AMC Entertainment Approves Another $39M to Upgrade Theaters

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Reclining chairs, alcohol and giant Imax screens are on the docket

Movie exhibitor AMC Entertainment said Thursday it has authorized an additional $39 million this year to accelerate its "customer experience initiatives," in particular reclining chairs and alcoholic beverages in more of its theaters.

AMC had previously announced it was spending $600 million over five years on such upgrades, including $200 million that was to be spent this year, though results have been so well-received by customers the board decided to up the ante.

The movie theater chain also said it will allocate some of the additional money to build more Imax screens. AMC is already the country's leader in that regard with 148 of its 4,968 screens being of the Imax variety.

AMC said Thursday that 44 locations with 505 screens boast recliner seating, while 74 screens feature MacGuffins, the chain's cocktail bar — named for a term coined by film director Alfred Hitchcock — that features beer, wine and hard liquor.

"During the second quarter of 2014, admissions revenues per screen increased by 33 percent and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization more than doubled at AMC's 44 recliner re-seat locations," the company said Thursday.