AMC Theatres was formed in 1920 by Maurice, Edward, and Barney Dubinsky, who had been traveling the Midwest performing melodramas and tent shows with actress Jeanne Eagels. They purchased the Regent Theatre on 12th Street between Walnut and Grand in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Dubinskys eventually changed their name to Durwood, and the company they formed eventually became known as Durwood Theatres. The chain also had theaters in St. Joseph and Jefferson City, Missouri and Leavenworth and Topeka, Kansas.When Edward's son Stanley left the U.S. Air Force after World War II he joined the company in 1945. He persuaded his father to build drive-in theaters and built them in St. Joseph, Jefferson City and Leavenworth. In 1947 they expanded further with the acquisition of the Liberty Theater in downtown Kansas City which they remodeled and renamed the Roxy. They won an anti-trust suit to enable them to show first-run product at the Roxy and went on to acquire all of the downtown cinemas in Kansas City including The Empire Theater, the Capri Theatre, the Midland Theatre and the Paramount Theatre.In 1961, after Ed died, Stanley took control of Durwood Theatres, which by then was a small ten-theatre chain. With an interstate planned around Kansas City, Durwood looked to sites outside downtown and acquired two sites at a shopping center on Kansas City's Ward Parkway to build a 700-seat theater. As the sites could not be combined, they opened two theaters side-by-side as the Parkway Twin theatre in 1963. This was the company's first foray into using the multiplex model. According to Variety, Stanley Durwood later claimed in 1962 that he "was standing in the lobby of his 600-seat Roxy in Kansas City mulling over its poor grosses, when he realized he could double his box office by adding a second screen and still operate with the same size staff."Following the success of the Parkway Twin, AMC followed up with the Embassy 3 triplex at the Country Club Plaza; the Metro Plaza, a four-screen theater in Kansas City in 1966; and a six-screen theater in Omaha in 1969.The industry quickly embraced the multiplex concept, where additional screens meant very little difference in staff and operating costs but resulted in a significant increase in profits. The concept also provided more film choices at one location, drawing bigger crowds. It also gave owners the flexibility to show big hits on more screens, and less reliance on any individual film that could turn out to be a bust.Stanley renamed Durwood Theatres as American Royal Cinema on October 1, 1968 after the American Royal livestock and horse show, but the latter's producers sought an injunction and the name was changed to American Multi-Cinema, Inc.Stanley began to apply military management and the insights of management science to revolutionize the movie theatre industry. As he later explained to Variety magazine, "We needed to define what our company was doing in the business. My dad wasn't that organized." It was structured under the belief that every customer was a "guest".
By the 1980s, the company was experiencing strong growth and in 1983 it had its initial public offering. AMC Theatres built its first multiplex overseas in 1985, the 10-screen multiplex at The Point, Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom, and later opened additional sites in the UK such as in Dudley and Tamworth, Staffordshire. In October 1988, they announced a joint venture with United Artists and Cinema International Corporation , to run their combined cinemas in the UK, Ireland under the AMC name, however, AMC pulled out of the joint venture in December 1988, and sold their U.K. assets, including their 12 cinemas, to the new entity for $98 million and withdrew from the UK market.In 1995, AMC Theatres pioneered the first North American megaplex, a theater that could accommodate thousands, when it opened the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas; the first megaplex in the world had been built by European chain Kinepolis in 1988. AMC continued to open other megaplex theaters, such as the AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 in Hampton, Virginia, and the chain's busiest theater in the US, the AMC Empire 25 in New York City near Times Square.
