The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain, which operates some 40 locations across the country and is known for its curated screenings, elevated food and drink options and over-the-top fan interactions, announced Wednesday that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As part of the process, the company will sell its assets to its senior lender group, including Altamont Capital Partners, affiliates of Fortress Investment Group and the company’s founder, Tim League.
The company said the move would provide the company with the financing needed to weather the pandemic, which has had an outsize impact on the movie theater business. Many theaters across the country have been forced to close, at least temporarily, and movie studios have delayed their blockbuster releases.
Alamo, which is based in Austin, Texas, is one of the most prominent movie chains to seek Chapter 11 protection during the pandemic.
“Because of the increase in vaccination availability, a very exciting slate of new releases and pent-up audience demand, we’re extremely confident that by the end of 2021, the cinema industry — and our theaters specifically — will be thriving,” Mr. League said in a statement. “That said, these are difficult times and during this bankruptcy we will have to make difficult decisions about our lease portfolio. We are hopeful that our landlord and other vendor partners will work with us to help ensure a successful emergence from bankruptcy and viable future business.”
Alamo’s downtown Austin location, a 90-year-old movie palace known as the Ritz, will close permanently, along with locations in Kansas City, Mo., and New Braunfels, Texas. Development at a proposed site in Orlando will cease.
The company’s other locations that are operational plan to remain open during the restructuring. And plans to open a new Brooklyn location remain on track, though it won’t be ready on Friday, the day that New York has said movie theaters can reopen.
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas eliminated the state’s mask mandate and allowed businesses to open at 100 percent capacity. Alamo pushed back against this decision, telling patrons in a tweet that the company’s mandatory mask policy and six feet of social distancing would remain in place at its Texas locations.
“We are only following the guidance of the C.D.C. and medical experts, not politicians,” the company said.
Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a wide range of measures on Wednesday to support the country’s emergence from the pandemic, including an extension of the government’s wage-support program, billions of pounds in business grants and aid for art institutions and sports clubs.
But Mr. Sunak also said corporate taxes would rise beginning in 2023 and he would freeze personal income tax allowances, a measure that will push more people into higher tax brackets.
A year into the job, Mr. Sunak is trying to use this budget to juggle a number of different goals. In the short term, he is aiming to support jobs as the vaccine rollout continues and the economy cautiously reopens. He announced extensions to emergency support programs that will last through the summer.
But he has been under pressure to signal how he will tackle the budget deficit. Borrowing this fiscal year has climbed to 355 billion (about $495 billion), a peacetime record, and a sixfold increase from the previous year. He has also faced questions about how he will meet the government’s commitment to “level up” the economy to reduce regional inequality and revitalize the post-Brexit economy.
“Coronavirus has caused one of the largest, most comprehensive and sustained economic shocks this country has ever faced,” Mr. Sunak said on Wednesday.
Last year, gross domestic product shrank nearly 10 percent, the worst in three centuries. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the British economy would grow 4 percent this year, less than predicted in November, but then increase 7.3 percent in 2022.
The economy will return to its pre-pandemic size in mid-2022, the…
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