NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The recent announcement of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas bankruptcy doesn’t impact the franchises located in Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.
The Austin-based company, which owns about 40 theaters in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 and agreed to sell “substantially all its assets” to a group of lenders. Alamo put the blame for its bankruptcy on the pandemic, which has temporarily shuttered movie theaters in several states.READ MORE: Sanger Man Killed After Shooting Involving Denton County Deputies
North Texas owners, father and son duo, Bill D. (Owner) and Bill C. DiGaetano (Owner & CEO), signed a franchise agreement with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in December 2010. They opened their first theater in Richardson three years later.
“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. 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,” says Bill C. DiGaetano.
According to a news release, the DiGaetano’s immediate plans have not changed. Their intention is to open their seven theaters during the next several months offering a firm slate from studios for first-run film releases.
“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. This pandemic has affected every single one of us, and we all have faced challenges at home, work, and school. The well 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. We cannot wait to see you all again in a safe, fun, and of course, over-the-top theater experience!” said Bill C. DiGaetano.READ MORE: 'Passengers Are Next,' Current, Former American Airlines Workers Protest COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of US movie theaters, including Alamo, in the first quarter of 2020. Aside from a short 6-8 week period in August- September 2020, the seven theaters remain closed due to the lack of first-run film releases from major studios, the hesitancy of guests to attend movies and the government enforced, reduced rates of occupancy.
Currently, the DiGaetanos said they continue to invest in their theaters and retain the full support of their bank for continued operations. Also, they’re waiting on the Small Business Administration application(s) for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants outlined in the December 2020, COVID relief package. Those grants are specifically tailored to theaters, live music venues and certain museums that suffered significant revenue losses in 2020 versus 2019.
Famous for serving dinner and drinks during the movie, Alamo is permanently closing three locations, including a theater in its hometown of Austin, as well as outposts in Kansas City, Missouri, and New Braunfels, Texas. Additionally, development of an Orlando, Florida, location will also be “permanently ceased.”
Additional locations might also close as the company evaluates the “health of all leases” during the Chapter 11 filing.MORE NEWS: Hit-And Run Driver Injures Woman, 2 Children In Fort Worth