On December 13, 1996, AMC opened the Ontario Mills 30, a 30-screen theater in Ontario, California, which at the time was the largest multiplex in the world. AMC Theatres' megaplex theatres were a success overseas as well. In April 1996, they opened Canal City 13 in Fukuoka, Japan which was followed on December 20, 1996, by the AMC Arrábida 20 in Porto, Portugal. In January 2002, the 16-screen Great Northern theatre was opened in Manchester in the U.K., which was later supplemented by the opening of a 12-screen cinema on the Broadway Plaza site in Birmingham in October 2003. AMC Theatres sometimes serve a dual function; in addition to the normal cinema functions, they also cater to companies' business conferences which can make use of their projectors for displaying presentations.In 2004, AMC Theatres was acquired by Marquee Holdings Inc., an investment vehicle controlled by affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase, and Apollo Global Management, a private investment firm. At the time, AMC was publicly traded on AMEX under the code AEN.In 2006, the company announced a new initial public offering expected to be worth approximately $789 million; however, adverse market conditions convinced the company's management to withdraw from such an offering on May 3, 2007. The company filed for a $450 million IPO in its third such filing since 2006 on July 14, 2010.Stanley Durwood died in 1999, and his successor was Peter Brown, the first non-Dubinsky/Durwood family member to head the company. Gerardo I. Lopez succeeded Brown as president and CEO of AMC Theatres on March 2, 2009. Previously, Lopez was the Executive Vice President of President Consumer Products Group, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Foodservice at Starbucks. Under new leadership, one of the first major announcements came in March of the same year; the company announced that it would equip 1,500 of its screens with Real D projectors. In the same month, AMC Theatres announced it had closed on a $315 million deal with Sony to replace all of its reel projectors with digital cinema projectors, starting in the second quarter of 2009 and completing in 2012.The company was formerly headquartered in downtown Kansas City. In September 2011, AMC Theatres announced plans to move its headquarters to a new $30 million four-story building designed by 360 Architecture in the Park Place development at 117th Street and Nall Avenue in Leawood, Kansas in suburban Kansas City. The state of Kansas had offered $47 million in incentives to get the 400 jobs to move.After reaching a settlement with the state of Illinois regarding complaints from a disability rights organization in April 2012, AMC pledged to equip all of its theaters in the state with captioning and description services by 2014. The disability rights group had accused the company of only providing closed captioning or audio description systems at some of its locations in the state.
Acquisition by Wanda Group
In May 2012, AMC Theatres was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, headquartered in Dalian, who paid $2.6 billion to acquire AMC's 5,048 screens in 347 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The deal was finalized on September 4, 2012. The acquisition made Wanda the world's largest cinema chain. Wang Jianlin, CEO of Dalian Wanda Group, announced that the company would plan to spend $500 million renovating AMC locations.AMC Theatres had eight movie theatres in Canada. In July 2012, four locations were sold to Cineplex Entertainment, and two more locations were sold to Empire Theatres and later acquired by Landmark Cinemas. The two remaining locations have since closed.
Gerardo I. Lopez announced his resignation as CEO of AMC in August 2015. Craig Ramsey was appointed as the interim CEO by the company board. In December 2015, AMC announced that Adam Aron would be the company's president and chief executive officer, as well as a member of the company's board of directors, beginning on January 4, 2016.In March 2016, AMC Theatres announced it would acquire competitor Carmike Cinemas. In July 2016, Carmike's management accepted a revised offer, pending regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal was closed on December 25, 2016, making AMC the largest cinema chain in the United States.On March 1, 2017, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron stated that the company would rebrand Carmike Cinemas locations under the AMC name; smaller locations were rebranded under the new banner AMC Classic . Aron also announced a plan to rebrand its kitchen-equipped theaters as AMC Dine-In.In July 2017, AMC Theatres announced they would be cutting $30 million in expenses by the end of the year. This cost reduction would be accomplished by reducing operating hours, cutting staffing levels, and other measures.In September 2018, Silver Lake Partners made a $600 million investment in AMC Theatres, whose proceeds were used to repurchase approximately 32% of Wanda Group's class B common stock. However, the voting power of AMC's shares is structured in such a way that, even after reducing its ownership of AMC common stock to just under 50% by the end of 2019, Wanda Group continued to retain majority control over AMC's board of directors.In October 2019, AMC began to offer on-demand rentals and purchases of digital film releases under the banner AMC Theatres On Demand. The service is tied to the company's Stubs loyalty program.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
On March 18, 2020, AMC announced the closure of all of its theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in compliance with CDC guidance against any gathering of over ten people. AMC said this shutdown would last for at least six to twelve weeks. On March 25, 2020, AMC furloughed all of its 600 corporate employees, including CEO Adam Aron. All furloughed corporate AMC employees and associates retain their active employment status, including all health benefits.On April 28, 2020, AMC announced they would no longer carry films from Universal Pictures after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell commented in The Wall Street Journal that the studio wanted to release films via premium video on-demand simultaneously with theatrical releases. The company threatened that this will also be done with any other studio "who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes."On June 3, 2020, AMC stated that it had "substantial doubt" that it would remain in business. On July 28, 2020, AMC and Universal were able to resolve their dispute, with AMC agreeing to a shorter theatrical window of 17 days before Universal could release their films via premium VOD, as well as revenue sharing on the premium VOD window.On August 20, 2020, AMC began the process of reopening selected locations in the United States where allowed under local health orders. In honor of the company's centennial year, AMC also offered a special 15-cent ticket promotion that day, promoted as "Movies in 2020 at 1920 Prices." The company aimed for at least two thirds of its locations to be open in time for the September 3 release of Tenet. The company upgraded its air filtration systems to four times the rates before the pandemic and installed electrostatic sprayers in the auditoriums. In October 2020, the company reported that its existing cash resources "would be largely depleted by the end of 2020 or early 2021."
