Hoping to distinguish itself from the competition in the increasingly competitive cinema business, AMC Theaters said it will spend $600 million over the next five years to retrofit its theaters with fully reclining seats.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which interviewed AMC CEO Gerry Lopez, the company's theaters that have already been renovated have seen attendance rise 80 percent, even though the new designs reduce theater capacity.
But everyone shouldn't get excited. Theatergoers in major markets like New York City and Los Angeles won't get the new seats. As the Journal explained, "Busy venues in major markets like Los Angeles or New York don't need cushy seats to attract customers, so it doesn't make sense to cut their capacities."
The report said AMC's success has sparked rival Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) to try its own refitting, and it plans to complete 25 of its theaters by year's end.
AMC is owned and operated by AMC Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of private Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.