Kansas City-based AMC Theatres, the No. 2 U.S. movie chain after Regal
Theaters, said today (Tuesday) that it plans to set aside 72 screens in 39 U.S.
cities to show traditional art-house fare. The exhibitor said that it planned
to introduce independent and foreign film fare under a program dubbed "AMC
Select." Initial films under the program are due to debut this weekend,
including the Al Gore global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth
and Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. In an interview with
today's Los Angeles Times, AMC CEO Peter Brown said, "We are constantly
thinking about how we can get more people to come to the theaters," Brown said.
"This is realizing the promise of the megaplex -- we are broadening out the
depth and breadth of the [movies] available." The move puts AMC in direct
competition with Mark Cuban's Landmark Theatres, which operates 57 theaters
with 213 screens, making it the nation's largest art-house chain.