Stock surge, end of Wanda Group control
On January 26, 2021, AMC stated that it had raised $917 million in new funding, including $506 million in equity and new common shares, and commitments for $411 million in debt financing. The company stated that this new funding "should allow the company to make it through this dark coronavirus-impacted winter". The next day, as part of a wider series of short squeezes coordinated by the Reddit community r/wallstreetbets , AMC experienced a major, 300% surge in its share price to a peak of $20.36. The surge triggered Silver Lake Partners' convertible bonds; on January 28, it reached an agreement to convert $600 million of its debt holdings in AMC to equity at $13.51 per-share. Mudrick Capital Management made nearly $200 million in profit off its holdings of AMC debt.On February 5, 2021, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Wanda Group issued a filing with the SEC, stating that it had converted its Class B common stock to Class A shares to permit their sale. While Wanda remains AMC's largest single shareholder, the conversion, as well as AMC's financing efforts taking its stake below 37%, effectively surrenders its majority control since Class A stock only provides one vote per-share.During its fourth-quarter earnings call in March 2021, the company reported that its revenue had fallen by 88% year-over-year. CEO Adam Aron stated that AMC was facing the "most challenging market conditions in the 100-year history of the company", but cited progress on COVID-19 vaccinations, decisions to allow cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles to re-open, and a "significant" number of upcoming blockbuster films as signs of optimism. Aron also confirmed that Wanda no longer had majority control, and the company would now "be governed like most other publicly traded companies with a wide array of shareholders".In June 2021, retail investors poured into AMC stock reaching an all time high of over $70. AMC issued more shares in June, but warned potential investors against buying the shares "unless you are prepared to incur the risk of losing all or a substantial portion of your investment". The cinema chain operator said it believed current prices reflected "market and trading dynamics unrelated to our underlying business".
In the year to date, shares in AMC had soared 2,421% – despite its cinemas being largely shut during the pandemic.In August 2021, the company revealed plans to begin accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for purchases in the future, which it would do in November 2021 for online purchases via PayPal. In April 2022, AMC added integration with BitPay as a payment provider to its mobile app.On August 4, 2022, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. took Wall Street by surprise with the announcement of its “APE” special dividend after market close. The AMC Preferred Equity Units will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “APE,” a nod to the investors who turned the company into a meme stock, who often refer to themselves as “apes” or “ape nation.” The stock gained 19% to $22.18 at the close in New York on Friday after initially falling following the announcement of the new units on Thursday. The preferred shares started trading under the “APE” ticker on the New York Stock Exchange starting Aug. 22. AMC CEO Adam Aron stated "We are making great strides on our path towards pandemic recovery".
Mr. Daniel E. Ellis J.D. (Exec. VP & Chief Operations and Devel. Officer)
Mr. Chris A. Cox (Sr. VP & Chief Accounting Officer)
Mr. Eliot Hamlisch (Exec. VP & Chief Marketing Officer)
Mr. John C. Merriwether (VP of Investor Relations)
Ms. Carla C. Chavarria CBP, CCP, PHR (Sr. VP & Chief HR Officer)
Mr. Kevin M. Connor Esq. (Sr. VP, Gen. Counsel & Sec.)
Mr. Mark Jonathan Way (Pres of AMC Europe)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Adam M. Aron (Chairman, Pres & CEO)
Mr. Sean D. Goodman (Exec. VP, CFO & Treasurer)
Ms. Elizabeth Furst Frank (Exec. VP of Worldwide Programming & Chief Content Officer)