In today’s latest installment of What Multiplexes Are Doing To Try To Get Adults Back In Theaters (me, I’d suggested fresher popcorn and cheaper Diet Coke), here’s news from the AMC chain, whose CEO told the Wall Street Journal this week that the company is spending some $600 million (in other words, roughly the take of, oh, two “X-Men” movies) to upgrade a larger number of their theaters with fully reclining seats. 1,800 of the chain’s nearly 5,000 locations will be renovated (no word yet if any Seattle-area theaters are included in the plan), with seating capacity dropped by between 50 and 70 percent. The recliners — which will be 60 inches wide, as opposed to the 44 inches of current movie seating — have already been added to 37 AMC theaters, where revenue promptly went up 60 percent. Some of the renovated theaters will also feature additional dining and bar options; tickets will reportedly be raised $1 to $2 per seat. In other words, all of this sounds a lot like what’s already at smaller premium theaters such as Sundance Cinemas or iPic, at perhaps a slightly lower price. All those people in recliners sounds a bit “WALL*E”-ish – and isn’t snoring a problem? — but I’ll be curious to see how this plays out. Keep an eye on your local AMC multiplex; I’ll be watching too.
July 8, 2014 at 10:05 AM