Remember the NRH Alamo
Less than three years after its big premiere, the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in North Richland Hills is closing permanently.
According to a release, the theater's owners filed for bankruptcy, along with two other locations — Richardson and Lake Highlands in Dallas. North Richland Hills is the only location closing for good, they say.
In a statement, Bill D. DiGaetano and Bill C. DiGaetano, leaders of Alamo Drafthouse Dallas-Fort Worth (which collectively falls under Two is One, One is None, LLC), say they took the action "in order to put the company in a better position to survive financially at their remaining locations, including Richardson, Cedars (Downtown Dallas), Lake Highlands, Las Colinas, and Denton, and their one location in Woodbury, Minnesota."
It's been a long and bumpy road for Tarrant County's only Alamo Drafthouse since it opened in April 2019. The long-awaited theater (located at 8380 Davis Blvd.) featured eight auditoriums with full-service dine-in options and luxury recliners at every seat. There was combined seating for 927 people, including a 240-seat Premium Large Format theater. It featured Alamo's signature mix of first-run films and curated specialty programming, with scratch-made menus often themed to the specific film on the screen.
By the following spring, Alamo, like all movie theaters, went dark amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After optimistic plans to re-open, then a "temporary" closure, then a company bankruptcy announcement with plans to prevail, the North Richland Hills theater — unlike the other DFW locations —never turned the lights back on.
The owners say they have not been able to restart operations there because they were unable to negotiate a change in their lease, "which, in the face of realities of an uncertain future of the cinema exhibition business, is exceedingly overmarket," they say.
The company says the filing will not affect their day-to-day operations, and that employee wages and benefits will be paid without interruption. All gift cards and season passes will also be honored at all locations.
The release indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant, negative impact on the theater industry as a whole, and that revenues remain significantly below 2019 levels.
"The steps we are taking will allow our company to deal with the continuing challenges of film exhibition while maximizing future opportunities that allow us to compete more effectively within this highly competitive and dynamic industry,” said Bill C. DiGaetano in a statement. “We love our film-loving guests — your support means the world to our Alamo family. We look forward to many great years of sharing films and great meals together.”