The pandemic changed the face of the moviegoing experience over the last year and a half due to the pandemic, but one Los Angeles area theater is gearing up to welcome back audiences with a variety of films to choose from over the Memorial Day Weekend. Downtown LA's Alamo Drafthouse is reopening May 28 after sitting dark for far too long, and to welcome everyone back, they've curated a collection of films to kick off the inaugural weekend.
In addition to the new summer films, Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II, Alamo Drafthouse LA is showing The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Mamma Mia!, Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood and They Live. Mamma Mia! and Singin' in the Rain are also getting special brunch screenings over the holiday weekend that include the price of the movie and a delicious menu with a choice of cocktails like a mimosa or a habañero Bloody Mary, and entrees like French toast or hatch chile breakfast tacos. It's a great way to celebrate a return to the movies.
The Alamo Drafthouse has helped set the standard for premium moviegoing experiences with their first location in Austin, Texas, beginning in 1997. Since then, they've expanded to over 20 locations across the United States, but this year was anything but easy. With business shutdowns due to the global pandemic, Alamo Drafthouse had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March to stabilize itself, including $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The company is selling its assets to affiliates of Altamont Capital and Fortress Investment Group while working on a repayment plan to the creditors.
“The transaction will provide the company with much-needed incremental financing to stabilize the business during the pandemic, which has had an unprecedented and outsized impact upon the movie theater and dining industries,” the company said in a statement, via Associated Press. “More importantly, it will position Alamo Drafthouse to return to growth and continue executing on its long-term strategic vision.”
The company was in a strong position before the pandemic hit, so the restructuring will hopefully set it up for success as audiences become more comfortable returning to indoor venues. The theaters are continuing to adhere to state and local guidelines when it comes to COVID-19. In California, the mask mandate is in place through June 15 while the state tries to vaccinate as many of the adult and teen population as possible. "Until June 15, California will keep our existing guidance on masks in place," Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's head of Health and Human Services said in a conference call on Monday, per NBC Bay Area. "In indoor settings... including on public transportation and in our schools, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status."
Because demand is expected to be high for the first holiday weekend of the summer, it is suggested that interested parties buy their tickets as soon as possible. Alamo Drafthouse opened up its box office on Tuesday, May 18, and quickly saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring screenings sell out because of the limited seating capacity. The venue is making its contactless food service a priority, where food and drinks can be ordered on the app ahead of time. The business is also currently cashless to keep employee and visitor contact to a minimum.
The theater is expected to reintroduce their interactive events like "Movie Parties" and "Champagne Cinema" once the state regulations ease up. But no matter what, the Alamo Drafthouse is ready to welcome customers back to its Downtown LA location to celebrate the best in cinema after a very long year off.
For more information on ticketing and movie schedules, visit Alamo Drafthouse LA.
Before you go, check out: Los Angeles TV & Film Production Gets a $30M Boost From Governor Gavin Newsom's Tax Credit Program