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Sony Pictures Entertainment Acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

SPE will preserve Alamo Drafthouse's distinctive movie-dining experience under newly established Sony Pictures Experiences division; Michael Kustermann will remain Alamo Drafthouse CEO and head new SPE division

June 12, 2024 – Culver City, CASony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema today announced that SPE has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the unique and fastest growing theatrical exhibitor. The company will be managed within SPE under a newly established division, Sony Pictures Experiences. The deal reinforces SPE's long-held commitment to theatrical exhibition and continued initiatives in experiential entertainment.

Alamo Drafthouse's Michael Kustermann will remain CEO of the pioneering dine-in movie theater chain and head Sony Pictures Experiences, reporting to Ravi Ahuja, President and COO of SPE. Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate all 35 of its cinemas across 25 metro areas under the Alamo Drafthouse brand. Alamo Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, the world-renowned genre film festival, is included in the acquisition and will also continue to be operated by Alamo Drafthouse. The company's headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

“We believe strongly in engaging entertainment fans outside the home in fun and distinctive ways as seen most recently with our Wheel of Fortune LIVE! traveling tour, and the opening of Wonderverse in Chicago,” said Ahuja. “Alamo Drafthouse's differentiated movie-going experience, admired brand and devoted community fit well with this vision. Our Crunchyroll business also aligns well with their audience's interests. We look forward to building upon the innovations that have made Alamo Drafthouse successful and will, of course, continue to welcome content from all studios and distributors.”

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX and has grown into a thriving and dynamic dine-in cinema chain that is beloved by its fans and industry alike. As North America's 7th largest theater chain, it releases more movies per year than any other theater chain, welcomes over 10 million guests annually, and has built a highly engaged core audience of 4 million loyalty members. Last year, the theater chain saw a 30 percent jump in box office revenue from the previous year, which came in ahead of the industry at large.

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision to be the best damn cinema that has ever, or will ever, exist now in ways we could only ever dream of,” said Tim League, Founder Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “They have a deep respect and understanding of cinema's ability to both drive growth and create lasting cultural impact which aligns perfectly with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands for.”

“Alamo Drafthouse has always held the craft of filmmaking and the theatrical experience in high esteem, which are fundamental shared values between our companies. I'm jazzed that our company is doing this,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.

“We are excited to make history with Sony Pictures Entertainment and have found the right home and partner for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema,” said Michael Kustermann, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. “We were created by film lovers for film lovers. We know how important this is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience. Together we will continue to innovate and bring exciting new opportunities for our teammates and moviegoers alike.”

SPE acquired Alamo Drafthouse from owners Altamont Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group and founder Tim League. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Alamo Drafthouse in the transaction.

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