General Cinema Corporation

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General Cinema
Industry Entertainment (movie theatres)
Fate Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Acquired by AMC Theatres
Founded 1935
Defunct 2002
Headquarters Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Key people
Philip Smith, founder

General Cinema Corporation, also known as General Cinema, GCC, or General Cinema Theatres, was a chain of movie theaters that operated from 1935 until 2002.


At its peak the company operated approximately 621 screens, some of which were among the first cinemas certified by THX. Its mascot was Popcorn Bob and his Candy Band, which graced the company's policy trailers from 1993 until 2002 and were created by Lucasfilm. Starting in the 1960s General Cinema diversified into other businesses; at times they owned the department store Neiman Marcus, the publisher Harcourt Brace, radio stations in several major markets (notably WEFM in Chicago, KRBE in Houston, WZGC in Atlanta, WGCL in Cleveland, and WIFI in Philadelphia), and TV station WCIX in Miami. They formed a joint venture theater chain with Hoyts, known as Hoyts General Cinema, that had locations throughout South America. The company suffered greatly when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000. They also switched their beverage supplier from Pepsi to Coca-Cola in 2001. What remained of the company afterward was acquired by AMC Theatres in 2002. With the acquisition, the Credits loyalty program merged into the MovieWatcher network.

The General Cinema Corp. trademark was placed up for auction on December 8, 2010.[1] As of 2011, this trademark has been recently published for opposition by JTE Multimedia.[2]


  • Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs: The Making of Harcourt General: A History of Growth Through Diversification 1922–1992 (1994)

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