Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has sold its pop-culture collection business, Mondo, to Funko. Mondo is known for its vinyl records, games, and most notably movie posters. Rob Jones and Tim League founded the company in 2001.
Sadly Alamo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021 but has re-emerged since then to hopefully regain some of its success as COVID restrictions become easier to manage. Alamo emerged from its bankruptcy as Altamont Capital Partners bought the struggling theater chain this year.
“We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at Altamont and Fortress, who are completely aligned with our vision for Alamo Drafthouse’s growth,” CEO Shelli Taylor of Alamo Drafthouse said in a statement.
Perhaps in order to recoup more of its losses, Alamo sold Mondo as a part of its restructuring as well.
“Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision,” said League in a statement, adding: “Funko is exactly that unicorn. The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision.”
In addition, they also sold their Drafthouse Films label to digital distributor Giant Pictures.
Mondo has become the fan favorite of collectible artistic expressions in the film industry. Collectors often seek these items out, often to get them signed or framed. These are hot commodities at pop culture conventions as stylized versions of the original movie’s poster art.
Both Mondo and Alamo addressed the sale in emailed statements:
By now you may have heard that Mondo has a new parent company: Funko. Let’s talk about it.
For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.
We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.
From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.
We are still the same company that started in the theater lobby… only now with even more resources to support our vision. We can’t wait to show you what’s next.
– (Still) Your friends at Mondo.
ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE STATEMENT
When Mondo was first forming, back when it was a 25-square-foot retail space in the abandoned ticket booth of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, we had one guiding principle: seek out amazing artists, let their imaginations run wild and unfettered, and together celebrate the movies we loved.
Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.
That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.
Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.
Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.
The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.
I am very confident that in time folks will see this transition to Funko as nothing short of marvelous. I wish everyone on the Mondo team the absolute best and look forward to everything ahead, save the notable exception of the loss of my employee discount.
I offer my sincere thanks to the whole team for almost two decades of tireless dedication and craft. You have most certainly made my adult life a hell of a lot more beautiful.
Alamo Drafthouse Founder & Executive Chairman and Mondo Co-Founder
[Header photo courtesy of Mondo/Alamo]