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Hollywood's Latest Survival Story: Some Pacific And Arclight Theaters May Return

An exterior image of the Pacific Theatres multiplex at The Americana at Brand shopping center.
Theater chain AMC appears to be pursuing some Arclight and Pacific locations, including the multiplex at The Americana at Brand shopping center.
(Photo by Prayitno via Creative Commons)
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The movie business loves comeback stories. And a surprising revival tale could literally be coming to a theater near you.

ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres said in early April they were closing all of their screens for good. At the time, the exhibitor said: “This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward.”

In recent days, however, some of its forsaken venues reappeared on ticketing sites ... but under the name of AMC Theatres.

The world’s largest chain — which itself barely survived the pandemic — was briefly attached to two prominent multiplexes as “AMC The Grove 14” and “AMC The Americana 18.” Both locations are in outdoor malls operated by developer Rick Caruso, who has vowed to reopen the screens.

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We have raised funds that will allow us to be aggressive in going after the most valuable theatre assets.
— AMC President Adam Aron

While the online rebranding has since been taken down, AMC, which has benefitted from a soaring stock price, said it was looking to expand and specifically named the defunct Arclight and Pacific chains.

In early June, Adam Aron, AMC’s president, said, “We are in discussions ... with multiple landlords of superb theatres formerly operated by Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres …. We have raised funds that will allow us to be aggressive in going after the most valuable theatre assets.”

AMC did not reply to a request for comment.

Technically, AMC would assume the leases for those mall-based theaters, as Arclight/Pacific has stopped paying rent at some locations.

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But fans of the Cinerama Dome may have to wait: Pacific and Arclight’s parent company, called Decurion and run for generations by the Forman family, owns that Hollywood landmark, so any exhibitor would have to buy it — and it’s unclear if it’s for sale.

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John Horn covers the business of entertainment, examining what's next for Hollywood post pandemic.