Movie theaters are now available to rent for a screening. Instead of breathing in the same air as strangers for two hours, movie fans in select cities now have options to buy a theater for him or herself or a group of their own. When the controversial Alamo Drafthouse started renting out their screening rooms following the impact of COVID-19, customers responded positively.
The Alamo Drafthouse was founded in Texas. The theater chain is known for their strict no-talking policy, tasty food, and movie fandom, but over the last few years, the company has been known more for protecting serial abusers among their staff. The company has a long history of allegedly brushing under the rug allegations involving sexual misconduct. As a most recent report established, the company hasn’t changed much in recent years.
However, the company is still popular among movie fans. For $150 in addition to the cost of tickets, Alamo Drafthouse theaters are now available. “After a massively successful rollout in select cities we’re excited to be able to offer this at Alamo Drafthouse theaters nationwide that are currently open,” says Alamo Drafthouse CEO, Shelli Taylor. “Our guests have been asking how their friends, family, and fellow podmates can book their own safe and relaxing screening, and we’re proud to be able to deliver this to them at such an affordable rate.”
With around a dozen friends or so, that $150 plus add-ons is cheaper than some major theater chains’ single tickets. The average rental group is ten people. For $150, a movie fan can watch a brand new release, like Tenet or Bill & Ted Face the Music, or an old classic such as Jaws. “When we began rolling out Your Own Private Alamo at our Austin location in August, we had no idea what the response would be,” says Kristen Wheaton, who’s Alamo Drafthouse Senior Director of Venue Experience, added. “It was big. Really big. In just the first few weeks we booked over 700 groups of families and coworkers at just a handful of theaters. We’re so excited to expand this program to more locations across the country.”
It’s now possible to rent one of Alamo Drafthouse’s theaters in a dozen states, including Austin, New York City, and other major cities. However, it’s not only $150 per theater. There’s an extra $150 added to the bill for a group’s food and beverages. For movie theater food, Alamo Drafthouse — especially their desserts — goes above and beyond compared to most theater chains. The chain’s often intrusive and very noticeable waiters will wear masks at all times as they service theater guests. There are moral questions over supporting a theater such as Alamo Drafthouse, though, given their past history and actions.
Other theaters across the United States are renting out their theaters, similar to the Drafthouse. Major chains such as Regal, AMC Theaters, and Cinemark have yet to go down the same route, but The Grand Theater has. They’re cheaper than the Drafthouse, too. “Get your family or a group of your friends together and see a movie on the big screen,” the Grand Theatre announced on their site. “For a limited time only, a discounted, flat-rate fee of $100 gets your group a private auditorium.”
Movie theaters are still suffering terribly all over the world, especially in New York City and Los Angeles. Until movie theaters have their theaters open in those territories, major studios are nervous to release major releases. Warner Bros. put out Tenet in hopes of reopening theaters in a big way during the pandemic, but the plan backfired following a tepid response and low box-office numbers.
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