|Industry||Entertainment (movie theaters)|
|Founded||1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.|
|Headquarters||Leawood, Kansas and Atlanta, Georgia|
|Key people||Edward Durwood, Founder
Wang Jianlin (Chairman)
Ding Benxi (President)
Gerardo I. Lopez (American division representative)
|Products||AMC Theatres (since 2002)|
|Revenue||$2.601 billion (FY 2012)|
|Operating income||$94.137 million (FY 2012)|
|Net income||-$81.99 million (FY 2012)|
|Total assets||$ 3.638 billion (FY 2012)|
|Total equity||$ 154.3 million (FY 2012)|
|Employees||26,200 (March 2012)|
|Parent||Dalian Wanda Group|
AMC Entertainment, Inc., doing business as AMC Theatres (since 2002) and AMC Cinemas (AMC) (since 1978) (formerly American Multi Cinema), is an American movie theater chain and subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. AMC has the second-largest share of the American market, behind Regal Entertainment Group and ahead of Cinemark Theatres. The chain has 378 U.S. and Canadian locations, and with one additional theatre in Manchester, United Kingdom, one in Dunkirk, France, and two in Hong Kong, along with 86 Wanda theatre locations in mainland China, home of its corporate parent. AMC previously operated theaters in Canada, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. AMC's headquarters is in Leawood, Kansas, with the slogan of "We Make Smiles Happen."
The company 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.
The Dubinskys eventually changed their name to Durwood and the company was called Durwood Theatres.
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. As he later explained to Variety, "We needed to define what our company was doing in the (exhibition) business. My dad wasn't that organized." It was founded on the belief that every "guest" (as AMC calls them) was to be treated first.
In 1963, AMC opened the two-screen Parkway Twin in a shopping center on Kansas City's Ward Parkway. Durwood later claimed that "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." This insight arises from the fact that the real-time labor demands of a movie theatre are not constant. Rather, they come in bursts at the start and end of the movie. At the start, a large number of employees have to sell tickets, process tickets at an access point, sell food at the concession stand (a theatre's primary profit center), make sure the theatre is not overcrowded, and run the film projector. While the movie plays, a small number of employees are needed for security and access control, while the others are relatively idle, allowing them to restock concession items, clean restrooms, and clean the lobby. At the end of the movie, a number of employees are needed to clean the theatre for the next showing. When the start times for movie showings in several physically connected auditoriums are staggered correctly, one team can continually keep all of them operational with minimal downtime. An additional advantage is that a different movie can be shown in each auditorium, which increases the choices available at a theatre's box office at any given time, and minimizes the possibility that disappointed moviegoers will take their business to a different theatre altogether.
In retrospect, Durwood's idea seems simple, but it took a lot of trial and error to get the bugs out. For example, when the Parkway Twin opened, both screens were showing the same movie, The Great Escape. Next, Durwood followed up on the Parkway Twin with a four-screen theatre in 1966 and a six-screen theatre in 1969. It expanded nationwide in the 1980s.
AMC pioneered the first North American megaplex when it opened the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas, in 1995, though the first megaplex in the world had been built by European chain Kinepolis in 1988. (On May 27, 2010, AMC revealed that the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas would close before November 30, 2010, after AMC was unable to come to lease renewal terms with the property owner.) AMC continued to open megaplex theaters, such as the AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 in Hampton, Virginia in May 1998, which has a capacity of over 5,000 people (Virginia's largest). AMC also operates the busiest theater in the country at the AMC Empire 25 theater in New York City, New York, located 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.
In the 1980s, AMC built and operated a number of multiplex ten-screen cinemas in the UK, including sites at locations such as Dudley and Tamworth. These were subsequently bought and taken over by UCI. In December 20, 1996 AMC open 20 Screens in Portugal (AMC Arrábida 20). 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 serve a dual function, they also cater to business conferences and companies can display spreadsheets and other things through a projector onto the cinema screen, this is in addition to the normal cinema functions.
In 2004, the company which at the time publicly traded on AMEX under the code AEN was acquired by Marquee Holdings Inc. 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. 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.
In 2006, the company announced a new IPO expected to be worth approximately $789 million, however, adverse market conditions convinced the company's management to withdraw from such an offering on May 3, 2007. The company filed for a $450 million IPO, in its third such filing since 2006, on July 14, 2010.
