Movie theater owners: we need a bailout too
As of July, there were approximately 5,548 theaters in the United States, with a total of 40,616 screens, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
The three biggest companies have their headquarters far from Hollywood. AMC Entertainment, the largest, with 634 sites, is based in Leawood, Kan. Regal Theaters, the second largest chain, operates out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Cinemark is in Plano, Texas. Beyond the three majors are smaller “circuits”, such as the Marcus theaters.
Of the approximately 600 members of the association, approximately 400 operate less than 10 screens. About 90 members run single-screen theaters, spots like Roxy, 74, in Choteau, in the Mont.
While some movie theaters have sticky floors and ragged seats, multiplex companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade to make cinema more appealing – and to avoid streaming services for that matter. in addition to popular ones like Netflix, which provide the convenience of watching new movies at home.
AMC installed advanced Dolby sound and projection systems, extra-large screens and La-Z-Boy style seating. The chain also began serving alcohol and offered expanded menus in hundreds of its theaters.
Starting in 2016, AMC acquired the Carmike chain in the United States and added Odeon in Great Britain and the Nordic Theater Group in Northern Europe. As a result, even before the spread of the coronavirus, the company had significant debt – around $ 4.8 billion, up from $ 1.8 billion in 2014.
Thomas E. Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures, has predicted that the appetite for cinema will be stronger than ever after the pandemic has passed.
“People will want to go out and share common experiences,” he said. “We will remember how much we all love to be together.”