Dine-in theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has announced the promotion of President Michael Kustermann to the role of CEO following the retirement of current CEO Shelli Taylor. Taylor, who replaced Alamo co-founder Tim League as CEO in 2020, will remain on the Alamo Drafthouse Board of Directors.
“I am humbled to become Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s next CEO, with reverence for all that we do, have done, and will do. I have the awesome privilege of now leading the best teammates in the business who make all the difference… they create an unrivaled guest experience, and we will continue to expand and innovate, creating amazing movie memories for our guests wherever we go,” said Kustermann in a statement. “I am confident that as this industry continues to build back, we will keep leading the way, just as we have proven we can with over 18 months of solid double digit growth vs the industry’s recovery. Movies exist to make an impact in our lives and theaters deliver that—period.”
Added League: “I’m excited for Michael to lead our next phase of growth and evolution. He and I have worked closely over the past two years and I know he will continue to drive our core values and build upon our vision to be the best damn cinema that ever was or will be.”
Kustermann will step into the role of CEO on August 11, following a period of transition between him and Taylor, who saw Alamo through a tumultuous period—both the pandemic and the subsequent era of scant film slates and the financial restructuring that followed Alamo declaring bankruptcy in March 2021. (The chain emerged from bankruptcy months later.) League, in a statement, noted that Taylor “came into Alamo at a time when our company and industry were fighting for our very existence. She guided the company through those dark days, all the way to our current industry-topping performance and renewed expansion. I will be forever grateful that she steadily guided the ship through such an intense storm.” Taylor herself noted that she “pass[es] the torch to Michael… with immense pride and confidence. Michael’s leadership qualities and alignment with our company’s vision make him the perfect successor. I am proud to have worked alongside our incredible teammates, and I am excited about the bright future ahead under Michael’s capable leadership.”
Prior to his time with Alamo, Kustermann served as an executive with non-cinema brands Starbucks, Bose, Century 21, and Caveman Foods. He joined Alamo in October 2021 as the chain’s Chief Experience Officer before being elevated to the role of president in April of this year. During his tenure, he has overseen the implementation of Alamo’s Season Pass subscription service and their Rolling Roadshow series as well as updates to the company’s team culture and development.