Alamo Drafthouse Unveils $2M Relief Fund for Furloughed Workers

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Team members at company-operated locations will receive a supplemental two weeks’ worth of pay and their health coverage will be covered through the end of April.

Almao Drafthouse Cinema has announced a $2 million emergency relief fund for furloughed workers at its company-owned locations and staff at its headquarters, the circuit announced Thursday.

Workers will receive a supplemental two weeks’ worth of pay, while their health coverage will be covered through the end of April.

Almost all theaters in the U.S. are now closed, including all but one of Alamo's 41 locations. Alamo owns roughly half of those 41 sites, including all theaters in Austin; New York City; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Kansas City, Missouri; Raleigh, North Carolina; New Braunfels, Texas; and San Antonio. The remaining locations are managed in their respective areas by franchise ownership groups, and are relying on their own resources to handle the closures.

On Wednesday, Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League informed 80 percent of corporate staff they would be furloughed.

Tim and Karrie League created the new relief fund in partnership with Emergency Assistance Foundation, and seeded with $2 million dollars from their Alamo Community Fund. The Alamo Family Fund’s donations portal is now live at emergencyassistancefdn.org/alamo-family-fund.

Qualifying staff members can begin applying for aid next week will be paid through the Alamo Family Fund, which was launched in partnership with Emergency Assistance Foundation and is meant to assist with critical short-term needs. Seeded with $2 million dollars for the Alamo Community Fund, the Family Fund can receive additional donations from studio partners, suppliers and any other interested organizations.

Additionally, 100 percent of the subscription fees from current season pass members — the subscription service for unlimited movies — and any new members will be donated to the fund. After the Monday announcement of closures, Alamo Drafthouse paused the memberships and monthly billing of all active subscriptions holders until theaters reopen, but members may un-pause their subscriptions at any time to begin donating. 

“We’re doing everything we can to help get our teams through the furlough period while making certain there will be a stable company to return to,” League said in a statement. “The coronavirus pandemic is an existential threat to all cinema, but particularly independent and art house theaters. That’s why I’m asking for our friends and partners in the film and hospitality industries — if you believe companies like ours are vital to the welfare and strength of your businesses, please help us keep our people safe, strong, and ready to get back to work.”

AMC — the largest chain in the U.S., with roughly 630 locations and 11,000 screens — Regal and Cinemark, the second- and third-largest movie chains in the country, respectively, all announced earlier this week they would be closing their U.S. locations indefinitely in light of the coronavirus pandemic.