- Alamo Drafthouse furloughed employees in 2020 and said in March it would close struggling locations.
- Movie theaters were hit hard by the pandemic and were shuttered from March to August 2020.
- But theaters appear to be bouncing back – cinemas had their best performance yet over the weekend.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Specialty movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse said it is opening five US locations, just three months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The new theaters will be in Manhattan and Staten Island, two in Washington DC, and one in St. Louis, according to a press release shared with Insider. Alamo Drafthouse’s specialty is serving food and cocktails to customers in their seats while they watch the movie.
Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor said in the press release that “we’re so thrilled to be reopening theaters across the country and welcoming back audiences for an unparalleled moviegoing experience with films we’ve been eagerly awaiting for over a year now.”
The theater industry was slammed by health protocols and shutdowns during the pandemic as people were driven into their homes and turned to streaming entertainment. US theaters were closed from March to August 2020, and Alamo Drafthouse furloughed its workforce.
The Austin, Texas-based company said in March that its bankruptcy filing was part of a sale of “substantially all its assets.” The company runs more than 40 locations across the country and said in March that it would close some that were struggling.
But cinemas appear to be bouncing back as vaccines are distributed and restrictions are loosened. Warner Bros. released “Godzilla vs. Kong” in April, and the movie earned $48 million in its opening weekend, signaling hope for cinemas.
US movie theaters saw their best performance over the four-day Memorial Day weekend since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The country’s largest chains – AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, and Regal Cinemas – announced just before the weekend kicked off that they wouldn’t require vaccinated movie-goers to wear masks.
Domestic box offices raked in $84 million over the long weekend, sales that were largely driven by “A Quiet Place Part ll.” The movie is now the biggest US box office hit since the pandemic began.