Who owns Alamo Drafthouse? Texas movie theater chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid COVID-19

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has filed for bankruptcy as it requires the capital it needs to continue operating amid coronavirus pandemic


                            Who owns Alamo Drafthouse? Texas movie theater chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid COVID-19
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Drafthouse Films Founder Tim League (Getty Images)

Alamo Drafthouse, the Texas movie theater chain which announced that it would keep COVID-19 safety measures in place despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order lifting the mask mandate, has filed for Chapter 11. The bankruptcy filing comes as part of an asset purchase agreement with Altamont Capital Partners and an affiliation with Fortress Investment Group.

The exhibitor has 37 theaters including locations in LA, Brooklyn and northern Virginia. It will close three theaters - Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, and locations in Kansas City, Missouri and New Braunfels, Texas -- but will continue operating other units and the company will continue to evaluate the health of all leases during the Chapter 11 process.

The Chapter 11 process and sale will give it the capital it needs to continue operating as it emerges from coronavirus pandemic lockdown. As per the new agreement, Alamo Drafthouse’s founder Tim League will remain involved with the company, and Shelli Taylor, a former Starbucks executive, will continue serving as the CEO.

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Gabriel Luna attends the "Terminator: Dark Fate" Screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. (Getty Images)

Who owns Alamo Drafthouse?

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain was founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, by Rice University alumni Tim League and Karrie League. The company began as a second-run movie theater and even distinguished itself by the food and drink service offered on the premises. The original downtown theater began offering occasional unique programming such as silent movies scored by local bands playing the live accompaniment. In 2001, the Leagues renovated a four-screen art-house theater called Village Cinema, which specialized in first-run films.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Drafthouse Films Founder Tim League (Getty Images)

In 2004, the Leagues sold the brand and rights to all future Alamo Drafthouse expansion to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema CEO Terrell Braly, John Martin, and David Kennedy. However, both Tim and Karrie retained an irrevocable license for the Austin locations.

How was Alamo Drafthouse Cinema founded?

Founder

Tim League (Founder and executive chairman)

League graduated in 1992 from Rice University in Mechanical Engineering. After working at an oil company for some time, League opened his very first movie theater, Tejon Theater. However, this business venture turned out to be a failure and was closed soon. While talking about movie theaters, he once stated that he got into this business because of his love for movies, and they got frustrated with the limited options they had back then.

After assuming the role of executive chairman in 2020, League said: “As executive chairman I’ll continue to lead the brand, digging hard into developing new creative and marketing initiatives at Alamo Drafthouse, Mondo and Fantastic Fest.”

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Drafthouse Films Founder Tim League (Getty Images)

As per Net Worth Post, Tim has a total net worth of $1.6 million.

Who owns Alamo Drafthouse now?

CEO of the company: Shelli Taylor

In April 2020, Alamo Drafthouse hired Shelli Taylor as the company’s new chief executive officer. Taylor has spent nearly two decades at Starbucks and has even served as president of United Planet Fitness Partners.



 

“I am incredibly honored and excited to assume the role of CEO at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Tim League and his talented team have built an unequaled cinema brand that is built on passion, innovation and a local community mindset encompassing everything from food and drink to fantastic programming,” Taylor said. “I am committed to Alamo Drafthouse’s vision of sharing the films we love with the widest possible audience while offering the best moviegoing experience in the industry.”

COVID-19 policy

In March 2020, Alamo Drafthouse announced that all its cinema locations were closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie theater chain has now announced that it will keep its COVID-19 safety measures in place, despite Abbott’s latest executive orders lifting the mask mandate and reopening the state. On March 2, 2021, the governor revealed that even though COVID-19 has not disappeared, it is clear from the “recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations” that mandated safety protocols are no longer needed. However, Alamo Drafthouse is being praised for maintaining a firm stand over the protocol.

“Alamo Drafthouse’s mandatory mask policy remains in place, as well as our 6′ social distancing protocols, and all of the other safety measures we’ve had in place across the country since last year,” the statement reads. “We are only following the guidance of the CDC and medical experts, not politicians. Right now, at what we hope is the beginning of the end of COVID, the health of our teams and our guests remains this company’s top priority.”



 

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