans outside the home in fun and distinctive ways,” said Ravi Ahuja, president and COO of SPE. “Alamo Drafthouse’s differentiated movie-going experience, admired brand and devoted community fit well with this vision. 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.”

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision,” said Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse in an official statement. “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.”

Founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League as a single-screen theater in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse became North America's seventh-largest theater chain. Known for its dine-in movie experience and innovative programming, it attracts over 10 million guests annually and has 4 million loyalty members. Last year, Alamo Drafthouse saw a 30 percent increase in box office revenue, outpacing industry averages.

On June 6, it was learned that the franchise partner operating all Alamo Drafthouse locations in the Dallas-Fort Woth area filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, resulting in the immediate closure of these theaters. “Rest assured that we are hard at work coming up with a solution to get Alamo Drafthouse back in DFW. Thanks for being the best damn guests a little cinema company could ever ask for – we’ll see you at the movies again as soon as we can,” reads a statement in the Alamo Drafthouse official website at the time.  

To learn more about the acquisition, click here. 

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