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Sony Acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Photo from Drafthouse’s Instagram

Sony Acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

By Movieguide® Contributor

Sony Pictures Entertainment is expanding its theatrical offerings with the acquisition of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a unique theater chain with 35 locations across 25 metro areas.

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision to be the best d*** 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 with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands for.”

“We are excited to make history with Sony Pictures Entertainment and have found the right home and partner for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema,” added Michael Kustermann, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “We were created by film lovers for film lovers. We know how important this is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience. Together we will continue to innovate and bring exciting new opportunities for out teammates and moviegoers alike.”

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is known for its unique moviegoing atmosphere which has cultivated a recognized brand with over 4 million loyalty members. Along with dining options available in all theaters, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has distinguished itself from its competitors through numerous events specifically catered to movie lovers, such as showings of silent films with accompanying bands, or TITANIC with viewers in boats floating on water.

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

The acquisition chain marks the first time a distributor has owned a theater since 1948 when the practice was outlawed to create a freer and fairer market. The decree, however, expired in 2020, allowing for deals like this to occur once again.

Though the brand will now be under new management, fans of the unique experience can continue to expect the quality and quirkiness they have grown to love.

“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 Ravi Ahuja, President and COO of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“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.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the theater business:

While the entertainment industry still fights to recover from last year’s writers’ and actors’ strikes, Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob believes 2024 will be a good year for theaters and theatergoers.

2024’s box office has had a bleak start. The most popular movie released so far this year is the MEAN GIRLS remake, which grossed just under $70 million domestically. However, as multiple movies later in the year have blockbuster potential, Jacob believes 2024 will be a good year for theaters.

“We are starting to see product coming back,” Jacob told The Hollywood Reporter. “Those are positive that point me in the right direction.”

He was encouraged by the announcement of two more major movies coming to theaters this year: MOANA 2 and MONKEY MAN. MOANA 2’s story was originally set to be a TV show before Disney turned it into a movie. MONKEY MAN was originally slated to release on Netflix before Universal acquired it to release in theaters.

These movies will help fill out 2024’s release lineup. MOANA 2 and MONKEY MAN join DUNE: PART TWO, JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX, KUNG FU PANDA 4, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 and more as tentpole releases for the upcoming year.


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