AMC Theatres

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AMC Entertainment, Inc.
Type Public[1]
Traded as NYSEAMC
Industry Entertainment (movie theaters)
Founded 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Headquarters Leawood, Kansas
Key people Edward Durwood, Founder
Wang Jianlin (Chairman)
Ding Benxi (President)
Gerardo I. Lopez (American division representative)
Products AMC Theatres (since 2002)
Revenue Increase $2.601 billion (FY 2012)[2]
Operating income Increase $94.137 million (FY 2012)[2]
Net income Increase -$81.99 million (FY 2012)
Total assets Decrease $ 3.638 billion (FY 2012)[2]
Total equity Decrease $ 154.3 million (FY 2012)[2]
Employees 26,200 (March 2012)[2]
Parent Dalian Wanda Group
Website www.amctheatres.com

AMC Theatres (often referred to as just AMC and previously known as AMC Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain owned and operated by AMC Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. Founded in 1920, AMC has the second-largest share of the American market, behind Regal Entertainment Group and ahead of Cinemark Theatres. The chain has 346 locations mostly in North America,[3] along with 86 more locations in mainland China, home of its corporate parent.[4][5][6][7] The company's headquarters is in Leawood, Kansas.

History[edit]

Corporate headquarters in Kansas City (the company is moving to Leawood, Kansas in 2013)

AMC Theatres was founded in 1920 by the Dubinsky Brothers – Maurice, Edward and Barney – who had been traveling the Midwest performing melodramas and tent shows with actress Jeanne Eagels. They purchased the Regent Theatre on 12th Street between Walnut and Grand in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.[8] The Dubinskys eventually changed their name to Durwood and the company they formed was called Durwood Theatres.

In 1961, Edward's son, Stanley, took control of Durwood Theatres when his father died. Stanley had attended Harvard University and served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He renamed Durwood Theatres to American Multi-Cinema, Inc., and began to apply military management and the insights of management science to revolutionize the movie theatre industry.[9] As he later explained to Variety magazine, "We needed to define what our company was doing in the (exhibition) business. My dad wasn't that organized."[10] It was structured under the belief that every customer was a "guest".

In 1963, AMC opened the two-screen Parkway Twin in a shopping center on Kansas City's Ward Parkway. According to Variety, Stanley Durwood later claimed "in 1962 he was standing in the lobby of his 600-seat Roxy in Kansas City mulling over its poor grosses when he realized he could double his box office by adding a second screen and still operate with the same size staff."[11] The industry quickly embraced the concept of the multiplex, where additional screens meant very little difference in staff and operating costs but resulted in a significant increase in profits. The concept also provided more movie choices at one location drawing bigger crowds. It gave owners the flexibility to show big hits on more screens and less reliance on any individual film that could turn out as a bust.[12]

In the 1980s, AMC built and operated a number of ten-screen multiplex cinemas in the UK, including sites at locations such as Dudley and Tamworth. These were subsequently bought and taken over by UCI. In 1995, AMC pioneered the first North American megaplex, a theater that can accommodate thousands, when it opened the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas – the first megaplex in the world had been built by European chain Kinepolis in 1988.[13] AMC continued to open other megaplex theaters, such as the AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 in Hampton, Virginia, and the chain's busiest theater in the country, the AMC Empire 25 theater in New York City, New York, near Times Square. The largest theaters in the AMC chain have 30 screens, including the AMC Ontario Mills 30 in Ontario, California and AMC Forum 30 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

AMC's megaplexes were a success overseas as well. On December 20, 1996, AMC opened AMC Arrábida 20 in Portugal. In January 2002, the 16-screen Great Northern was opened in Manchester, which was later supplemented by the opening of a 12-screen cinema on the Broadway Plaza site in Birmingham in October 2003. United Kingdom outlets typically serve a dual function, where in addition to the normal cinema functions, they also cater to companies' business conferences which can make use of their projectors for displaying presentations.[citation needed]

