Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater Chain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of indie movie theaters based in Austin, Texas, has reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — a victim of the ongoing pandemic that has decimated the movie theater business. The chain’s three Arizona screens filed for bankruptcy last May.

Alamo, which operates 40 theaters across the country, will remain operational as the filing attempts to restructure the company’s finances and operational control. Founder Tim League is fronting a new financial group and will become executive chairman, while Shelli Taylor becomes CEO. Taylor previously was CEO of Austin-based United PF Partners, a conglomerate of Planet Fitness franchisees.

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Shelli Taylor

“Alamo Drafthouse had one of its most successful years in the company’s history in 2019 with the launch of its first Los Angeles theater and box office revenue that outperformed the rest of the industry,” Taylor said in a statement. “We’re excited to work with our partners at Altamont Capital Partners and Fortress Investment Group to continue on that path of growth on the other side of the pandemic, and we want to ensure the public that we expect no disruption to our business and no impact on franchise operations, employees and customers in our locations that are currently operating.”

League said the increase in vaccination availability, slate of new movie releases, and pent-up consumer demand portend a strong rebound for the exhibition business.

“We’re extremely confident that by the end of 2021, the cinema industry — and our theaters specifically — will be thriving,” he said. “That said, these are difficult times and during this bankruptcy we will have to make difficult decisions about our lease portfolio. We are hopeful that our landlord and other vendor partners will work with us to help ensure a successful emergence from bankruptcy and viable future business.”

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