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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » AMC Buying Older, Smaller Multiplexes Recently (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: AMC Buying Older, Smaller Multiplexes Recently
Lyle Romer
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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 05-01-2015 07:09 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if this is happening in other markets as well but in South Florida, AMC has been making some strange acquisitions in the past year.

First they acquired the Frank (formerly Sunrise Cinemas) Sunrise 11 and are operating it as the AMC Sunrise 8. It was originally the Fox Sunrise 8 and Sunrise Cinemas split 3 auditoriums to make it 11. I don't know if AMC un-split them or if they are using some for kitchen space to convert to dine in.

A couple of months ago, they acquired the outdated Weston 8. Neither of these locations were retrofitted with stadium seating.

Now I have heard that they are going after another late 80's 8-plex in the area. This one has been retrofitted.

I'm curious about this new AMC strategy. It is strange that the company that started the Megaplex revolution (and seemed to be racing towards the first centenaplex) would be suddenly wanting a bunch of 25+ year old multiplexes.

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 05-01-2015 07:39 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe they're just buying out the (potential) competition?

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Martin McCaffery
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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 05-01-2015 08:10 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A few years ago AMC bought the Rave Festival Plaza here in Montgomery (the very first Rave, btw), it was also the only Rave that Carmike didn't buy in Alabama (maybe the south). AMC bought it because they wanted to establish a presence in Alabama. How much presence does AMC have in the South? They may just be buying up to get a market share (as well as blocking the competition).

Not sure how well it is working out for AMC in Montgomery. A new Carmike opened about a year after the AMC and it seems to be doing serious damage. And the shopping center AMC anchors is going into a death spiral.

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Lyle Romer
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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 05-01-2015 08:37 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as competition, the locations that they picked up are nowhere near any of their other locations down here.

As far as market presence, prior to these pickups they had the insanely busy Aventura 24, and then 2 other, normal locations. Once of them, the Coral Ridge 10, I think they turned into a dine in theatre.

What's interesting about these pick-ups, is that they had an 8 screen 10 minutes from the Weston 8 (and in an easier to access location) that they closed 6 or so years ago. It has since been taken over by other operators (currently Paragon).

They also closed an 8-plex in Boca Raton, FL probably 12 years ago that has since become an iPic (with a period of 2 other operators in between). Also, the location that I've heard they are going after was a GCC build that AMC could have had when they bought GCC out of bankruptcy if they wanted it.

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 05-01-2015 09:41 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The dichotomy of strategies between what AMC did with older theaters several years go and what they're doing now could be a result of AMC's new ownership. Wanda's executives could be calling those shots. The decisions may not make any sense to people who have been with AMC for a long time, but they have to do what their new bosses are telling them to do.

Acquisitions of older, arguably obsolete theaters either to pump up overall screen numbers of the circuit or to simply monopolize various markets reminds me of Carmike's push a decade ago. Their former CEO wanted Carmike to be the first chain with 5000 or more screens, never mind if some or a lot of those screens weren't any good. They never reached the 5000 screen mark. Instead the overhead of all those acquisitions, combined with the costs of a stadium seating conversion campaign and then conversion to digital helped plunge them into bankruptcy.

Wanda is a bigger company and may be able to afford to lose a whole lot more money buying out old theaters for market domination and/or bragging rights.

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
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 - posted 05-01-2015 10:22 AM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Lyle Romer
I'm curious about this new AMC strategy. It is strange that the company that started the Megaplex revolution (and seemed to be racing towards the first centenaplex) would be suddenly wanting a bunch of 25+ year old multiplexes.
It is strange that they are purchasing older 25+ year complexes as there usually is very little value in them. On the other hand, building a brand new complex is probably too expensive and taking over an older site (even if it is vacant) will keep the competition from entering the zone.

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Jason Whyte
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 - posted 05-01-2015 11:39 AM      Profile for Jason Whyte   Author's Homepage   Email Jason Whyte   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"I don't know if AMC un-split them or if they are using some for kitchen space to convert to dine in."

I think you answered your own question! Seems very likely that AMC will take these smaller builds and either upgrade them to dine-in OR their leather chair type cinemas in the near future. Only reason they would purchase the older cinemas.

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Richard Fowler
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 - posted 05-01-2015 01:53 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AMC is also moving older Digital hardware to these new locations.

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Mark Campbell
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 - posted 05-01-2015 03:43 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AMC also took over and revamped the old UA Marina Del Rey 6 across the street from their Dine-In converted Marina Del Rey 6 Plex.

In the Seattle area they are holding onto a 6-Plex (Oak Tree Cinemas) and an 8 Plex (Factoria Cinemas). Factoria has just recently gone digital and an employee said they are getting new seats. Has not happened yet. Oak Tree has old seats as well. Both are older SRO builds that made their way to AMC via Loews Cineplex.

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Jonathan Goeldner
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 - posted 05-01-2015 04:30 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AMC reopened / renovated the Rivertowne 12 theater in Oxen Hill Maryland to little fanfare - it now feature plush recliners and reserved seating.

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Scott D. Neff
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 - posted 05-02-2015 01:10 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Author's Homepage   Email Scott D. Neff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is one reason and one reason only they're buying these old theatres: To put in recliners.

AMC has seen it work well enough now that when they put in recliners, the grosses go up. So why not take an old theatre that an independent was able to operate while it was run down, and put a little money into it and watch the grosses go up? I have to imagine that the landlords gave them very favorable deals to do so as well or they wouldn't have done it.

AMC had the Loews Spring 10 in Spring, TX (N. Houston). It was 1984 original up until last winter when they remodeled it with recliners. I heard that the business went from non-existent to beating out the brand new Cinemark that was built up the road. That was a location that the public all but abandoned, and now there's new life in it.

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Manny Montes
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 - posted 05-05-2015 08:56 PM      Profile for Manny Montes   Email Manny Montes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

AMC is buying these complexes and at the very least adding recliners and their MacGuffins bar. At some locations they are making it a dine in theater as well (however from what i've heard, they getting away from this due to the immense payroll cost). In addition they are initially pricing their tickets below their competitors possibly in an effort to drive out competition only to later raise them again.

They are getting huge buy-ins from the landlords as you can imagine, since it brings new life to the shopping centers they are in.

Funny that the coral ridge was mentioned, currently their tickets are 3-4 dollars cheaper than their nearest competition during the matinee shows and that's for a full dine in. These have not been without bumps, if you look at their yelp reviews you'll see they still have some growing pains to deal with.

All in all, an interesting concept.

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Eric Hooper
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 - posted 09-23-2015 11:21 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What happened to the Factoria cinemas in Bellevue Washington? Did it close?

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Mark Campbell
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From: Seattle, WA USA
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 - posted 09-24-2015 12:40 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Factoria is being upgraded to AMC's leather recliners along with other updates and is scheduled to reopen on November 20th. I stopped by and got photos of all the old seats coming out.

Happy it is sticking around but a little sad it will be losing a lot of its SRO-ness.

Still - my favorite place to take my kids - a large parking lot rather than a garage seals the deal. Can't wait to see their reaction when they get to kick back.

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Dennis Benjamin
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 - posted 09-28-2015 11:22 AM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jonathan Goeldner
AMC reopened / renovated the Rivertowne 12 theater in Oxen Hill Maryland to little fanfare - it now feature plush recliners and reserved seating.
I have been told verbally that this theatre did some ridiculous grosses in the first three months of operation. I'm sure you can check Rentrak to verify this info. From the numbers I am hearing - I'd be buying up old multiplexes and putting recliner seats in them too...

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