Sony Pictures Acquires Alamo Drafthouse, Expands into Theater Chain Ownership

Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind recent hits like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “Anyone but You,” has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the dine-in movie theater chain. Alamo will be integrated into a new division called Sony Pictures Experiences, and will continue to operate all 35 of its locations across 25 U.S. metro areas.

While major movie studios were previously prohibited from owning theaters due to the 1948 Supreme Court antitrust case, the Paramount Consent Decrees, which enforced this law, were abolished in 2020, allowing studios to enter the theater business once again.

Sony follows Netflix, which bought the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles and the Paris Theater in New York City, and Disney, which owns the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. However, Sony is the first major studio to acquire a theater chain.

Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse is known for its dine-in service, alcoholic beverages, and curated film programs. The theaters offer a mix of new releases and repertory titles, attracting large audiences. Despite its popularity, Alamo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2021 but emerged a few months later.

Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse, expressed excitement about the acquisition, stating that Sony’s respect for cinema aligns with Alamo’s vision. Michael Kustermann will remain CEO of Alamo and lead the new Sony Pictures Experiences unit. The headquarters will stay in Austin.

Sony has recently seen box office success with films like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “The Garfield Movie”.

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]