AMC Theater Chain Spending $600M to Add Fully Reclining Seats

via: Hollywood Reporter

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

AMC, which is the nation’s second-largest theater chain, plans to install “La-Z-Boy-type seats” that fully recline in its theaters, 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 theater will be removed to make room for the larger chairs. AMC estimates that the renovations will cost between $350,000 and $500,000 per theater, 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 theaters 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 theaters. Meanwhile, tickets for the renovated theaters are expected to cost between $1 and $2 more than the traditional theaters 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. 

14 thoughts on “AMC Theater Chain Spending $600M to Add Fully Reclining Seats

  1. Joseph Jeffery
    July 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Hmmmm, it would cut the number of seats in a theater by a good amount, got to make up the $ somewhere. $1-$2 more per ticket, I wonder how much popcorn + snacks will go up?

  2. Aar Pawl
    July 8, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Still not enough to beat my home TV, bluray, surround sound, kegerator, and a full kitchen. OK, well there are no cats at AMC.

  3. Maddie Grimm
    July 8, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    YOu have to pay extra for cats.

  4. Alice Armstrong
    July 8, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    There’s a movie theater in Hagerstown that has these. It really improves the movie going experience.

  5. Chris Pabon
    July 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    This is SO GOOD. I have been to the AMC at Courthouse and for long movies like ‘The Hobbit’ it just rocks. PLUS it is assigned seating. I am a huge proponent of this. I like th certainty of knowing where I will sit. at least this way when I pay more at the theater I feel like I get something back.

  6. Eugenia Martin
    July 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    And if the movie is bad, it makes napping so much easier.

  7. Lisa Livingston-Brown
    July 9, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Galaxy already does this…its great!

  8. Matt Naslanic
    July 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Now if they could just fix the rest of the issues at ghetto ass Hoffman, it might be worth the few extra bucks

  9. Aar Pawl
    July 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Only problem with assigned seating is it makes it hard for group meet-ups without a lot of pre-planning.

  10. Harry Wilkinson
    July 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    AMC Worldgate in Herndon already has them. I must admit they are awesome, but it also hikes the ticket prices up by almost $3.

  11. Marc Kaplan
    July 9, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Just like AMC Courthouse. Now everyone in the country can share the experience. I’m all for this!!!!

  12. Rebecca Hogg
    July 9, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I experienced this when I lived in WA at an AMC there. The seats were not assigned though just large and reclining. In Korea the assigned seats were awesome. I’d rather see all theaters go to assigned seating rather than bigger seats but that’s a personal preference. I like being able to order and get my seat online, then I can show up 5 minutes before the movie starts rather than sitting through 30 minutes of previews and commercials I don’t care about.

  13. Aar Pawl
    July 9, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Gotta be some way for them to work out a system to reserve seating blocks for groups for a window of time or something. But movie prices are getting so expensive I’d rather just get the BluRay and watch it at home most times.

  14. Chris Pabon
    July 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    It would require advanced planning but assigned seating for groups could still work out. Christopher Nolan had a fascinating editorial the other day about the future of watching movies in a cinema vs at home.

Leave a Reply