The Alamo Drafthouse Sony Projector Issue: A New Year’s Day Debacle

On the eve of a new year, moviegoers planning to enjoy a film at select Alamo Drafthouse theaters encountered an unexpected issue. Alamo Drafthouse, a popular theater chain, took to social media to announce that Sony projectors were causing problems, which led to the closure of five theaters for the remainder of the day. The inconvenience sparked curiosity and frustration among movie enthusiasts, who were left wondering about the cause of these technical difficulties.

As the New Year’s Day holiday began, most Alamo Drafthouse theaters reopened, seemingly resolving the projection issues. However, some theaters and showtimes remained unavailable without clear explanations. With it being a holiday, reaching out to Alamo or Sony spokespersons proved challenging, leaving many questions unanswered. Although not all theater locations and screenings experienced the outage, Alamo Drafthouse swiftly placed the blame on Sony projectors, suggesting a nationwide impact.

Inside an Alamo Drafthouse theater in Woodbury, Minnesota, a handwritten sign attached to a door offered a glimpse into the situation. It mentioned “nationwide technical difficulties with Sony” preventing any movie screenings that day. Despite this notice, a customer reported an incongruity as they were able to watch a screening of “The Apartment” without any issues. The confusion grew as the wait staff informed them that the projector might fail, manifesting as a sudden black screen. However, the film played flawlessly, casting doubt on the purported Sony projector issue.

Alamo’s Ongoing Response

Alamo Drafthouse continued to update its patrons on January 1st, assuring them that most screenings were back online at the affected theaters. The theater chain expressed gratitude for their patience and understanding during this setback. Additionally, Alamo Drafthouse emphasized that they would directly contact individuals whose showtimes were impacted through the email used for ticket purchases. Certain films, including “Burn it Down,” “American Fiction,” “Ferrari,” and “Boy and the Heron,” faced potential reorganization and cancellation due to the ongoing complications.

With limited official information, speculation emerged within online communities, such as Reddit, regarding the possible cause of the projector issues. One popular theory centered around expired digital certificates required to unlock encrypted films. However, Alamo Drafthouse and Sony had not confirmed this theory. The true cause behind the projector problems remained a mystery, leaving eager moviegoers in anticipation of further details. Complicating matters, reports surfaced that Sony discontinued its digital cinema projector business in 2020, creating additional uncertainty regarding the future of their existing projector models.

Alamo Drafthouse’s New Year’s Eve surprise of Sony projector issues created an unforeseen disruption for moviegoers. The closure of several theaters and the subsequent reopening with limited information left many puzzled. Despite the blame placed on Sony, inconsistencies surfaced that raised doubts about the extent and cause of the problem. Alamo Drafthouse has since made efforts to rectify the situation and has asked for patience from its loyal customers. As the investigation continues, movie enthusiasts eagerly await a comprehensive explanation from Alamo Drafthouse and Sony regarding the nature of the projector issues and the steps taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.


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