Alamo Drafthouse CEO details his strategy for the Manhattan and Los Angeles movie theaters he’s opening this year

Tim League 2 Annie Ray final

Alamo Drafthouse cofounder and CEO Tim League is one of Business Insider’s “100 people transforming business.”
League’s 36-location movie theater chain is one of the most popular in the US, and by the end of the year it will grow in a big way with the addition of locations in Los Angeles and Lower Manhattan.
League talked to Business Insider about what his team will do to make sure both locations have a similar local feel like the rest of the Drafthouse movie houses.
See the full list of the 100 people transforming business here.

Seven years ago, Alamo Drafthouse — the Austin-based movie chain known for championing lesser-known movies and popularizing the dine-in theater trend — announced that it would expand to two of the biggest cities in the country by building movie houses in Manhattan and Los Angeles. And it’s finally becoming a reality.

By the summer, Alamo’s 12-screen Los Angeles location will be open for business, and the 14-screen Lower Manhattan location will open its doors by the end of the year.

For Tim League, who founded the company with his wife Karrie in 1997, planting the Alamo flag in two of the country’s largest markets makes this scrappy, mom-and-pop business into a formidable player in the exhibition space. But to do it right, League said it has to be done in a way that follows the company’s blueprint of the last 20-plus years: having an anti-chain mentality.

“I hate chains,” League told Business Insider after being named to our “100 people transforming business.” In the next breath, however, he admitted with a laugh that Drafthouse had become one. “So I want to grow this company so we can support movies we love and build theaters that give back to the community. I’m trying to build a chain that has a passion and local distinguishing parts.”

It’s that model that has made Alamo Drafthouse theaters feel like both part of a unified brand, but also a local experience. For example, at Austin’s South Lamar location, along with nine screens there are seven karaoke rooms with the decor ranging from a “Twin Peaks”-themed room to one that feels like something out of “The Twilight Zone.” And in the Brooklyn, New York location, its bar doubles as a spooky feast for the eyes. Called “House of Wax,” the bar showcases rare German waxwork sculptures of human oddities, animal attractions, and death masks.

But how do you pull off that mix of local and wacky in Manhattan and LA?

League said it starts with the people leading on the ground. In the case of the LA space, before the doors open to the public, creative manager Rachel Walker and marketing manager Anam Syed will go through an Alamo Drafthouse Bootcamp that all previous creative teams at the theaters have gone through.

“They will spend one month here in Austin and one month in our Brooklyn theater training,” League said. “They will get an understanding how things work at our head office, and how things work …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Entertaiment

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