The Austin Chronicle

We Have an Issue: What’s Next for the Alamo Drafthouse

Also: Big changes at the Chronicle's Music Desk

By Kimberley Jones, July 2, 2021, Columns

A once-plucky indie movie house that grew into a national chain that reinvented the concept of dinner and a movie, the Alamo Drafthouse inspires cultlike devotion from its most ardent fans. But growing pains of some sort have also dogged the business pretty much ever since the Alamo first opened on Colorado Street in 1997 – quality control issues at some franchises, worker disgruntlement over compensation, and, most damningly, a top-down slowness to act on accusations of sexual assault and harassment within the Drafthouse community. Early last spring, the Drafthouse hired a former Starbucks executive to take operational reins, and close watchers wondered how the hire might impact the brand. Then the pandemic hit, and the brand question took a backseat to an even bigger concern: whether the business itself could stay afloat. Screens Editor Richard Whittaker tells that story here.

From the Chronicle's Music Desk

After 27 years running the Chronicle's music coverage, Music Editor Raoul Hernandez is stepping down to teach full-time at the University of Texas' journalism school; his obvious successor, staff writer Kevin Curtin, will take over the section, and "Faster Than Sound" columnist Rachel Rascoe will be coming on as a staff writer. We'll have more to say about our great friend and colleague Raoul when he officially signs off at the end of the month, but news this big we just couldn't keep to ourselves.

Let's Do This Thing, America

The Chronicle will be closed on Monday to give staff an extra day to celebrate the Fourth. I hope this holiday weekend you can have some fun, find some calm, and spread some kindness if you can. And if you haven't been vaccinated yet, consider doing it this weekend. The most patriotic act you can do for your country and your community is to help get us to herd immunity and protect those among us, like kids under 12, who can't get vaccinated. Find out where to get a free vaccine here:

Online This Week

Amped for October: Levitation 2021 comes into focus with 75-plus acts, including fusion genius Thundercat, avant-garde post-punks Black Midi, and indie-pop mainstay Japanese Breakfast.

Lens on Lago Vista: We've got the exclusive first trailer for Lago Vista, the new, unscripted, Snapchat docu-soap filmed in the Austin suburb.

May the Circle Remain Unbroken: Kevin Curtin has the deets on a new Roky Erickson tribute album and the July 18 release party at Waterloo Records.

148 Tweets Later: Check out our interview with Fear the Walking Dead star Colman Domingo about his new film Zola, based on the infamous Twitter thread.

When It's Too Hot to Do Anything but Watch TV: We preview the return of Ted Lasso, the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, and 44 other TV and streaming somethings to consume in July.

Music Video Premieres: Watch the newest videos from Branden Rex (this one co-stars his hairless cat Henry) and rap trio Aux Cutter.

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