Alamo Drafthouse is being bought by Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Entertainment today that it has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a beloved independent theater business. Alamo Drafthouse won scores of loyal fans over the years for its well-enforced policy of no talking and no texting during showings, as well as its dine-in experience with food and beverage menus.

At least for now, the Alamo experience for viewers may not feel different under the new management. Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate its 35 cinemas and run its Fantastic Fest film festival. And current CEO Michael Kustermann will remain at the helm and report to the head of a new Sony Pictures Experiences division.

It’s the end of an era for the indie theater chain, which was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League. But given how hard the COVID-19 pandemic crushed the movie-going experience, at least this isn’t the end of the Alamo Drafthouse story. The business made a valiant effort to keep viewers’ support with in 2020, but the Texas-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021 and began in March of this year.

There’s no dollar figure attached to the announcement, but Sony’s press release notes that Alamo Drafthouse is the seventh-largest theater chain in North America. Even with their struggles, the company attracts an annual audience of 10 million and posted a 30 percent increase in box office revenue last year. Maybe this sets the Alamo theaters up to host in the near future.

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