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Buying, Developing, and Operating an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Whether you’re new to franchising or a seasoned franchisee, we know you have questions about owning and operating an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema! From the cost to open an Alamo Drafthouse franchise to site development and daily operations, learn all about how to open a dine-in cinema franchise.

Theater entrance, designed to look like an open mouth with large teeth, a moustache, and text reading "The Big Show."

Getting Started with an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Franchise

Questions about the costs, fees, and process of getting started with a one-of-a-kind franchise opportunity in the entertainment industry.

What markets are available for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchising?

Currently, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is granting franchises to exempt franchisee prospects in a number of markets nationwide. As a part of the vetting process, we will evaluate your proposed site for population density, demographic, and other market indicators. This work is completed to promote your success.

What are the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchise requirements for new franchisees?

In addition to having the resources required to support and sustain your franchise, you’ll also need to have a net worth of $10 million, at least $3 million in liquid assets, and in-depth knowledge of the area in which you’d like to develop an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Is Alamo Drafthouse Cinema only new construction or can you convert an existing theater?

Many of our theaters are new builds but in recent years we have seen an increase in the number of conversions. When converting an existing theater to an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema venue there are many things that must be considered, including adding reclined seating, updating the technology (ex. new projectors), building a commercial kitchen to accommodate the breadth of menu offerings, etc.

How does the site selection process work?

There are specific requirements for movie theater real estate. An Alamo Drafthouse Cinema site must be at least five acres in size (one acre for the theater itself, and an additional four to five acres for parking). The building needs to be a minimum of 40,000 square feet, and it needs to be in an approved market.

If you have an existing property, we can determine if it meets our criteria, or, if you’re building from scratch, we can either evaluate your proposed site and/or provide guidance on selecting an ideal site.

How long does it take to open an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchise?

The amount of time it takes from initial discovery to opening a location for business will vary based on the number of investors involved, the site selected, and the construction or retrofitting timeline.

Because each location is unique, it’s difficult to provide a schedule until after the site selection and plans are finalized.

A member of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchise team will help estimate your time to open.

Will I need to get a liquor license?

Yes. Drafthouse is our middle name. You will need to be able to serve alcohol at your venue and a liquor license is required.

Does Alamo Drafthouse Cinema provide guidance for designing a commercial kitchen?

Yes. We provide the equipment list, specifications and a prototypical layout. Your architect can use this information to design the commercial kitchen for your space.

What is the initial Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Franchise Fee?

The initial Franchise Fee to establish a single Alamo Drafthouse Cinema venue under a franchise agreement is $125,000.

What is the current Royalty Fee?

The current Royalty Fee is 5% of gross sales.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Franchising Operational Support

Once you have a site approved and an agreement in hand, you’ll likely have questions about what comes next. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers ongoing support to help your franchise succeed.

What training will I receive to open and operate my Alamo Drafthouse Cinema?

The new venue training phase consists of online, hands-on, and follow-up certifications so that all your team members are ready to provide guests with an exceptional experience.

After opening your Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, you will benefit from ongoing training and support in operations and marketing.

What kind of support do Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchisees receive?

We support our franchisees through every phase of their franchising journey, from consultation during the development and building process to hands-on training and ongoing marketing support.

Our Marketing and Promotions and Sales teams provide regular support, education, and information to help your business thrive.

Does Alamo Drafthouse Cinema provide menu strategy and creation?

The Alamo Drafthouse Culinary Team handles menu strategy and creation from the core menu to limited time offers both seasonally and through food & film promotions. Working to secure economies of scale, the Alamo team focuses on purchasing and product sourcing to benefit all partners. Our beverage team helps craft annual programs that strengthen our relationships with our suppliers and distributors for support and branding.

Who is responsible for film booking and buying?

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Booking Department handles all the details of the film booking and buying process so your team can focus on venue operations (including film scheduling) and performance. To keep the franchisees informed, the film buyers meet monthly with the venue’s programming liaison to review the film chart for the venue and the upcoming film slate.

Who is responsible for marketing?

As an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchisee, you will contribute 0.5% of Gross Sales to the National Marketing Fund. The Marketing Department will develop and implement national programs to grow brand awareness and increase guest visitation and spending.

In addition, we will work with your local team to build a new venue-opening marketing plan and provide recommendations for your local marketing efforts. The franchisee Local Marketing Spend Requirement is 1% of Gross Sales.

How do I get started owning a movie theater franchise with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema?

Get started by completing the franchise inquiry form. Our development team will review your submission details and may contact you for additional information.

Own Your Own

Learn more about franchise opportunities with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.