In 2004, the company which at the time publicly traded on AMEX under the code AEN was acquired by Marquee Holdings Inc.[14] Marquee is an investment vehicle controlled by affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase, and Apollo Global Management, a private investment firm.[15] The company continues to officially be headquartered in Kansas City although it has sold its headquarters building at Ten Main Center where it now leases space.[16]

In 2006, the company announced a new IPO expected to be worth approximately $789 million,[17] however, adverse market conditions convinced the company's management to withdraw from such an offering on May 3, 2007.[18] The company filed for a $450 million IPO, in its third such filing since 2006, on July 14, 2010.[19][20]

On February 24, 2009, AMC's Board of Directors announced that long time CEO Peter Brown would be replaced by Gerardo I. Lopez as CEO and President effective March 2, 2009.[21] Previously, Lopez was the Executive Vice President and President Consumer Products Group, Seattle's Best Coffee and Foodservice at Starbucks.

On March 26, 2009, AMC Entertainment announced that it will equip 1,500 of its screens with Real D projectors.[citation needed]

On March 28, 2009, AMC announced that it closed on a $315 million deal with Sony to replace all of its movie projectors with digital cinema projectors starting in the second quarter of 2009 and completing in 2012.[22]

In September 2011, it announced plans to move its headquarters to a new $30 million four-story building designed by 360 Architecture in the Park Place development at 117th Street and Nall Avenue in Leawood, Kansas in suburban Kansas City. The state of Kansas had offered $47 million in incentives to get the 400 jobs to move.[23]

In April 2012, AMC reached a settlement with the state of Illinois after complaints from a disability rights organization, accusing the company of only providing closed captioning or audio description systems at some of its locations in the state. AMC pledged to equip all of its theaters in the state with captioning and description services by 2014.[24][25]

On May 21, 2012, Dalian Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Dalian, and AMC announced a $2.6 billion deal for Wanda Group to acquire AMC's 5,048 screens in 347 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.[26] On September 4, 2012 Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, announced the closure of the deal.[27] The acquisition makes Wanda the world's largest cinema chain.[28] In addition Wang Jianlin announced that the Dalian Wanda Group plans to spend $500 million renovating AMC Theatres.[27]

AMC sold six of its eight Canadian theatres in July 2012: four (including the locations in Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square and Montreal's Forum) to Cineplex Entertainment, and two (Kanata and Whitby) to Empire Theatres. (In 2013, Landmark Cinemas bought the Kanata and Whitby locations.) The Whitby and Kanata theatres would have been sold to Cineplex, but were not due to plans restructuring.[29] [30] The theatres purchased by Cineplex were re-branded as Cineplex Cinemas locations. Two locations were not included in the sales, presumably due to close proximity to existing Cineplex theatres which might have raised flags with the Competition Bureau: the Kennedy Commons location in Scarborough (closed in late August 2012 and under demolition early 2013), and the Interchange 30 in Vaughan (closed May 2014).

A few AMC locations
AMC Promenade 16 multiplex in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles, California 
AMC Citywalk Stadium 19 with IMAX in Universal City, California 
AMC at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio 
AMC 12 Cinemas in Birmingham, United Kingdom 

Features[edit]

AMC introduced stadium-style seating, in which the seats are placed on risers so that each person has an unobstructed view of the screen, and adjustable armrests that can be raised to create "loveseat" style seating. Both of these features have become standard for nearly all movie theaters built today by all major chains.[31]

In a few markets, AMC offers the Dine-In Theaters with "Cinema Suites" and "Fork & Screen." Both offer the option to order full meals & alcoholic beverages, but Cinema Suites restricts this option to 21 and older exclusively, while Fork & Screen allows those younger than 18 when accompanied by an adult. The Dine-In theaters offer upgraded luxury-style reserved seating. A button is located by every seat to signal a server. At the AMC locations that offer Cinema Suites/Fork & Screen, while not every screen in the theater offers the upgrade, the auditoriums that do dedicate the entirety of the available seating to the concept.

