AMC Allows Customers to Rent Out Theaters

Movie lovers have something to be excited about again as AMC Theaters is now allowing people to rent out theaters.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, AMC and other theaters will allow people to rent out auditoriums for private screenings. Other cinema chains such as Cinemark and Alamo Drafthouse started offering similar screenings in private theaters earlier this summer.

The rental allows up to 20 people in the theater, and the starting cost is $99, excluding tax. For certain more in-demand movies, the theater’s price will go up to as much as $349.

Add-ons to the option will run viewers a pretty penny on top of the initial rental price. Bringing in outside food costs viewers $250, getting access to the theater auditorium more than fifteen minutes before a film’s start costs $250 for each half-hour, and a microphone to welcome guests costs another $100.

The movies available to watch will be a combination of newly released films and older films. The newer films will invoke the premium price at the theater to watch.

Some of the older films available for AMC customers include “Hocus Pocus,” “Shrek,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Conjuring,” and “Monsters Inc.”

The company’s new feature comes in response to the significant financial hit that the industry took during the pandemic. According to Variety, AMC Entertainment lost $561.2 million during the pandemic’s peak, and revenues for the company topped off at $18.9 million, a 98 percent plunge from the year-ago period.

“In compliance with these restrictions, all of our theatres worldwide have temporarily suspended operations through June. During this period, we are generating effectively no revenue,” the company said in a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission.

The movie theater industry has also been hit with the delay of significant movies because of the pandemic. Warner Brother delayed the release of its superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984, and the release of the highly anticipated Christopher Nolan film Tenet was initially delayed as well.

The hope with this new move for AMC is that it will make back some of the lost profits because of the pandemic. The Verge identified that moviegoers might be more comfortable going to the theater when they personally know everyone in the room. Additionally, the lack of new movie releases is also less of a problem when the theater can re-show older movies on request.

Despite the theater industry’s best efforts, Americans should prepare for a long-lasting change in the industry.

“We have to prepare for the inevitability that one, or more, of the major chains may not survive if this situation continues to lurch into next summer. The number of movie theaters that will close on a permanent basis will be directly proportional to how long it takes the US to stomp out the virus.” Jeff Bock, a senior analyst at entertainment research firm Exhibitor Relations, told CNN.

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