Sony Pictures Entertainment just bought up all 35 locations of the boozy and boutique movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, including the New Mission theater on Mission Street, after the chain had previously declared bankruptcy in 2021.

It might feel like another nail in the coffin in the death of independent theaters with today’s news, first reported by Axios, that the Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters have been sold to Sony Entertainment Group — and yes that includes the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema New Mission at Mission Street near 21st Street. But, really, the indie ship had long ago sailed there.

After the Alamo Drafthouse chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the dark and fully closed COVID days of 2021, it was purchased from bankruptcy by the decidedly not-indie-sounding hedge funders and institutional investors called Altamont Capital Partners and Fortress Investment Group.

Those are the types of companies that usually buy a company and gut it like a fish, so it is at least encouraging news that this has not happened. And from the sound of Sony’s press release announcing the sale, it does sound like Alamo Drafthouse might well remain the same Alamo Drafthouse we have always known and loved.

“Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate all 35 of its cinemas across 25 metro areas under the Alamo Drafthouse brand,” Sony said in the release. “Alamo Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, the world-renowned genre film festival, is included in the acquisition and will also continue to be operated by Alamo Drafthouse. The company’s headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.”

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in Austin, Texas in 1997, spread to more locations across Texas, and eventually had 40 locations nationwide. The SF location opened in December 2015.

SFist was there the first night that SF’s Alamo Drafthouse opened in 2015 for an opening night screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (“This movie may be terrible," the chain’s then-owner Tim League told the audience before the show. "This movie may embarrass me.")

It did not. SF’s Alamo Drafthouse further built its local cinephile cred by adopting the Lost Weekend Video library and becoming a host venue for the San Francisco International Film Festival (now SFFILM). But they lost those hosting privileges after a 2017 sexual harassment scandal at the Austin flagship theater.

Yet SF’s Mission Street Alamo Drafthouse, and their Bear vs Bull theater bar, have remained in relatively good graces, and their $20 monthly pass initiated in 2019 was justifiably popular.

We’d like to think the Sony-owned Alamo Drafthouse will still be an alternative to the homogenous cineplex experience with fun events like John Waters film screenings, Star Wars marathons, and Taylor Swift dress-up nights. It remains to be seen whether that happens, but our hope continues to flick.

Related: 21-Hour Marathon of All Nine 'Star Wars' Movies Happening at Alamo Drafthouse [SFist]

Image: Bear Vs. Bull via Yelp