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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » AMC purchases Starplex chain (Page 1)

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Author Topic: AMC purchases Starplex chain
Michael Riley
Film Handler

Posts: 52
From: New Jersey
Registered: Apr 2010

 - posted 07-18-2015 09:38 PM      Profile for Michael Riley   Email Michael Riley       Edit/Delete Post

Another independent chain gone. Not sure if anyone here has a Starplex theater near them, but their deal was always buying decaying multiplexes and renovating them. They are also known for their discount prices, which always made me wonder how they ever made any money, since their prices are bottom of the barrel low, I think I pay $5.25 or so for their discount tickets through AAA, and their concession prices are on the low to average side too. They didn't spare any expense in renovations either, the theaters they took over here were turned all digital, and they recently installed the luxury recliners in one.

It's too bad, because I was rather enjoying my $5 first run movies, I'm sure AMC will make the conversion gradual so people don't notice as much, but within a year all these places will be branded AMC and feature the same highway robbery prices you see at all AMC theaters.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 868
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

 - posted 07-19-2015 07:53 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This infuriates me.


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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 887
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 07-19-2015 12:51 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't see this as a "conversion" situation at all, this seems to me to be a "buy out the competition and shut down the locations" sort of thing. Most of the Starplex sites that I am familiar with are older, raked-floor multis in not-great shape inside or out, sites that would cost MUCH money to renovate to AMC trade dress and stadium seating. The Starplex near me is not bad, I rather like the leather electric recliners, but state-of-the-art it is not and it draws from an AMC flagship nearby (specifically, the recently built and well maintained Garden State 16). I would bet that many of the older Starplex sites shutter, especially when they are in competitive distance from a larger AMC.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1833
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

 - posted 07-19-2015 03:54 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Starplex location in Ridgefield NJ was a former Loews location that was abandoned when AMC devoured Loews. I also suspect that at least here in NJ, these locations will be stripped to the walls and closed. I Hope I am wrong.

I believe, but not sure, that the other 2 NJ locations were also former Loews Theatres.

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 525
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004

 - posted 07-19-2015 04:23 PM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know nothing of the history of Starplex, but one wonders if getting bought out was the strategy all along.

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Steve Dailey
Film Handler

Posts: 6
From: Overland Park, KS
Registered: Feb 2009

 - posted 07-19-2015 05:09 PM      Profile for Steve Dailey   Email Steve Dailey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Springfield, Missouri Starplex used to be a Showplex, which I believe was a spinoff of Dickinson Theaters. Dickinson built the theater in the early 90s. Showplex added two stadium seating theaters and an IMAX a few years ago.

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Manny Montes
Master Film Handler

Posts: 270
From: United States
Registered: Feb 2010

 - posted 07-19-2015 07:29 PM      Profile for Manny Montes   Email Manny Montes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't be surprised if AMC is continuing their plan of acquisition/renovation. A lot of these discount houses or older theaters have very lucrative leases and AMC can use their weight to leverage even better deals with the Landlords. This might actually save them money in areas that they wanted to get a foothold (and they can close sites that are competing with them). AMC would save money as compared to building a new theater either way.

As for "WHHHYYYY" as buck pointed out, I wonder if it had to do with their pricing as well, I can't imagine they broke even with some of their theaters charging almost nothing for first run. It's what I try and preach to every small chain or independent, don't get stuck in the "we have to be super cheap" mindset, simply being honest with your customers as to why you have to raise prices, as well as being upfront about it goes a long way. Plus you only have to be slightly cheaper than your competition and even if you aren't, as long as your service is better and your showmanship shines through every aspect of your operation, people will be willing to pay extra to go to your theater over others.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1334
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008

 - posted 07-19-2015 08:59 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
so I assume this means the changeover to an AMC for the Starplex Loudoun Station Luxury Cinemas 11 in Ashburn Virginia - maybe that 'IDX' screen will be properly upgraded to feature Dolby Atmos sound. [Wink]

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8359
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004

 - posted 07-22-2015 09:04 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Showplex began from the results of Trinity Hunt Partners taking over some of the locations owned by Dickinson Theatres in 2010 where two years later, Starplex acquired Showplex in their circuit.

