Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Thursday said its newest Colorado location will reopen in June, along with more than a dozen others nationally by the end of summer.
The chain, with Colorado locations in Littleton, Denver and Westminster, had been expanding fast prior the COVID-19 pandemic, with a planned fourth location in south Denver as part of the Glendale 180 project. While that’s on hold, the company’s Westminster location, which opened less than two years ago, will unlock its doors in June to take advantage of increased movie-going, officials said in a press statement.
No specific date has been set.
The reopening is good news for fans of the chain, which in March declared bankruptcy. Leaders at the time assured Coloradans that its three locations would not be on the chopping block.
However, three of the company’s 41 locations, including one in its native Austin, will close permanently as part-owner Altamont Capital Partners and affiliates of Fortress Investment Group buy the business out of bankruptcy, the company said. The Altamont-Fortress investment group bought $100 million in Alamo’s debt before the March 3 bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported last month.
In the meantime, Alamo’s Sloan’s Lake location has been open for weeks and showing first-run films — some of which are also available via streaming. That didn’t hurt revenues, company leaders said.
“This past weekend’s box office wasn’t just the biggest for our theaters during the COVID era — in fact, it would have been pretty healthy in ‘the old days’ era,” said Shelli Taylor, Alamo Drafthouse CEO, who did not provide revenue numbers. “It’s so gratifying to see audiences so enthusiastically embracing not just our theaters but our industry as a whole.”
The Westminster reopening joins the reopening of theaters in Nebraska and Texas, followed in July by Alamo theaters in Texas, California and New York.
“We’ve spent the last eight months refining what we think is the safest and most relaxing cinematic experience possible,” says Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder, in a press statement. “We are thrilled to finally be able to bring what we’ve learned to New York, Los Angeles, and many other theaters for what we hope is the home stretch, and a colossal season of big movies.”
Some of the new, COVID-19-era procedures will stick around even after the pandemic ends, League said, including the option to pre-order food and drinks online. Alamo Drafthouse is already known for shaking up the theater-chain model by offering big, comfy seats and full-service food and drinks, prompting many other mainstream chains to hastily follow suit.
More information about new safety protocols is available at drafthouse.com/covid-safety.
Find original story in The Denver Post here.