Guest loyalty programs[edit]

AMC also created the MovieWatcher program that rewarded frequent movie-goers similar to other rewards programs, but featuring innovative restrictions. It was based on points per movie ticket purchased, with rewards varying from concessions to movie passes based on point level. However, points were limited to a maximum of four points per three-hour time period - which is two tickets.[32] For those AMC cinemas which were not part of the Loews Cineplex acquisition and therefore ticketed by MovieTickets.com, the website's surcharge was waived for MovieWatcher members.[citation needed]

On April 1, 2011, AMC started a new rewards program known as AMC Stubs.[2] This program can be purchased for a fee of $12 for an entire year. For that initial fee each AMC Stubs member will receive $10 on every $100 spent between the box office and the concession stand at any AMC theatre nationwide. AMC Stubs members also receive a free size upgrade with every popcorn and drink they purchase (for example, an AMC Stubs member can get a large popcorn for the price of a medium). AMC Stubs members can also waive the ticketing fees for online ticketing sites such as Fandango.com. Points expire after 90 days. Receipts or ticket stubs are required for manual adjustments. No more than four manual adjustments will be allowed per account in a single calendar month. Manual adjustments will be made for purchases made within 30 calendar days from date of original purchase.[33] As of March 29, 2012, AMC Stubs had 3.2 million members, which represents approximately 18% of AMC attendance during fiscal 2012.[2]

Vouchers[edit]

Several types of vouchers may be used at AMC.

Gold and Silver passes

AMC has Gold and Silver passes, typically priced from $6 to $7, that can be purchased in bulk at many retailers. Both can be redeemed towards any movie, but while the Silver pass only offers a partial discount towards new releases less than two weeks old, the Gold pass covers the entire regular admission cost. Regardless of the ticket used, surcharges apply for special presentations such as 3D or IMAX [34]

Movie vouchers

AMC, at its discretion, will honour Stars coupons and gift certificates at face value.

Snack vouchers

AMC offers Sho Snacks coupons. Some can be exchanged for a small popcorn, while others offer a small fountain drink. The chain also offers similar coupons via SMS or smartphone apps. Older Stars gift certificates specially designed for the concession stand may be honoured by AMC, at its discretion.

Policy for R-rated films[edit]

AMC adheres to its own Rated R policy. Slight differences exist per market, but nationwide, no person under age 17 is admitted into an R-rated film without a parent or guardian aged 21 or older purchasing their ticket and joining them in the theatre. Those who do meet or exceed the age of 17 must present a photo ID with name and date of birth to be admitted to such movies. [35]

Other endeavors[edit]

AMC has also had some endeavors that did not prove as viable, such as experimenting with 16 mm film for projection and selling microwave popcorn at concession stands in the South several years ago.[11] They also stumbled by agreeing to install the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound system in all their new locations, rather than the more popular Dolby Digital or DTS systems. While the majority of major releases have all three digital tracks, including SDDS, most independent and smaller-budget films only have Dolby Digital tracks, leaving many theatres in AMC's otherwise ultra-modern megaplexes showing films in analog sound. Recently,[when?] AMC has begun installing Dolby Digital in all new auditoriums, and in 2003 began upgrading selected older auditoriums. AMC announced an agreement on March 26, 2009 to convert 1500 existing auditoriums to fully digital 3D screens using RealD technology.[36] On March 30, 2009, AMC announced they will convert all 4500 screens in their chain to 4K digital projectors provided by Sony.[37] In competition with IMAX, AMC had begun its conversion at select locations to the 'Enhanced Theatre Experience' (ETX), with the installation of larger screens, 12-channel surround sound, and digital projection (utilizing either Sony 4K projection or Christie DLP technology). AMC's ETX includes Dolby Atmos in some locations.[38]