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. Previously, Lopez was the Executive Vice President and President Consumer Products Group, Seattle's Best Coffee and Foodservice at Starbucks.
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.
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.
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.
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. On September 4, 2012 Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group announced the closure of the deal. The acquisition makes Wanda the world's largest cinema chain. In addition Wang Jianlin announced that the Dalian Wanda Group plans to spend $500 million renovating AMC theatres.
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 due to plans restructuring, they were not sold to Cineplex.  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 (which remains up for sale).
|A few AMC locations|
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.
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. Competitor National Amusement's Showcase Cinema de Lux is testing a similar price-premium upgraded dine-in move experience called "The Lux Level", operating in five locations in the Boston, Massachusetts metro region, three in the New York, New York metro region, and one in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Guest loyalty programs
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. 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.
On April 1, 2011, AMC started a new rewards program known as AMC Stubs. 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. As of March 29, 2012, AMC Stubs had 3.2 million members, which represents approximately 18% of AMC attendance during fiscal 2012.
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. 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. On March 30, 2009, AMC announced they will convert all 4500 screens in their chain to 4K digital projectors provided by Sony. 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.
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.
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, as well as Gulf States Theaters, which had five theatres with 68 screens in the greater New Orleans area. In late 2003, AMC acquired MegaStar Theatres, adding the Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets. In January 26, 2006, AMC merged with Loews Cineplex Entertainment to form AMC Entertainment; 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.
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.
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, that the order was grossly overboard and violated AMC's due process rights under the Constitution of the United States.
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.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date May 25, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- NATO | Statistics | Top Ten Circuits
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- Home Page. AMC 20 Dunkerque. Accessed September 21, 2008.
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- The Dubinsky Brothers - Kansas City Public Library - Retrieved March 21, 2008
- La Franco, Robert. "Coming soon: a megaplex near you." Forbes, August 12, 1996, p. 133.
- Anonymous. "Durwood legacy packs 'em in." Variety, March 16, 1998, p. 42.
- Klady, Leonard. "AMC founder dies of cancer at 78." Variety, July 19, 1999, p. 40.
- Nan Robertson, "Multiplexes Add 2,300 Movie Screens in 5 Years"", The New York Times, November 7, 1983, C13.
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- 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.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 22, 2004". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- Acquisition of AMC Entertainment by Affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners and Apollo Global Management is Completed - amctheatres.com - December 23, 2004
- HQ Building For AMC Sells - Kansas City Business Journal - December 16-22, 2005
- "AMC Theatres, Form S-1, Filing Date May 9, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 4, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 14, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- AMC IPO information
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Feb 24, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- Taub, Eric A. (March 29, 2009). "AMC to Get Sony Digital Projectors". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- [dead link]
- Madigan: Settlement with AMC Theatres to provide unprecedented access to movies for people with disabilities | The Rock River Times
- [dead link]
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 21, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "China's Wanda Group Says It Will Spend Tens of Billions on Entertainment". Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "China firm buys AMC to form world's largest cinema chain". CNN. May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Kenneth Ofgang. "Ninth Circuit Overturns Ruling on Disabled Seating at Movie Theaters" Metropolitan News-Enterprise, 8 December 2008
- About the AMC Community
- Movie Rewards Program | AMC Stubs
- AMC Entertainment® and RealD Announce 3D Partnership (:PRIVATE)
- "AMC Entertainment to Convert Entire Circuit to Digital Cinema Projection with Sony 4K Systems". 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- See it in AMC ETX - Breathtaking Sound. Incredible Picture Resolution. Collosal Wall-to-Wall Screen
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 19, 2002". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 5, 2003". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 19, 2003". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 27, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 25, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- AMC Entertainment and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Entry Into Definitive Agreement, AMC Entertainment, January 19, 2010
- Kerasotes Plans Sale of Theatres to AMC, NWI.com, January 22, 2010
- News About Kerasotes and AMC
- AMC Theatres and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Completion of Sale, AMC Entertainment, May 25, 2010
- AMC Closes on $275 Million Purchase of Kerasoets Theater Chain, Kansas City Business Journal, May 25, 2010
- "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 13, 2009". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
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