Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse has filed for Chapter 11, and is working on a sale to investors. But in good news, the Dallas-Fort Worth locations will survive.
The movie theater chain is among the many businesses that have been decimated by the coronavirus.
Alamo told Forbes that, as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, it will sell assets to investors such as Altamont Capital Partners, which already owns 40 percent of the chain.
So far, three locations are destined to shutter, including The Ritz in Austin, plus locations in New Braunfels, and Kansas City, Missouri. Other locations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
But most locations will stay open during the Chapter 11 process, and that includes the six locations in Dallas-Fort Worth: Richardson, Cedars, Denton, Lake Highlands, Las Colinas, and North Richland Hills.
The DFW locations are part of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW & Twin Cities, with locations in Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties, plus one in Minnesota, and are independently owned by the father-son duo Bill D. DiGaetano (owner) and Bill C. DiGaetano (owner & CEO).
"Our franchisor Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today that it has voluntarily filed for bankruptcy as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a negative effect on the movie business," says Bill C. DiGaetano in a release. "Our DFW and Twin Cities locations are not in bankruptcy. We have confidence that when the Alamo franchisor emerges, it will be even stronger and better able to support all franchisees."
COVID-19 forced the closure of U.S. movie theaters, including Alamo, in 2020. They reopened briefly during August-September 2020, but have been closed due to the lack of first-run film releases from major studios, lower attendance, and government mandates on capacity.
The DiGaetanos first signed a franchise agreement with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in December 2010 and opened their first theater in Richardson in August 2013.
Their immediate plans have not changed: They still intend to open their seven theaters over the next several months with the wider distribution of the COVID vaccine and a slate of new first-run film releases from studios.
"To say that the last 12 months have been a roller coaster ride for us here at Alamo DFW & Twin Cities would be an understatement, and I know I don't need to explain this to anyone," Bill C. says. "This pandemic has affected every single one of us, and we all have faced challenges at home, work, and school. The good wishes, questions, and curiosity about our reopening are truly appreciated."
"Thanks to our bank, investors, local municipalities and federal government support, we are targeting a reopening this summer," he says. "We cannot wait to see you all again in a safe, fun, and of course, over-the-top theater experience!"