6 Alamo Drafthouse locations close immediately

Five Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a sixth in Minnesota are closing their doors effective immediately. The company that licensed the six theaters – Two is One, One is None LLC – is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

The closures come in the middle of the summer movie season, but the normally strong season is off to a very slow start. May brought in $570 million domestically, with five potential blockbusters falling short of expectations. June will be better, though perhaps not by much.

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More than 600 employees at all six locations, including the Richardson, Las Colinas, Lake Highlands, Dallas and Denton theaters, will be laid off, as well as those at a location in Woodbury, Minn. The company said it attempted to contact all affected employees before the news became public.

The loss of six theaters is one of a series of similar closures across the country. National Amusements has closed its theater in the Bronx, leaving a borough of 1.7 million residents with just one multiplex. IndieWire reported on other cinema deserts, where entire regions are left without cinemas.

Two is One, One is None, based in Irving, Texas, will file for bankruptcy after more than 13 years in business. The decision to close these locations was not made by the Alamo Drafthouse subsidiary, but it reduces the total number of Alamo locations nationwide from 43 to 37, a decrease of nearly 14 percent.

In a press statement, Two is One, One is None said Alamo’s guest numbers never recovered to pre-COVID levels, and writers’ and actors’ strikes exacerbated problems last year. But because the company was an Alamo franchisee, it paid franchise fees that some competitors did not. This amounted to about 10 percent of the locations’ revenue, or $3.7 million in 2023.

According to the statement, the company said contractual obligations with Alamo forced Two Is One to support the least profitable locations. Two Is One said it invested more than $3.5 million in payroll and operating costs while cutting costs to offset losses, “including repeated requests to (Alamo) to reduce the uncompetitive fee structure and allow the closure of the least profitable locations, which were not accomplished.”

Two Is One recommends “Season Pass and Victory members and guests with gift cards” to contact Alamo Drafthouse in Austin.

“We are deeply saddened that this step is necessary,” the LLC said in a statement. “We are grateful to all of our employees who work hard every day to create a special cinema experience and to our many loyal customers who have enjoyed providing such a special experience.”

“We are extremely disappointed to learn today that our franchisee, which operates five locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and one in Woodbury, Minnesota, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is closing its business effective immediately,” an Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson said in response to the news. “We are heartbroken for the franchisee’s teammates and the local film community, but are working as quickly as possible to get Alamo Drafthouse Cinema back up and running in those cities. All other Alamo Drafthouse locations are operating as usual and expansion plans remain in place across the country.”

Alamo Drafthouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and reorganized amid allegations of racism and sexism by management at one of its Kansas City locations. The company was able to emerge from bankruptcy and eventually open several more locations. At other locations, workers attempted to unionize due to alleged poor working conditions.

The Alamo cinema chain has reportedly been looking for a buyer for months. Alamo’s nationwide box office increased 25 percent compared to 2022, bringing in $134 million.

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