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Alamo Drafthouse, an Austin institution, is bought by Sony Pictures

Workers at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar started a labor union in February.
Karina Lujan
Workers at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar started a labor union in February.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for an undisclosed amount, the two companies jointly announced Wednesday.

Sony will continue to operate 35 Alamo Drafthouse theaters in 25 metro areas, per a news release.

The dine-in movie theater was founded in Austin by husband and wife duo Tim and Karrie League back in 1997.

“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,” Tim League said in a statement. “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 for.

It's unclear what the acquisition means exactly for Austin theaters.

Representatives said they wish to preserve Alamo Drafthouse’s movie dining experience and won’t add Sony to the brand name. The company will remain headquartered in Austin, and Michael Kustermann will remain CEO.

“We were created by film lovers for film lovers,” Kustermann said in a news release. "We know how important this is to Sony, and it serves as further evidence of their commitment to the theatrical experience. Together we will continue to innovate and bring exciting new opportunities for our teammates and moviegoers alike.”

No Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, notices have been filed, meaning there likely won’t be mass layoffs.

It's also unclear how the acquisition will affect the theaters in the Dallas area that closed last week. Member station KERA reported, however, that those locations might be revived.

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Katy McAfee