April 22, 2014

AMC Theatres plans expansion in D.C. market

I wrote last week about Alamo Drafthouse’s plans to bring its quirky brand of movie theaters to D.C., and now it appears that cinema company AMC Entertainment Inc. is actively seeking to expand in the region.

AMC hopes to open one or two new sites per year in the region, either through renovation/redevelopment of an existing theater or new construction, according to Bill Miller of Miller Walker Real Estate, which is helping AMC scout sites. The company is primarily interested in sites more than 3 miles from another major cinema.


AMC recently overhauled its Courthouse theater, unveiling to the region its luxury concept, complete with large leather recliners, footrests, assigned seating and expanded concessions. (The results are palpable: As someone who dreaded the outdated theater, Courthouse has now become my sought-after option. Apparently I’m not the only one; I missed finally seeing “Silver Linings Playbook” last Saturday night because it was sold out, something I never remember happening at the former theater.)

The cinema company has also been testing dine-in concepts along the lines of what I wrote about last week at Alamo Drafthouse in other markets.

The new AMCs in the region could follow this model or other new concepts, according to Miller.