July 28, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

AMC takes over former Pacific theaters at Grove, Americana

AMC Entertainment, the world’s largest movie theater chain, is taking over former Pacific Theatres locations at the Americana at Brand in Glendale and the Grove shopping center, the company said Monday.

The Los Angeles-area cinemas are the latest locations to change hands after ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres said in April that the chains would not reopen, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that kept local exhibitors closed for more than a year.

AMC said it expects to reopen both locations in the coming weeks, but did not give specific dates. The leases expand AMC’s footprint in Southern California by giving it two locations that have in recent years ranked among the highest-grossing theaters in the Los Angeles area.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“AMC is proud to be expanding in the movie-making capital of the world,” said AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron in a statement.

The deal was expected.

Last month, in an apparent snafu, the Pacific movie houses at the two Rick Caruso-owned shopping complexes were briefly listed as AMC locations on the larger exhibitor’s app and ticketing website. The theaters were later removed from the site.

The transaction follows Regal’s announcement last month that it would move into and refurbish the former ArcLight space at the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

ArcLight and Pacific’s parent company declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate remaining assets.

It’s still not clear what will become of the company’s flagship Hollywood ArcLight location and the historic Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard, which were not part of the bankruptcy filing.

Movie attendance is facing stiff competition from streaming, a trend that accelerated during the public health crisis. Nonetheless, developers such as Caruso have been looking to fill leases left by theater vacancies because they still anchor malls.

While movie theater attendance was stagnant before the pandemic, multiplexes have long been key drivers of foot traffic to shopping centers and malls that now compete with ascendant online retail giants such as Amazon.