And, last year, Dickinson was soaked up in the Mo. based B&B Circuit.

Heard that the full AMC takeover won't be realized until December, but do agree that a hunch is now set that AMC could dump off some smaller locations.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4435
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005

 - posted 07-24-2015 08:25 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Who owns AMC? Chinese?

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10735
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 07-24-2015 10:51 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, Chinese. Wanda. That's a Chinese company.

Considering Starplex currently runs the 12-plex here in Lawton I guess that means it could soon be re-branded as an AMC. They could talk to my company if they want an easy way out on re-branding the signage. :-P

Probably a long shot for that particular theater to get "IMAX" or a Dolby Cinema screen. Of course Carmike on the other side of Lawton is building a new multiplex with an IMAX branded house.

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Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 396
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011

 - posted 09-05-2015 08:25 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My town has a Starplex cinema called The Mall 8. Curious what AMC will do to it cause theater 1 still has orange and yellow sound fold wall hangings from the 70s I think. It's gone all digital tho since before it was Starplex. Was Dickinson, then Showplex, Starplex, now AMC once they take over.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10735
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 09-05-2015 10:32 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Best case scenario for here in Lawton: AMC closes the Central Mall 12 theater. They build something entirely new nearby in the 2nd Street shopping center.

The 12-plex in Lawton's Central Mall just sucks. Even converted to all-digital and 5.1 surround in every house it still sucks. The auditoriums are just stupid tiny. Some rooms have a max seat count well under 100. I swear some of the screens don't seem any larger than a good sized TV you see in the local Sam's Club store. The root of the problem is Central Mall is a 1970's era, single story shopping mall with very low ceilings. A movie theater can't do shit within the confines of those suffocating spaces. Other kinds of businesses could thrive within that kind of a retro mall format, but not any modern movie theater. Their idea of stadium seating is a joke. Most of the seating area is pancake flat with a riser in the back 1/3 of the room. It's just pretty sad. But that's all you can do with low ceilings.

If AMC is looking to make a move up in Lawton here is the blueprint for them to follow: close the 12-plex in Central Mall ASAP. Build a new multiplex in the same part of town. 2nd Street, just off I-44 is home to a new shopping center featuring some pretty good tenants, including Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Bed Bath and Beyond. The problem is the shopping center doesn't have squat for fun activities or dining. They need a new movie theater there as an "anchor." And there are parcels in that development area (which is a TIF district) large enough to hold a new multiplex theater. A movie theater in that zone would seed new night life business: the very thing people in Lawton have been dying to see in the downtown for over 40 years. Build a new movie theater there and other restaurants, bars, etc. will follow.

Carmike will soon open their new 13-plex + IMAX theater (the Patriot 13) out on Lawton's West side. That new theater is going to kill the Central Mall movie theater's business. Everyone is going to insist on going to the new Carmike, particularly since so many people get creamy over that IMAX brand.

The Starplex/AMC Central Mall 12 is far enough away from both Carmike's old and new locations it won't be stuck in an outdated allocation setup. Both first run locations can show the same movies. A new theater on 2nd Street would have no restrictions on content.

AMC could choose whatever theater configuration they want for a new Lawton location. Dine-in theaters are getting more popular (as long as the food is good). That could go over well here. I don't know how far Carmike and IMAX will go with their premium big screen here, whether it will be a standard 2K Lie-MAX or a new laser-based 4K setup (I'm guessing 2K Lie-MAX). I can't see Lawton-Fort Sill supporting more than one Lie-MAX screen. So if AMC wanted to do a premium thing they could do one of their ETX, Prime or Dolby Cinema things, although Dolby Cinema costs a huge fortune to install.

At the very least, AMC needs to get that theater location out of the mall.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1395
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004

 - posted 09-11-2015 07:20 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: David Buckley
I know nothing of the history of Starplex, but one wonders if getting bought out was the strategy all along.
Starplex was founded by Cinemark founder Lee Roy Mitchell's brother JC in 1995. They took over a lot of lesser-performing Cinemark multiplexes and turned them into dollar houses. They also built some of their own plexes that were near clones of Cinemarks in design and decor.

In other, this was not a short-term thing.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10735
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 09-12-2015 11:05 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wasn't that originally Hollywood Theaters?

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