In a desperate move to raise cash, the world’s largest movie theatre chain AMC is offering the public the chance to rent out one of their cinemas for personal film screenings for up to 20 people at prices starting at $99.
The Washingtonian reported that the cost of a theater rental could range up to $349, depending on the movie and theater location.
AMC is currently showing 34 films in these locales, including science-fiction classics ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’
An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal noted that, as Hollywood blockbuster movies are facing postponements, theater chains are running out of options to earn cash.
“The economics of renting out a venue for a flat price make sense,” the Journal said. “The average price of a U.S. movie ticket was $9.11 last year, making the flat fee the equivalent of filling 11 seats for a second run film or at least 16 seats for a new release.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the box office by closing thousands of theatres, AMC’s parent company, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC), said it may run out of cash by year’s end or early 2021.
On Tuesday, AMC also said it was seeking to take other steps – including asset sales, joint ventures or minority investments – to raise liquidity.
In an SEC filing, AMC said “given the reduced movie slate for the fourth quarter, in the absence of significant increases in attendance from current levels or incremental sources of liquidity, at the existing cash burn rate, the company anticipates that existing cash resources would be largely depleted by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Thereafter, to meet its obligations as they become due, the company will require additional sources of liquidity or increases in attendance levels.”
AMC further warned there is a “significant risk that these potential sources of liquidity will not be realized or that they will be insufficient to generate the material amounts of additional liquidity that would be required until the company is able to achieve more normalized levels of operating revenues.”