AMC also formed a short-lived partnership with Planet Hollywood which failed due to Planet Hollywood's bankruptcy. The Planet Movies by AMC venture planned to open complexes worldwide with the objective of having icon locations in major metropolitan and other select areas. Initially, seven existing, unnamed AMC megaplex theatres with more than 150 combined screens were to be re-branded under a license arrangement to incorporate certain elements of the new concept. The initial seven re-branded locations were to include markets such as Orlando, Florida. The AMC Pleasure Island 24 megaplex in Orlando, situated directly across from Planet Hollywood's most successful restaurant and retail unit and adjacent to Disney's Pleasure Island was to be the first Planet Movies location. After the initial seven, the joint-venture planned to own and operate all subsequent units including 8 to 10 complexes with 200 to 250 screens planned to open over the next 18 to 24 months. Over the longer term, the venture anticipated rolling out units at the rate of 5 to 10 per year. From almost the very start, the well-publicized financial strains on Planet Hollywood hindered the project. The only Planet Movies location to actually open, a 30 screen megaplex, did so in the summer of 1999 at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. The location was also located alongside an Official All Star Café and Planet Hollywood restaurant. The continued poor financial performance of Planet Hollywood led the company to declare bankruptcy in December 1998, and even before the first location had opened to state that, "the joint venture has no definitive plans to expand this concept once the Columbus site is completed". As Planet Hollywood was preparing to emerge from bankruptcy in October 1999 their re-organization plan emphasized focus back on their core restaurant business and away from side-ventures like Planet Movies and their Cool Planet ice cream chain. The Planet Hollywood restaurant and All Star Café in Columbus were closed in late 2000, and the film memorabilia were also removed from the theater as it was rebranded AMC Easton 30, and continues to operate. The Planet Movies by AMC joint venture was formally dissolved on January 9, 2001.

Acquisitions[edit]

The Loews Alderwood 16 in Lynnwood, Washington had opened in March 2005 before the merger with AMC

AMC has been successful in integrating competitive theater circuits into its family, resulting in a total of 385 theaters with 5,128 screens in six countries:

In March 2002, AMC bought General Cinema Corporation, which added 66 theatres with 621 screens to the company assets,[39] as well as Gulf States Theaters, which had five theatres with 68 screens in the greater New Orleans area.[40] In late 2003, AMC acquired MegaStar Theatres, adding the Atlanta and Minneapolis–St. Paul markets.[41] In January 26, 2006, AMC merged with Loews Cineplex Entertainment to form AMC Entertainment;[42] the deal brought into AMC's fold the entire Loews and Cineplex chain, including Magic Theatres (named after basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson) and Star Theatres, based in Metro Detroit. In 2010, AMC acquired Chicago-based Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, LLC for $275 million, combining the nation's second and sixth largest movie theater chains, except for the Showplace 14 in New Jersey and the Showplace ICON theatres.[43][44][45][46][47][48]

Controversies[edit]

The early versions of stadium-style seating as built in 1995 had auditoriums configured with an entrance to a flat area right in front of the screen for wheelchair-using guests; persons sitting there had to either lean back or look up at an uncomfortable angle to see the screen. Able-bodied guests had to ascend the stairs to sit in the middle of the risers in order to have a comfortable line-of-sight with the screen. Since some wheelchair users may have limited neck movement range, this configuration made AMC a popular target for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits.[31]

AMC subsequently solved the problem in newer theaters by building full-stadium auditoriums where the main entrance is through a ramp that emerges onto a platform in the middle of the risers, so that wheelchair users can enjoy optimal line-of-sight. However, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the company anyway and obtained an order from federal district judge Florence-Marie Cooper requiring AMC to retrofit over 1,990 screens in 95 multiplexes and megaplexes across the United States. The company successfully appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled on December 5, 2008,[49] that the order was grossly overboard and violated AMC's due process rights under the Constitution of the United States.[31]

AMC won by pointing out that the United States Access Board, for reasons unknown, had never amended its guidelines for movie theaters to specifically require theaters to provide line-of-sight for wheelchairs that was as good as the best sightlines from the elevated risers, versus merely providing an unobstructed view of the screen. The first time any government agency took that position was when DOJ filed an amicus brief in an unrelated case in 1998. Therefore, it was unfair to AMC to retroactively hold it to a standard which did not even exist at the time it started building stadium-style theaters and which it did not receive proper legal notice of; in contrast, AMC would have received constructive notice under the Administrative Procedure Act if the Access Board had ever bothered to amend its guidelines. The federal district court was ordered to identify the specific date after 1998 when AMC should have reasonably become aware that some agency in the federal government was taking the position at issue, and limit the retrofit order to theaters constructed after that date.

