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.
“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.”
Cargo Film & Releasing’s arcade game documentary Insert Coin will be released on Alamo Drafthouse on Demand Nov. 25.
The film is the behind-the-scenes story of video game studio Midway Games. Led by the “Godfather of Video Games” Eugene Jarvis, the company pioneered the concept of live-action gaming, kickstarting a new arcade boom and grossing billions of dollars in the process with massive hits such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.
Through intimate and often hilarious interviews with the people who were there, the film chronicles how a small, tight-knit group of friends faced next level success and the roller coaster ride that came with it.
“It is truly my love letter to the early days of Midway and how it influenced the transition from classic coin-operated games to ushering in a new generation of console gaming,” said Insert Coin director Joshua Tsui.
“When we began rolling out Your Own Private Alamo in select Alamo Drafthouse locations in August, we had no idea what the response would be,” reads the Alamo website. “It was big. Really big. In just the past few weeks we’ve hosted over 700 groups of families and coworkers at just a handful of theaters. And now we’re excited to expand to even more locations and, for the first time, open up the ability to book new release titles like Christopher Nolan’s epic Tenet.”
Alamo Drafthouse’s American Genre Film Archive and MVD Entertainment Group will release the exploitation film Lady Street Fighter on Blu-ray Aug. 14.
Written and produced by exploitation star Renee Harmon and directed by James Bryan, it’s the story of Linda (Harmon), a tough-as-nails karate cop on the trail of the ruthless scumbags who murdered her twin sister. Lady Street Fighter also features a special appearance by Trace Carradine.
Special features include a commentary track with director James Bryan and the AGFA team; street fightin’ trailers from the AGFA vaults; liner notes by Annie Choi of Bleeding Skull; a bonus movie, Revenge of Lady Street Fighter (1990), the unreleased sequel; and reversible cover art.