AMC Theatres Announces Unexpected Partnership With Zoom

AMC Theaters is partnering with Zoom to allow audience members to video chat from the comfort of their local multiplex.

Beginning sometime in 2023, at least 17 AMC venues across the United States will work with Zoom to facilitate conference calls between “small, medium and large-sized groups in different locations,” according to a press release.

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It’s AMC’s latest bizarre attempt to expand its business outside of box office as the movie theater business struggles to recover from COVID. After evading bankruptcy and embracing its status as a meme stock last year, AMC invested in a Nevada-based gold and silver mining company and announced plans to sell popcorn in shopping malls around the country.

Patrons don’t need a movie ticket to use the so-called Zoom Rooms, which seem ideal for anyone who has ever desired to make a work call in surround sound. (3D is not included, we assume.) And no, the idea is not to watch “Avatar: The Way of Water” via Zoom with family members who live across the country. Instead, as hybrid work becomes more commonplace in North America, AMC and Zoom hope to enable companies with decentralized workforces and customer bases to meet for cohesive virtual and in-person events and meeting experiences.

When the partnership launches, users will be able to book Zoom rooms online at their preferred theater and meeting time. They will receive a three-hour block of time to virtually host their event across multiple markets at the selected locations. AMC and Zoom will provide the necessary equipment for a fully functional Zoom Rooms experience, while auditorium sizes are expected to range between 75 and 150 seats. It’s unclear how much the space will cost.

Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC, praised the union for combining “the excellent experience of Zoom” with the “comfort and state-of-the-art sight and sound technology of AMC’s modern and centrally located theatres.”

“One of the lessons learned during the pandemic when so many of us were forced to work remotely was the importance of a reliable, dynamic communications platform,” Aron said in a statement. “We also learned that even though we may be spread far apart, the ability to come together in person is as important as ever. That is why I’m so excited about this AMC partnership with Zoom. So many of us know how vital Zoom is in managing our enterprises. Now through this partnership of Zoom and AMC, we have the best of both worlds — the spectacular communications platform of Zoom combined with the comfort, size, scale and state-of-the-art sight and sound capabilities of AMC’s centrally located theatres. This creates an all-new product in major cities across the U.S. for companies and meeting planners.”

Additional services including food and beverage offerings, possible movie viewings and concierge-style personalized handling of meeting needs will also be available at an additional cost, the release added.

“AMC has an abundance of attractive theatres at centrally located venues in city after city after city, each with ample seating capacity, especially so during daytime hours on weekdays when most meetings take place,” Aron said. “Our state-of-the-art sight and sound technology is widely renowned, and has made gathering in movie theatres one of the most popular out-of-home entertainment options in the United States. Zoom Rooms at AMC broadens our scope, as we now can participate as well in the multi-billion market for corporate and other meetings.”

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