AMC Entertainment has announced the launch of private theater rentals at its approximately 600 U.S. locations, accessible via an automated booking and purchase system on the AMC website and app.
The official announcement follows the initial beta launch of the offering four weeks ago, which brought 110,000 inquiries nationwide. AMC notes that these inquiries came without any significant marketing or press announcement, and that the number of requests is more than four times higher than AMC’s 26,000 private theater rentals in all of 2019.
Those looking to rent a theater for up to 20 friends and family members can do so by going to amctheatres.com/rentals or by updating the AMC Theatres mobile app and booking there. Through that system, guests can choose a movie playing in their local theater and select the time and date at least one day in advance of their preferred showtime. Rentals are subject to availability.
Private bookings start at $99 plus tax for older films, while new releases such as Tenet, The War with Grandpa and Freaky cost between $149 and $349, depending on location and theater. The rental charge covers the cost of up to 20 tickets. There is no additional required fee or minimum for food and beverage as part of the rental. Consistent with standard AMC policy, outside food and drink are not allowed.
As with non-private screenings, all private showings at all AMC locations strictly enforce AMC Safe & Clean policies and protocols, including mandatory mask wearing and social distancing within the auditorium. Depending on state and local ordinances, some locations may cap the number of guests at fewer than 20.
“The results and feedback from our guests about AMC Safe & Clean have been overwhelmingly positive, and Private Theatre Rentals at AMC provides an additional layer of safety and security to those moviegoers who are looking to see movies with just their family members and friends,” said Elizabeth Frank, AMC’s EVP worldwide programming & chief content officer. “It’s unprecedented for AMC to receive 110,000 contacts in four weeks about a private theatre rental, based only on word of mouth and organic publicity, and we are excited about and appreciative of the interest this has sparked among AMC guests.”
As U.S. theaters continue to struggle during the pandemic, private theater rentals have become a way for exhibitors to garner revenue from moviegoers who may be more skittish about attending a regular showing. A number of other U.S. theater chains including Cinemark, Megaplex, Cinépolis and Alamo Drafthouse are also offering private theater rentals at their U.S. locations, though as Cinépolis national director of marketing and communications Annelise Holyoak told Boxoffice Pro in May, the goal is less financial than it is keeping interest in the moviegoing experience alive.
“The intent isn’t to make money,” she said. “The intent is to reconnect with our guests and offer them something special they might not normally be able to experience.”