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Alamo Drafthouse movie theater no longer coming to Detroit

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The plan was scrapped after developers couldn’t come to an agreement with the theater chain about parking

Red marquee on a building in the daytime that says Alamo Draft House Cinema. Denver Post via Getty Images

Plans to bring a nine-screen Alamo Drafthouse movie theater to Midtown have been abandoned.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that the developer, Detroit Rising Development, could not come to an agreement with the theater chain around the required 300 parking spots. Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse terminated the development agreement in late 2019.

“Alamo needed a surety that the parking was going to be available for 15 years; we could not secure exactly what was going to fit their need to make the investment,” Jonathan Hartzell, founding partner of developer Detroit Rising Development, told Crain’s.

Hartzell clarified to Curbed Detroit that the requirement wasn’t based on city of Detroit parking minimums.

The planned $13 million theater would have been located at a currently vacant site on Stimson Street owned by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. The deed for the land was never transferred and ownership has been retained by DWSD.

The Alamo Drafthouse chain, which has over 40 locations in the U.S., is known for its expansive bar and food menu offered alongside movie screenings.

The Bel Air Luxury Cinema near 8 Mile Road is currently the only multiplex, first-run movie theater in Detroit. But the shopping center where the theater is located was recently purchased by the Moroun family and many are speculating that it will be demolished.

In 2018, Detroit-born rapper Big Sean and Emagine Entertainment announced that they would partner to bring a movie theater to Detroit, but there’s been little news about its progress since. Other movie theaters in the city include Cinema Detroit, recently opened The Film Lab, Senate Theater, Redford Theatre, and Detroit Film Theatre. They all mostly screen independent, foreign, or classic films.

Redford Theatre

17360 Lahser Road, , MI 48219 Visit Website

Cinema Detroit

4126 3rd Avenue, , MI 48201 Visit Website

Senate Theater

6424 Michigan Avenue, , MI 48210 Visit Website