Main competitors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. De La Merced, Michael (17 December 2013). "AMC Prices Its I.P.O. at $18 a Share". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "AMC Theatres, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date May 25, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ NATO | Statistics | Top 10 U.S. & Canadian Circuits
  4. ^ Home Page. AMC Cinemas (United Kingdom homepage). Accessed September 22, 2008.
  5. ^ Home Page. AMC 20 Dunkerque. Accessed September 21, 2008.
  6. ^ [1]. Bloomberg. Accessed March 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "AMC, Loews Cineplex to merge." USA Today. June 21, 2005.
  8. ^ The Dubinsky Brothers - Kansas City Public Library - Retrieved March 21, 2008
  9. ^ La Franco, Robert. "Coming soon: a megaplex near you." Forbes, August 12, 1996, p. 133.
  10. ^ Anonymous. "Durwood legacy packs 'em in." Variety, March 16, 1998, p. 42.
  11. ^ a b Klady, Leonard. "AMC founder dies of cancer at 78." Variety, July 19, 1999, p. 40.
  12. ^ Nan Robertson, "Multiplexes Add 2,300 Movie Screens in 5 Years"", The New York Times, November 7, 1983, C13.
  13. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (May 27, 2010). "It's Curtains For the AMC Grand 24". Dallas Observer. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  14. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 22, 2004". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ Acquisition of AMC Entertainment by Affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners and Apollo Global Management is Completed - amctheatres.com - December 23, 2004
  16. ^ HQ Building For AMC Sells - Kansas City Business Journal - December 16-22, 2005
  17. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form S-1, Filing Date May 9, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 4, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  19. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 14, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ AMC IPO information
  21. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Feb 24, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  22. ^ Taub, Eric A. (March 29, 2009). "AMC to Get Sony Digital Projectors". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  23. ^ [2][dead link]
  24. ^ Madigan: Settlement with AMC Theatres to provide unprecedented access to movies for people with disabilities | The Rock River Times
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 21, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "China's Wanda Group Says It Will Spend Tens of Billions on Entertainment". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  28. ^ "China firm buys AMC to form world's largest cinema chain". CNN. May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  29. ^ http://mediafiles.cineplex.com/_att/495a9313-0f42-443d-a3d7-81c0a196f2e8/Competition%20bureau%20approval%20press%20release.pdf
  30. ^ http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03617.html
  31. ^ a b c Kenneth Ofgang. "Ninth Circuit Overturns Ruling on Disabled Seating at Movie Theaters" Metropolitan News-Enterprise, 8 December 2008
  32. ^ About the AMC Community
  33. ^ Movie Rewards Program | AMC Stubs
  34. ^ https://www.amctheatres.com/gold-silver-tickets-terms
  35. ^ https://www.amctheatres.com/ratings-information
  36. ^ AMC Entertainment® and RealD Announce 3D Partnership (:PRIVATE)
  37. ^ "AMC Entertainment to Convert Entire Circuit to Digital Cinema Projection with Sony 4K Systems". 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  38. ^ See it in AMC ETX - Breathtaking Sound. Incredible Picture Resolution. Collosal Wall-to-Wall Screen
  39. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 19, 2002". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  40. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 5, 2003". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  41. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 19, 2003". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  42. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 27, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  43. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 25, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  44. ^ AMC Entertainment and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Entry Into Definitive Agreement, AMC Entertainment, January 19, 2010
  45. ^ Kerasotes Plans Sale of Theatres to AMC, NWI.com, January 22, 2010
  46. ^ News About Kerasotes and AMC
  47. ^ AMC Theatres and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Completion of Sale, AMC Entertainment, May 25, 2010
  48. ^ AMC Closes on $275 Million Purchase of Kerasoets Theater Chain, Kansas City Business Journal, May 25, 2010
  49. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 13, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]