AMC not renewing lease on Grand 24 in Dallas
DALLAS, TX — AMC will not be renewing its lease on the The Grand 24 which is said to have been the country’s first megaplex when it opened in 1995. The propety’s owner hopes to sign a new agreement with another operator.
Defined as any theater with 14 or more screens, the megaplex represented theater exhibitors applying the “big box store” strategy to movies, hoping to dominate a market by showing almost all the current films on several screens in one location. Besides convenience, megaplexes introduced such innovations as stadium seating and a digital picture that arguably improved movie-watching. Critics, however, said the supersizing also fed Hollywood’s taste for purely commercial blockbusters. Also, almost all of the big chains — but not AMC — eventually went bankrupt because of the massive construction costs.
The boom also gave birth in 1997 to Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE: EPR), a Kansas City-based real estate investment trust that former AMC CEO Peter Brown helped form to develop and own the massive buildings. EPT now owns 96 megaplexes for several theater operators.
The full story is in the Kansas City Business Journal.