Tim League

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Tim League
Tim League, in front of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar.jpeg
Tim League, in front of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar
Alma materRice University
OccupationTheatre owner, film producer

Tim League is an American entrepreneur and film producer based in Austin, Texas. He is the founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain and the founder of the film distribution company Drafthouse Films, where League has produced films including The ABCs of Death.[1] He is also the co-founder of genre film festival Fantastic Fest, the entertainment merchandise entity Mondo, and the film distribution and production company Neon.

Alamo Drafthouse[edit]

League graduated from Rice University in 1992 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Art/Art History. While at Rice, Tim was once detained by the campus police for interrupting a campus event while dressed as a banana. After a two-year stint at Shell Oil Company in Bakersfield, California, he left the engineering profession and opened up his first movie theater. An unmitigated financial disaster, the Tejon theater closed in 1995, and he loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen and speakers and headed to Austin, Texas to start the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, where he remained as CEO until 2020 when he was replaced by Shelli Taylor. He then took up a new position as chairman of the board.[2]

When asked about his motivation in opening a movie theater in the first place, "What we set out to do in the very beginning was to make a movie theater by fans for fans. And we got into the business because we love movies and we got a little frustrated with our options as to what the movie theater experience was all about".[3]

Rolling Roadshow[edit]

League also founded the Rolling Roadshow, which takes classic films around the country to project them at the site they were set in.


In 2004, League co-founded the entertainment merchandise entity known as Mondo to produce and distribute limited edition poster art, t-shirts, toys and vinyl record soundtracks.[4]

Fantastic Fest[edit]

Tim League along with Harry Knowles and Cole Dabney at the 2010 Fantastic Fest.

League co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States. Fantastic Fest is an annual film festival in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 2005 by Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse, Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News, Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, and Tim McCanlies, writer of The Iron Giant and Secondhand Lions. The festival focuses on genre films such as horror, science fiction, fantasy, action, Asian, and cult. The festival takes place in September at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, filling three screens for eight days and hosting many writers, directors and actors, both well established and unknown. A notable feature of this festival is the inclusion of "special screenings" by Knowles. For these screenings, the audience often does not know what the film will be until seated, moments before it begins.[citation needed] It also features many themed parties, outings, food/film "feasts", and other events that are signature hallmarks of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. In 2007, Variety publisher Charles Koones included Fantastic Fest as one of "ten festivals we love".[5] In 2008, MovieMaker magazine named Fantastic Fest "one of the 25 film festivals worth the entry fee".[6]

The 2017 festival attracted attention due to the disclosure that League had re-hired Devin Faraci as a writer even though Faraci resigned from Birth.Movies.Death in 2016 after he was accused of sexual assault. Faraci's re-hiring prompted the resignation of Todd Brown, Fantastic Fest's director of international programming.[7] Alamo Drafthouse/Fantastic Fest severed ties with Harry Knowles after sexual harassment/assault allegations pertaining to him also surfaced.[8] Despite these events, Alamo Drafthouse proceeded with plans to show a previously-unreleased pornographic film by Ed Wood.[9]

Drafthouse Films[edit]

In 2010, League founded the film distribution and production company known as Drafthouse Films.


In 2017, League co-founded another film distribution and production company known as Neon (stylized as NEON) with entertainment executive Tom Quinn.[10] NEON's films, including Parasite and I, Tonya, have won several Academy Awards.[11]


In 2017, concurrent with the revelations regarding Devin Faraci and Harry Knowles's harassment of women, former Alamo Drafthouse employees alleged that they had complained to League and his wife Karrie about Knowles in previous years. They were told simply to "avoid" Knowles.[12] These purported incidents go as far back as 2000.[13][14] In late September 2017, League issued a statement apologizing on his and Karrie's behalf "To the women we have let down..."[15]


  1. ^ Piepenburg, Erik (January 25, 2013). "Paths to Expiring, in Alphabetical Order". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Benz, Kevin. "Tim League and the accidental drive home that became Alamo Drafthouse", CultureMap, Austin, TX, 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ League, Tim. "2012 Alamo Company Video", YouTube.
  4. ^ Merch Madness Inside the World of Mondo by Zack Ruskin, Consequence of Sound, November 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Brown, Todd (2007-12-05). "Variety Publisher Names Fantastic Fest One of Top Ten". Twitch. Archived from the original on 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
  6. ^ MovieMaker, Spring 2008. MovieMaker
  7. ^ Gross, Joe. "Less than a year after assault allegations, Devin Faraci is writing again for the Alamo Drafthouse". Austin 360.
  8. ^ "Alamo Drafthouse Severs Ties With Harry Knowles Over Sexual Assault Allegations". The Hollywood Reporter. 25 September 2017.
  9. ^ "A fantastic cautionary tale about respecting consent". Dallas News. October 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Tom Quinn and Tim League Launch NEON Distribution Company at Sundance Film Festival by Mike Fleming Jr., Deadline.com January 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Sperling, Nicole (2019-11-27). "'Parasite' Has Shocked the Box Office, Helped by an Upstart Studio". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  12. ^ "Former Alamo Drafthouse Employee Goes Public with Sexual Harassment Allegations". 26 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Alamo Drafthouse in Crisis: Allegations of Sexual Assault and Harassment Mount". The Hollywood Reporter. 26 September 2017.
  14. ^ "How Film Nerds Gone Wild Scandal Shows Corporate Perils of Inaction Against Sexual Harassment". 27 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Tim League Apologizes to "Women We Have Let Down" in Fantastic Fest Sexual Assault Scandals". 26 September 2017.

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