Like many other national chains, Alamo Drafthouse has also started to reopen its location wherever allowed by local and state policies. In addition to closing all locations due to coronavirus-related shutdowns earlier this year, Alamo has been accused by numerous women of allowing sexism and racism to flourish around the company. Three years ago, The Pitch released with information corroborated by upwards of 30 current and former employees — both based in a Kansas City location and with offices at corporate — which accused other employees of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and both physical and verbal abuse.
Since then, in an effort to reshape the company, Alamo hired former Starbucks exec Shelli Taylor to serve as the theater's new CEO. Hired in April, Taylor released a lengthy e-mail to Alamo employees in July detailing how to she plans on correcting the company culture.
"The uncertainty of the past four months has led to reckonings and difficult discussions within industries, organizations, and companies all over the world," Taylor's memo reads. "As many of you are aware, that includes the cinema industry, and it also includes our company."
Her statement adds, "At the same time, over the past few weeks we’ve seen some current, furloughed, and former teammates discussing their experiences at the company publicly, via social media, and it is deeply disturbing and troubling. We don’t know the details or timeline of many of these allegations – some appear to be recent, while others seem to date back many years. Regardless, they are painful stories of disappointment, frustration, and failings within our culture."
Taylor's e-mail — obtained in its entirety by IndieWire — details what steps the new executive plans to take to ensure the voices of the company's employees are heard. On that front, Taylor says she's been repetitively setting up one-on-one meeting roundtables with employees in an effort to "synthesizing feedback into a comprehensive workplace culture strategy." The CEO also details a new partnership between Alamo and a "leading workplace culture consultant" to develop a rollout plan for the company's new concern resolution process. Finally, Taylor says, the company is setting up a helpline to consolidate the company's reporting and communication channels.