AMC Theatres spending $600M to add fully reclining seats

News

AMC Entertainment Holdings is spending $600 million to remodel its theatres with larger, fully reclining seats.

AMC, which is the nation's second-largest theatre chain, plans to install "La-Z-Boy-type seats" that fully recline in its theatres, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new seats will be 60 inches wide vs. the current 44 inches.

As a result, between 50 percent and 70 percent of seats in a given theatre will be removed to make room for the larger chairs. AMC estimates that the renovations will cost between $350,000 and $500,000 per theatre, with 1,800 of its nearly 5,000 auditoriums targeted for the upgrades, which will be carried out over the next five years.

According to AMC, attendance in the theatres that have already been updated has jumped an average of 80 percent, despite having fewer seats, although the exhibitor declined to give any further breakdown.

AMC CEO Gerry Lopez said the jump is partially due to the full dine-in capabilities offered in some of the renovated theatres.

Meanwhile, tickets for the renovated theatres are expected to cost between $1 and $2 more than the traditional theatres after a one-year grace period.

Domestic movie attendance has stayed relatively flat over the past decade. The number of tickets sold in the U.S. declined by 1.5 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to MPAA data.
The Hollywood Reporter