Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain is making a move on Motown. The Texas-based theater with 29 national locations (and more in the planning stage) is looking to build a 44,000 square foot theater on Stimson Street west of Woodward in Midtown. The Detroit Board of Water Commissioners approved the sale of three parcels of land owned by the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department on Wednesday for $1.5 million. The Detroit City Council will now have to approve the development.
Detroit Rising Development will build the theater and will lease it long-term to Alamo Drafthouse. Construction is supposed to start this year with an expectation of opening in 2020, the same year the Big Sean-led Emagine Entertainment theater is set to open. Alamo Drafthouse offers a variety of alcoholic beverages and culinary options but might be most famous for its strict policies against talking or texting during screening to the point of removing violators.
It’s a huge show of belief in the city’s revival that such a hip movie theater chain, described by Entertainment Weekly as a “movie geek heaven”, would plan a move to Detroit. Detroit Water & Sewerage Department director Gary Brown adds that the city will benefit from this project through job creation and tax revenue saying, “In my estimation, it’s a win-win for everybody.”
By Jared Hoffman
Research Associate, JMJ Phillip Group