Alamo Drafthouse Ups Michael Kustermann To New Role Of President

Breaking News, Film News

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has promoted its Chief Experience Officer Michael Kustermann to the newly created post of president, taking on a larger role in supporting and accelerating the growing chain’s organization and strategic vision.

The exec’s key initiatives have included Alamo Season Pass, Rolling RoadShow, Fantastic Fest, a new Silent Service ordering platform and work with the digital and marketing team on structure and talent development. He continues to report to CEO Shelli Taylor and oversee the Strategy, Marketing & Creative, Product & Digital, and Development Teams.

“With moviegoing coming back in force, Alamo Drafthouse is back in growth mode. Our plan is to bring the movies we love to movie lovers everywhere. Michael has been instrumental in rebuilding the company, and will now play a larger role in accelerating our growth,” says Taylor said.

The chain went into a structured Chapter 11 during Covid, emerged, and has opened six locations since. It’s private but said ticket sales for the first quarter were up over 100% from 2019 levels for its mix of wide-release tentpoles, indie films and repertory and special event fare.

Austin-based Alamo has 39 locations with new additions including Southern Manhattan, Staten Island, Chicago, St. Louis, and Washington DC, with a new Boston theater on the way. The chain has always offered food but many of its cinemas also have bars, themes and unique features — a printing press and plates for old movie advertisements at the Wall Street theater, a Kung Fu themed museum on Staten Island — becoming destinations during what’s been a challenging period as cinemas have sought to woo back audiences.

Alamo and the rest of the exhibition industry is gathering in Las Vegas at CinemaCom this week.

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