Detroit won't be getting an Alamo Drafthouse movie theater after all


The Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, Texas. - RICARDO GARZA, SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Ricardo Garza, Shutterstock
  • The Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, Texas.

Bummer — it looks like Detroit won't be getting a trendy Alamo Drafthouse movie theater.

The deal reportedly fell through after developer Detroit Rising Development could not secure 300 parking spots, according to Crain's Detroit Business — causing one Twitter user to quip: "This is like Detroit Mad Libs."

Announced in 2018, the $13 million project would have brought a nine-screen theater to a Detroit Water and Sewerage Department-owned site on Stimson Street west of Woodward Avenue in Midtown. But Alamo Drafthouse officially terminated the plan in December, Crain's reports.

Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse theaters have become known as kind of a hipster movie chain, showing indie art house flicks alongside Hollywood blockbusters, with craft beer and a full food menu delivered right to the seats.

It's a shame because Detroit, which was once known for having dozens of ornate theaters in its heyday, has become a movie theater desert in recent years. Now, people can only catch first-run mainstream films at the Bel Air 10 on Eight Mile, or go to Cinema Detroit or the Detroit Film Theatre in Midtown for art house flicks.

Rapper Big Sean has reportedly partnered with the chain Emagine to bring a new theater to Detroit, but new details on that project have yet to be announced.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.