Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Remember the Alamo ... Drafthouse

The alarm was sounded. There was an urgent need for immediate action in last May's announcement that the Alamo Drafthouse was coming to the Richardson Heights Shopping Center:
"It is urgent -- the reason is that old theater on Spring Valley," [Bill DiGaetano of Alamo Drafthouse] said. "It's an existing theater, and if a theater group comes in there before we announce, [then] we're not coming into Richardson nor will any theater come back into Richardson. Because in order to show first-run Hollywood movies, you have to be three miles from an existing theater. So once you plant your flag, nobody can come within three miles of you simply because they won't get the same films as you. Delaying this causes us to delay announcing it, and delaying announcing it could be detrimental to the whole process. We have contingencies in our lease that if something like that happens, we’re out."
Source: Pegasus News.
Message received. Alamo Drafthouse got the Richardson city approvals it wanted. The rest of us could conclude that the "old theater on Spring Valley" would just have to find some other re-purposing use. Another option for your Sunday morning church services, maybe?

That was last May. After the jump, more good news for moviegoers. Or is it?

The news is that Studio Movie Grill is moving into that vacant Keystone Park movie theater.
Dallas-based UCR has won the leasing assignment of Keystone Park Shopping Center, a 142,961-square-foot retail center at North Central Expressway and Spring Valley Road in Dallas. The shopping site includes a new flagship Studio Movie Grill, which will open in late September.
I've been waiting for someone else to comment on it, but I've seen nothing, so I have to ask.

Did Alamo Drafthouse fast talk Richardson into approving its plans using a not-so-truthful warning? Is this, in fact, a win-win situation for moviegoers -- getting *two* nearby movie theaters -- even if we were led to believe by Alamo Drafthouse that there's room for only one?

Does Alamo Drafthouse's reason for its urgency in getting approval for its plans for Richardson mean that Studio Movie Grill will be unable to show first-run Hollywood movies? How much of their business is affected?

Or, can Studio Movie Grill still beat Alamo Drafthouse to the Hollywood riches? Is there a chance that Alamo Drafthouse is reviewing those contingencies in its lease, considering whether to exercise that escape clause to abandon Richardson before the first movie ever screens?

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