In news that could lead to a major shake up the movie and movie theater industries, Sony announced it was acquiring the Alamo Drafthouse chain of multiplexes.

Sony will maintain the Alamo Drafthouse name and will continue to operate its theaters 25 metropolitan areas around the country. Its headquarters will remain located in Austin, Texas.

“We are beyond thrilled to join forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment to expand our company vision to be the best damn cinema that has ever, or will ever, exist now in ways we could only ever dream of,” said Alamo Drafthouse co-founder Tim League in a press release. “They have a deep respect and understanding of cinema’s ability to both drive growth and create lasting cultural impact which aligns perfectly with everything Alamo Drafthouse stands for.”

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“Alamo Drafthouse has always held the craft of filmmaking and the theatrical experience in high esteem, which are fundamental shared values between our companies. I’m jazzed that our company is doing this,” saidSony Pictures Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman.

For decades it was against the law for a movie studio to own their own movie theaters, following the landmark Paramount Decree of 1948 which forced studios to divest themselves of their theaters. Previously most major studios owned their own movie houses, which were the primary outlet for their films. But the U.S. Justice Department allowed the Paramount Decree to be sunset in 2020, paving the way for moves like the one.

What this means for Alamo Drafthouse theaters and the films they show and the eclectic programming they offer remains to be seen. Will the chain focus more on Sony movies moving forward? It’s possible. But if this news also leads to Alamos showing more vintage Columbia movies from throughout the studio’s long history, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing either.

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