Tim League, in front of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar
|Alma mater||Rice University|
|Occupation||Theatre owner, film producer|
Tim League is an American entrepreneur and film producer based in Austin, Texas who is the founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain and co-founder of its subsidiary Mondo, as well as the founder of the Drafthouse Films film distribution company. He is also the co-founder of genre film festival Fantastic Fest. Via Roadhouse Films, League has produced films including The ABCs of Death. In 2017, League co-founded Neon with Tom Quinn.
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 remains as CEO today.
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".
League founded the Rolling Roadshow, which takes classic films around the country to project them at the site they were set in.
League also 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. 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". In 2008, MovieMaker magazine named Fantastic Fest "one of the 25 film festivals worth the entry fee".
The 2017 festival attracted attention due to the disclosure that League had re-hired David 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. Alamo Drafthouse/Fantastic Fest severed ties with Harry Knowles after sexual harassment/assault allegations pertaining to him also surfaced. Despite these events, Alamo Drafthouse proceeded with plans to show a previously-unreleased pornographic film by Ed Wood.
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. These purported incidents go as far back as 2000. In late September 2017, League issued a statement apologizing on his and Karrie's behalf "To the women we have let down..."
- Piepenburg, Erik (January 25, 2013). "Paths to Expiring, in Alphabetical Order". The New York Times.
- Benz, Kevin. "Tim League and the accidental drive home that became Alamo Drafthouse", CultureMap, Austin, TX, 23 April 2012.
- League, Tim. "2012 Alamo Company Video", YouTube.
- 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.
- MovieMaker, Spring 2008. MovieMaker