AMC to sell nine cinemas to Regal to complete Kerasotes acquisition

posted by CSWalczak on May 28, 2010 at 7:55 am

KANSAS CITY, MO — To comply with a Department of Justice ruling, AMC will divest itself of nine theaters it currently owns in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Denver to the Regal Entertainment Group in exchange for cash and two Regal theaters.

Regal said in a release Monday that it had entered an agreement to acquire theaters in Indiana, Illinois and Colorado from AMC in exchange for cash and two Regal theaters. Terms of the deal were not released, other than that the exchange is expected to close during the second quarter.

On Friday, the Justice Department said it was requiring Kansas City-based AMC to divest itself of the theaters as a condition for approving the $275 million acquisition of Kerasotes. Department officials said the purchase would decrease movie theater competition in Chicago, Denver and Indianapolis, leading to higher ticket prices.

The full story is in Biz Journals.

Comments (12)

terrywade on May 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

AMC was told to do this in San Francisco CA when they bouught Loews/Sony but they still have the AMC Van Ness. They did sell the AMC Kabuki to Sundance. Regal needs to get back into the big screen theatres in SF and take on the AMC VanNess. Their only theatre is the chop up small UA Stonestown a major bad place to see a film in SF. We are waiting for the Reagal chain to put in their new huge RPX screen in some Bay Area house, the UA Stonestown is not the place but the large AMC VanNess will work once AMC leaves. The Justice Dept needs to look into this in SF why the AMC people are still keeping the VanNess theatre open under the AMC name as they were told to sell it many years ago when they took over the Loews/Sony Metreon now AMC.

John Fink
John Fink on May 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

I don’t think Van Ness is on the table, I wonder if AMC couldn’t get what they thought was a reasonable price for that theater.

I’m wondering what markets AMC will gain a foot hold in with the Regal flip. Last time AMC two theaters and I have no idea if they were successful sites: I know one in Kansas City, KS is in a mall that’s currently owned by the FDIC (per an NPR story I heard a while back), and the other one was a former Cobb site in Fayetteville, AR.

I wouldn’t rule out, and this only my speculation, Buffalo, NY where AMC has a single 8-screen theater and Regal is a dominant player. They wouldn’t run into any DOJ issue here, but who knows. It’ll probably be two strange, one-off markets where neither chain have a major presence.

It should be noted AMC is getting some odd locations for them: a few twins and even a single screen rural theater, a couple without online and perhaps computerized ticketing. Also one discount theater (AMC to my knowledge ceased all discount operations years ago). Should be interesting to see how long these sites remain under AMC management. Meanwhile The Grand 24, the company’s first “megaplex” is loosing its lease.

telliott on May 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

I always wondered the same thing about Chicago. How AMC were able to keep the 600 North Michigan 9 after the River East 21 opened. They are blocks apart.

KJB2012 on May 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I think it’s about time for the Dept of “Justice” to get out of the movie business and let the market rule.
These old men in black robes ruined the movie buisness in the late ‘40s by forcing the studios out.
Who better to run a business than the people who know the business. The market will take care of the rest.

telliott on May 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Same thing up here in Canada. When Cineplex Odeon bought out Famous Players a few years ago, they had to sell off over 30 theatres of their own or Famous Players locations so that they wouldn’t be close together. However years ago, Famous Players virtually owned the Yonge-Bloor-Bay neighbourhood in Toronto by having the Uptown 5, Towne Cinema, Plaza Twin, University and Cumberland 4. All Cineplex Odeon had in that area was the Varsity Twin and the Showcase.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm

When companies merge theatres they have to prove they are competitive on a zone or sell a site. That does not stop them from building future theatres and assume control over an area or negotiating to keep one site over another when both are highlighted potential monopolies.

If The Dept. of Justice in every country did not monitor this we would have no independently owned theatres or distributors in the US and Canada would still be a two-chain nation.

soybean on May 29, 2010 at 8:33 am

Where I live, theaters that were Kerasotes in Illinois & Indiana are now listed as AMC Theaters. There are two twin theaters, close to where I live. One of the twins has increase the number of times it shows movies since AMC took over.

moviebuff82 on May 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm

It’s good that AMC is not taking over the Kerasotes theater in Secaucus because it’s doing quite well, where as the old AMC theaters in that area ran into the ground while newer surrounding theaters with stadium seating and digital projection sprouted.

JoelWeide on May 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I noted on AMC’s web site that the Chinese at Arapahoe Crossing is simply listed as the AMC Arapahoe Crossing. There was no mention of the uniqueness of the design of this particular theatre.
Sad! (What was I expecting!?)

DylanAsh on May 31, 2010 at 6:42 am

Does AMC or regal have any plans for new theaters in NYC. We haven’t had a new theater open in ages.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on May 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm

The Chinese in Aurora isn’t really that unique of a design.

WHALER66 on June 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

This anti trust decree only gives AMC the power to kill off
the theaters that it doesn’t want. Remember the Loews merger? Remember what they did to the Esquire and the Lincoln Village? They’ll sell off the theaters they don’t want to some cracker jack outfit who will manage them into insolvency. I know AMC’S game,I’ve seen them kill more than a few theaters in Chicago because of this anti trust crap.

Very sad to see Kerasotes leave the theater game, I always thought that they were a nice alternative to AMC. Is Regal a decent outfit
or are they like those clowns at Village Theaters? Just wondering.

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