AUSTIN, Texas — Among the many businesses struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic is movie theaters. Alamo Drafthouse, a beloved Austin-based movie theater chain, is taking a unique approach to finding funds for staff and other expenses.
Tim League, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alamo Drafthouse, is auctioning off his personal, rare collection of movie posters in order to alleviate the financial burden of COVID-19. He said that 100% of the proceeds from the sale will go toward paying Alamo Drafthouse staff and paying debt and expenses that have resulted from the pandemic.
"These next four to six months are critical, and the proceeds from this auction will help immensely," he said in a statement posted on the chain's website.
The auction will be held via eMoviePoster.com starting at 5 p.m. Nov. 29 through Dec. 13. Drafthouse is auctioning off nearly 2,000 items that include Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo collectibles. Bidding on items starts at $1.
The company is touting the auction as the "largest and most comprehensive auction of Mondo prints ever." Mondo is the Austin, Texas, collectible arm of the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain.
Alamo Drafthouse isn't the only movie theater suffering from the pandemic. Flix Brewhouse, a small movie theater chain with nine locations in Texas, Arizona and the Midwest, is closing indefinitely, according to CultureMap. The company's Austin-area location is in Round Rock. Cineworld said in October it will temporarily close over 500 Regal Cinema locations in the U.S.
"Cinemas across the country are facing extraordinary financial hardships," League said. "We are legally unable to open many of our venues, and where we can open, our capacity is significantly reduced, the product – the supply of blockbuster films – has evaporated, and our debt from accrued rent during closure continues to mount."
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