Alamo Drafthouse Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Company will open five new theaters this year and next

Beatrice Verhoeven

Zane Roessell

Alamo Drafthouse has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will open five new theaters this year and next, the company announced Tuesday.

This also means Fortress Investment Group and Altamont Capital can move ahead to take control of the company that filed for bankruptcy on March 3. Alamo founder and executive chairman Tim League and other original investors are also among the minority partners. Fortress is a new investor in the company while Altamont was a pre-existing investor before the chain’s nationwide closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re so thrilled to be reopening theaters across the country and welcoming back audiences for an unparalleled moviegoing experience with films we’ve been eagerly awaiting for over a year now,” Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor said. “We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at Altamont and Fortress, who are completely aligned with our vision for Alamo Drafthouse’s growth. It’s incredibly exciting to be back on that path so we can bring the Alamo Drafthouse experience to new locations around the country, including our very first locations in Manhattan, St. Louis, and D.C.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Alamo Drafthouse’s biggest box office weekend since the pandemic began, according to the company, as John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place – Part II” and Disney’s “Cruella” hit the big screens.

Like many exhibitors, Alamo has been battered by the pandemic and the widespread closure of theaters, amassing $105 million in debt at the time of its bankruptcy filing. League had predicted a comeback for the chain, which has won a loyal following for its premium in-theater dining, selection of classic and off-beat genre screenings, and its “no talking” policies to improve the moviegoing experience. 

Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, the indie cinema chain expanded to 41 locations nationwide, including recently in downtown Los Angeles. As part of the restructuring, two Texas theater locations and one in Kansas City, Missouri are set to be closed. Development on another in Orlando, Florida, will be “permanently ceased.” Altamont and Fortress, which have bought the majority of Alamo’s long-term debt from other lenders, will also provide $20 million in financing to allow the remaining locations to operate as Alamo hopes that a summer slate led by “Black Widow” and “In The Heights” will bring audiences back to their auditoriums.

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