Sony Pictures acquires movie-dining company Alamo Drafthouse

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Sony Pictures acquires movie-dining company Alamo Drafthouse

Michael Kustermann will remain Alamo CEO and head the company’s new experiences

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and is creating a new experiences division of the motion-picture company, the company announced Wednesday.

Culver City, Calif.-based Sony Pictures, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corp., said Michael Kustermann will remain as CEO of the Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse and head the new experiences division. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.

Related: 2015 Next 20 standout: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Kustermann will report to Ravi Ahuja, president and chief operating officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company said, adding that Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate 35 cinemas across 25 metro areas.

Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired Alamo Drafthouse from owners Altamont Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group and founder Tim League.

Alamo Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, the genre film festival, is included in the acquisition and will also continue to be operated by Alamo Drafthouse. The company’s headquarters will remain in Austin.

“We believe strongly in engaging entertainment fans outside the home in fun and distinctive ways as seen most recently with our Wheel of Fortune LIVE! traveling tour, and the opening of Wonderverse in Chicago,” said Ahuja in a statement.

“Alamo Drafthouse’s differentiated movie-going experience, admired brand and devoted community fit well with this vision,” Ahuja said. “Our Crunchyroll business also aligns well with their audience’s interests. We look forward to building upon the innovations that have made Alamo Drafthouse successful and will, of course, continue to welcome content from all studios and distributors.”

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. It has grown into what it says is North America’s seventh largest theater chain.

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision to be the best damn cinema that has ever, or will ever, exist now in ways we could only ever dream of,” said Tim League. “They have a deep respect and understanding of cinema’s ability to both drive growth and create lasting cultural impact which aligns perfectly with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands or.”

Kustermann said: “We were created by film lovers for film lovers. We know how important this is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience.”Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial adviser to Alamo Drafthouse in the transaction.


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