Santikos Entertainment, the San Antonio-based movie theater chain, is expanding into New Braunfels.

“We are making progress on I-35,” said Rob Lehman, chief operating officer. “We have the Mayan, the Galaxy, the Cibolo (theaters) and now the New Braunfels.”

The company takes over Alamo Drafthouse’s former location in the MarketPlace shopping center. The Drafthouse announced in March that it would not reopen the theater, which opened in 2013 and had been closed for about a year due to the pandemic.

It is one of the few establishments in Drafthouse that were closed as the company went bankrupt, including Westlakes in San Antonio and the Ritz in Austin.

On Alamo Drafthouse permanently closes West Side theater due to coronavirus pandemic

The new Santikos theater is slated to open this summer, Lehman said. This will be the first company in the chain in New Braunfels.

It will take around 60 to 90 days to clean and renovate the space of the 11 auditoriums, he said. Among other things, the chain will install recliners as well as a new HVAC system. Part of the kitchen space will be reallocated as the chain has a smaller menu than the Drafthouse.

“Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is one of the big Memorial Day weekend releases. Santikos COO Rob Lehman said the film industry is heading in the right direction after 12 brutal months.

Laurie Sparham / Disney

Santikos has nine theaters in San Antonio. It was the first channel in the country to reopen after the March 2020 closures that were aimed at helping contain the pandemic.

The Silverado at Loop 1604 and Bandera Road is the last Santikos theater to reopen. Eight of its screens will be open on weekends from Friday. These screens will be split between the two major Memorial Day weekend releases, “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Cruella”.

Theaters across the country have been hit hard by the pandemic, but things are starting to turn around, Lehman said. Attendance figures have slowly increased and this weekend’s big outings should be doing well.

“We are moving in the right direction after 12 brutal months,” he said.

[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR

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