Your choices of theater chains just got a little more limited: AMC Entertainment has purchased Loews Cineplex Entertainment, bringing AMC's total ownership to 415 theaters with 5,672 screens. The merge has been planned for some time: both chains sold a few theaters last year to avoid legal problems with the consolidation. Regal Cinemas is still the largest theater chain in the U.S. but AMC is right behind them.

An analyst in this article on the acquisition deal claims that the merger won't have a noticeable effect on most moviegoers, because we aren't brand-loyal when it comes to theater chains, and in fact most people don't care who owns a theater. I'm not sure if that's true—I know the ownership of nearly every theater in town, and there are chains I love and chains I avoid like the plague. But let's face it, I'm a film geek and not representative of the general moviegoing public.

On the other hand, the article does not mention the effect this merger may have on the availability of specific movies in theaters. AMC refused to screen the unrated documentary The Aristocrats last year...and one of the chains that did pick up the movie was Loews. That option will now be gone. If you live in a town now monopolized by AMC and want to see an unrated or controversial film, you may be out of luck.
categories Movies, Cinematical