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AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres (often referred to as just AMC and previously known as AMC Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain owned and operated by AMC Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. Founded in 1920, AMC has the second-largest share of the American market, behind Regal Entertainment Group and ahead of Cinemark Theatres. The chain has 346 locations mostly in North America,3 along with 86 more locations in mainland China, home of its corporate parent.4567 The company's headquarters is in Leawood, Kansas.
AMC Theatres was founded in 1920 by the Dubinsky Brothers ĘC Maurice, Edward and Barney ĘC who had been traveling the Midwest performing melodramas and tent shows with actress Jeanne Eagels. They purchased the Regent Theatre on 12th Street between Walnut and Grand in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.8 The Dubinskys eventually changed their name to Durwood and the company they formed was called Durwood Theatres.
In 1961, Edward's son, Stanley, took control of Durwood Theatres when his father died. Stanley had attended Harvard University and served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He renamed Durwood Theatres to American Multi-Cinema, Inc., and began to apply military management and the insights of management science to revolutionize the movie theatre industry.9 As he later explained to Variety magazine, "We needed to define what our company was doing in the (exhibition) business. My dad wasn't that organized."10 It was structured under the belief that every customer was a "guest".
In 1963, AMC opened the two-screen Parkway Twin in a shopping center on Kansas City's Ward Parkway. According to Variety, Stanley Durwood later claimed "in 1962 he was standing in the lobby of his 600-seat Roxy in Kansas City mulling over its poor grosses when he realized he could double his box office by adding a second screen and still operate with the same size staff."11 The industry quickly embraced the concept of the multiplex, where additional screens meant very little difference in staff and operating costs but resulted in a significant increase in profits. The concept also provided more movie choices at one location drawing bigger crowds. It gave owners the flexibility to show big hits on more screens and less reliance on any individual film that could turn out as a bust.12
In the 1980s, AMC built and operated a number of ten-screen multiplex cinemas in the UK, including sites at locations such as Dudley and Tamworth. These were subsequently bought and taken over by UCI. In 1995, AMC pioneered the first North American megaplex, a theater that can accommodate thousands, when it opened the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas ĘC the first megaplex in the world had been built by European chain Kinepolis in 1988.13 AMC continued to open other megaplex theaters, such as the AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 in Hampton, Virginia, and the chain's busiest theater in the country, the AMC Empire 25 theater in New York City, New York, near Times Square. The largest theaters in the AMC chain have 30 screens, including the AMC Ontario Mills 30 in Ontario, California and AMC Forum 30 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
AMC's megaplexes were a success overseas as well. On December 20, 1996, AMC opened AMC ArrĘóbida 20 in Portugal. In January 2002, the 16-screen Great Northern was opened in Manchester, which was later supplemented by the opening of a 12-screen cinema on the Broadway Plaza site in Birmingham in October 2003. United Kingdom outlets typically serve a dual function, where in addition to the normal cinema functions, they also cater to companies' business conferences which can make use of their projectors for displaying presentations.