There has been far too much press about the "disaster" of Memorial Day weekend 2024 at the box office. The same weekend I saw the same movie twice, Furiosa, A Mad Max Saga. Yes, I enjoyed it that much.

I also enjoyed seeing it on a huge, crisp screen with equally huge, crisp sound. I love the cinema experience. But I also understand the reasons why fewer folks are going- from tight household budgets to dealing with people who talk and use their phones in the theater, it can be more stressful than fun.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Justin Massoud, Townsquare Media Lubbock

Does a single disappointing weekend spell disaster for an entire industry? Not just any industry, but a culturally defining one? Hopefully not, but for six Alamo Drafthouses, including five in Texas, it may have been the straw that broke the franchise owner's backs.

Due to contractual agreements, franchisee Operator Two is One, One is None LLC could not pick off its weakest performing Alamo(s). Instead, they declared bankruptcy and six locations closed seemingly overnight, leaving folks without jobs and a huge swath of Texas without an Alamo Drafthouse.

Alamo Drafthouse has stated it will do everything it can to get the theaters back to the affected cities but did not state if they were looking for a new franchise owner(s) or would re-open the theaters themselves.

There are other movie theaters!

That is true, but if you are unfamiliar with Alamo Drafthouse, it is different from other cinemas. Alamo has a few special niches, from serving cocktails and meals directly to a table in front of your seat to screenings of movies that would otherwise not be in theaters: cult classics, indie films, movie parties, etc.

Most of us are having to make sacrifices to keep our budgets in check. Some of us have chosen to forgo the theater. I certainly can't condemn that decision, but as for me, I'd rather enjoy the immersive escapism of the big screen than other small luxuries.

How depressing that we have to choose.

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