retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Los Angeles Times has a piece about the expansion by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain into Los Angeles, a noteworthy move into a competitive market where there is no dearth of movie theaters.

Alamo Drafthouse, the story notes, "has been lauded by some publications as the best theater chain in America," and currently has 19 locations, with eight more under construction. "Although it mainly operates in Texas, Alamo has been expanding nationwide, adding new venues in Colorado, Virginia, New York and now California," the Times writes.

And what makes Alamo Drafthouse different? It "specializes in independent and repertory films," the Times writes, and "has developed a cult following for its special events, in-seat food and drink service, and themed movie nights."

According to the story, "Alamo Drafthouse Downtown will feature a mix of new releases, independent and repertory films, foreign movies, as well as Alamo's signature special programming events. Each of the auditoriums will be equipped with 4K digital projection and will eliminate the traditional front row to maximize the viewing experience.

"Waiters will quietly serve patrons, who can place orders for food and drinks from a 'state-of-the-art culinary kitchen.' The theater will also offer a craft beer bar featuring an extensive array of California brews. By creating a unique moviegoing experience, including a famously strict no talking or texting policy, Alamo executives say they have been able to grow even in a down market. Whereas industrywide box-office revenue is down this year compared with a year ago, revenue at Alamo is up nearly 3%…:"

And that's how you succeed, even in a down market that is increasingly competitive. You offer something different, something better, something that makes it worth people leave their homes and spend their money with you.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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