The seven Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – DFW & Twin Cities with locations in Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties and one in Woodbury, Minnesota, are independently owned by the father and son duo, Bill D. (Owner) and Bill C. DiGaetano (Owner & CEO). This family business signed a franchise agreement with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in December 2010 and opened their first theater in Richardson, TX in August 2013.
CUT TO THE CHASE
“Our franchisor Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today that it has voluntarily filed for bankruptcy as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a negative affect 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
The DiGaetanos immediate plans have not changed. The intention is to open their seven theaters over the next several months with the wider distribution of the COVID vaccine and 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!” -Bill C. DiGaetano
OVERVIEW OF THIS PANDEMIC YEAR
COVID-19 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.
The DiGaetanos continue to invest in their theaters and retain the full support of their bank for continued operations. This long-term banking relationship predates the opening of the first theater in 2013. Separately, the DiGaetanos are waiting on the Small Business Administration application(s) for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants outlined in the December 2020, COVID relief package. These grants are specifically tailored to theaters, live music venues and certain museums that suffered significant revenue losses in 2020 versus 2019.
The film exhibition industry believes that once vaccines are more widely administered and major markets continue to reopen in New York and California, that studios will firm-up scheduled film release dates.