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Alamo Drafthouse caught in lawsuit over unpaid rent at Mueller location
(Alamo Drafthouse/Facebook)

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has not paid rent at its Mueller location since April, prompting the property owner to file a lawsuit against the movie theater chain.


The Austin American-Statesman reports that developers behind Mueller Aldrich Street, the commercial district featuring The Thinkery children's museum and other mostly-local businesses, filed a lawsuit Sept. 24 seeking more than $1 million in damages from Alamo Mueller and Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim and Karrie League.

Mueller Aldrich Street is working with tenants, including Alamo Drafthouse, on rental assistance, according to a statement. However, that effort has "reached an impasse," said Greg Moore, senior vice president of asset management for Mueller Aldrich Street, in a statement.

"We have repeatedly demonstrated our willingness to work with Alamo Drafthouse to find an equitable solution to a challenging situation," Moore said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that we can work through these issues without further legal action, and we hope the public will be able to enjoy Alamo's highly successful movie-going experience soon."

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller was first announced in 2015, broke ground in 2016 and opened in 2017, marking the first new Central Austin location for the growing movie theater chain in years. The location is in the heart of the Mueller neighborhood, which up until the 1990s was the location of Austin's airport. It has since been redeveloped as part of an extended project spearheaded by the city and its master developer, Catellus Development.

Prior it coming to the area, Mueller residents campaigned to bring an Alamo Drafthouse location to the neighborhood. John Wooding, chair of Mueller Neighborhood Association's steering committee, said a large group organized a "watch-in" at another Alamo Drafthouse location to "demonstrate our enthusiasm for having one open here in Mueller."

Their effort paid off at the time with Alamo Drafthouse developing its most family-friendly location in Austin, earning much hype as a result.

"From what I can gather through the many Facebook threads, conversations and comments that I have read, most residents would do just about anything to support the Alamo Drafthouse here in our neighborhood," Wooding said via email to Austonia. "Alamo is part of the Mueller community. Multiple residents have even expressed a willingness to do take-out or reserve the theatre for small groups."

The neighborhood couldn't comment on the lawsuit specifically, and Wooding said he has not heard anything about Alamo Drafthouse reopening the Mueller location.

The Statesman reports that three of the six Austin-area Alamo Drafthouse locations are currently open: South Lamar, Lakeline and Slaughter Lane. According to its website, Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 and has grown to include 37 locations and gained numerous "best theater" accolades.

A spokesperson for Alamo Drafthouse has not responded to requests from Austonia for additional information.

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