Soon, there may (once again) be a reason to go see movies at AMC Theaters. Based on early success in limited markets, The movie theater company has announced that it'll be rolling out decadent leather seats at both the Ridge Park Square and Westwood Town Center locations here in town.
Back in the day, AMC (formerly General Cinemas) had that crazy $4 Tuesday deal. You got a movie ticket and a small popcorn for $4. But recently, the theaters have deteriorated; even cheap seats can't lure most moviegoers from the the capacity and amenities of modern cineplexes like Cinemark's Valley View or Regal's Crocker Park. The reclining leather seats should give AMC a literal leg up. Am I right???
From the New York Times:
In the 25 or so theaters converted so far, with many more to come, the company has, on average, destroyed a stunning 64 percent of seating capacity, and yet lifted attendance by 84 percent, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Shrewd business move, evidently, and also depressing that those theaters must have been meagerly attended. With fewer moviegoers, AMC is facing reality and trying to enhance the experience for the loyal customers it has left (and maybe create new ones with the rave reviews the seats are generating).
Currently, according to those SEC documents, AMC is collecting, on average, $0.92 more per seat for the premium tickets. But the New York Times and this skeptical moviegoer both suspect that prices will be jacked up in due time. It's not unreasonable to assume that a 3D movie in a reclining leather seat might set you back $20 within a year or two.
Still, bold move, AMC. Bold move.