AMC Launches Private Theater Rental Program
Following the lead of competitors like Cinemark, Alamo, and others, AMC Theatres announced today that it was starting a “Private Theatre Rentals” program. Moviegoers will be able to rent a theater at any of AMC’s 600 locations around the country. It’s $99 for most movies, or $149 for recent titles like Tenet.
According to AMC’s official website, here are the rules governing behavior for their private theaters in accordance with social distancing guidelines designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus:
As part of our AMC Safe & Clean initiative, private movie showings can accommodate 1-20 total guests (host included), so the auditorium can remain at 40% capacity (or less based on municipality guidelines), leaving plenty of space for social distancing. Because we care about your health, masks are required throughout the theatre unless you are actively enjoying food or drinks.
Outside food or drink is not permitted, but you can buy food at the concession stand, assuming the concession stand is open. (AMC’s website currently lists seven locations where the concession stands are closed, most in California.) In a press release, AMC said the launch followed a beta test that garnered “110,000 inquiries around the country” in a month, more than four times the total requests the company got in all of 2019 for theater rentals.
You can’t just watch whatever title you want; the options are limited to the ones that AMC is offering. At present, the films you can choose from include American Sniper, Toy Story, and Goldfinger, or new movies like the upcoming Freaky. AMC recently revealed their revenue for the third quarter of 2020 dropped roughly 90 percent from the year before thanks to the pandemic.
AMC’s pricing is in line with what Cinemark offers with their own private theater program, which I tried out a couple months ago. The experience there was generally very good — although when I arrived in my “private” theater I found a couple furiously making out in the back of the auditorium. (They didn’t even stop when I walked in; I had to get a manager to break them up.) “Private” is still something of a relative term in a public space like a movie theater.
Gallery — Every Movie Theater Candy, Ranked From Worst to Best: