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Sony Pictures recently acquired Alamo Drafthouse

Joel Molina
On June 12th, it was announced that Sony Pictures has acquired Alamo Drafthouse which has two theatre locations in El Paso.

Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, by Tim and Karrie League, with more than 35 locations across the United States, Alamo Drafthouse is a unique cinema venue focused on the best projection, sound, and theatre experience while offering extensive food and cocktail options.

In June 2024, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced the acquisition of the Alamo Drafthouse brand. This comes after a challenging period for the Alamo Drafthouse franchise, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021 due to COVID-19-related mandates, closures, and the lack of new films. However, the brand’s resilience is commendable, and it’s a testament to the strength of the film industry.

CEO Michael Kustermann will continue to lead the dine-in movie theatre and will report to Ravi Ahuja, President and COO of SPE.

Alamo Drafthouse says they will continue to operate all locations, including those in East and West El Paso. Additionally, the acclaimed genre film festival “Fantastic Fest” is included in the acquisition and continues to operate under the brand.

In a press release by SPE, Kustermann discusses the significance of this partnership.

“We were created by film lovers for film lovers. We know how important it is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience,” Kustermann said. “Together, we will continue to innovate and bring exciting new opportunities for our teammates and moviegoers alike.”

The acquisition signifies vast opportunities in renovations, marketing, and the local economy. In addition, the development of the urban community will impact it, as the project for the Town Center at Montecillo is located next to the Alamo Drafthouse West Location in El Paso. It will blend commercial and residential spaces, creating job opportunities and traffic in the area.

Despite lacking information about SPE, Ray Favela, a bartender at the Alamo Drafthouse West El Paso, remains optimistic about the company’s upcoming opportunities.

According to Favela, he frequently hears concerns from moviegoers and customers about the Drafthouse’s future.

“I mean, I did hear (about the SPE acquisition), and I know that a couple of customers would be like, hey, are you closing down?” Favela said.

Sony Pictures plans to maintain the Alamo Drafthouse’s uniqueness while incorporating exclusive content and new events, offering the community thrilling experiences through a new lens. 

This partnership is a transformative era for the film scene in the United States and for the community in El Paso. It offers potential economic benefits, job opportunities, and the welcoming of unforgettable theatre experiences.

Frida Acuna is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Frida Acuna
Frida Acuna, Arts & Culture Editor
Frida is majoring in multimedia journalism, with a minor in creative writing. She plans to become a fashion editor and loves to watch movies and read in her free time.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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