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Sony Pictures Buys Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Chain With Plans for Crunchyroll

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Theater chain's acquisition includes Fantastic Fest film festival

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain, as well as the chain's Fantastic Fest film festival, putting them under a new division under Sony Pictures Entertainment named Sony Pictures Experience. In its announcement, SPE noted that Sony's Crunchyroll anime streaming service and brand "aligns well" with the cinema chain's audience.

Michael Kustermann will remain CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, which will continue to operate all of its 35 locations, as well as the Fantastic Fest film festival.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the seventh-largest theater chain in North America in terms of box office revenue. Tim and Karrie League opened the first Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas in 1997. The theaters are known for their eclectic and diverse selection of films — screening genre films, cult classic films, B-movies, or independent films. The cinemas are also known for serving food and alcoholic beverages during the film, and for strictly maintaining a noise and phone etiquette throughout a screening.

In March 2021, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but emerged from bankruptcy later that year in June. Last week, the chain closed all its theaters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as Two is One, One is None, LLC — the franchisor of those theaters in the area — filed for bankruptcy.

Sources: Press release, IndieWire (Brian Welk)

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