The filing only pertains to the Phoenix-based franchises of Alamo Drafthouse in Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler, not the other corporate owned theaters of the Austin, TX chain.
The owner of the three venues, Craig Paschich, made the news public in the Arizona Republic yesterday. The owner hopes that they eventually reopen. Paschich is reportedly working with Alamo HQ to figure out the theaters’ next steps and to financially re-organize.
“I’m sad to confirm that due to the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns, our three Alamo Drafthouse franchise locations in the Phoenix area have been forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Our intention is to use this opportunity to reorganize our finances and plan for the road ahead. We’re also currently working closely with the corporate team in Austin to determine our next steps. We’ve been privileged to have spent the past four years sharing the films we love with our friends in the Phoenix region, and we hope that taking these steps will put us on track to continue in the future.” said Paschich in a statement provided to Deadline.
Filing for bankruptcy is a safe haven for exhibitors, by which they can re-negotiate their high-priced leases with landlords. Many big chain circuits, who haven’t filed Chapter 11, are already renegotiating leases.
Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey is having the state’s stay-at-home order expire today, which means, that the cinemas which he closed on March 20 can reopen tomorrow Saturday. Of those open this weekend are three in Arizona: the Glendale 9 Drive-in Glendale, AZ; the Uptown 3 Theatre in Sierra Vista and the Oasis in Nogales.
Even though movie theaters in some states have been given the OK to reopen, some have decided to stay close due to the lack of big studio fare. It just doesn’t make business sense when they’ve either furloughed or laid off staff, and have put a pause on paying their landlords. The first major titles expected to come down the pike are Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe road rage movie Unhinged on July 3, Warner Bros.’ Tenet on July 17 and Disney’s Mulan on July 24.