AMC is rolling out its “customer experience initiatives” to its 24-screen Regency Square theater to include recliner seats and a full-service MacGuffins Bar, meaning patrons can partake in a cold one or a cocktail while watching new releases with their feet up.
Construction alone is estimated at $2.93 million. In addition to new seating and the bar, plans show remodeled restrooms and a renovated concession area to include Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which offer more than 100 self-serve drink choices.
At theaters with MacGuffins Bars, including the AMC Orange Park 24, patrons are allowed to take their drinks into the auditoriums to consume during the showings.
Erin Gregory, a spokeswoman for AMC Entertainment Holdings in Leawood, Kan., confirmed the company has a project at AMC Regency 24, but said she had no details.
The Regency theater was built in 1999 when AMC left the inside of Regency Square Mall, which remodeled that space into a larger food
Regency Mall Realty LLC of New York bought the shopping center in February, including the theater, on 11 acres, leased by AMC. The mall’s address is 9501 Arlington Expressway and the theater is north of the mall at 9451 Regency Square Blvd.
Jim Kramer, general manager of Regency Square Mall, said AMC is a tenant and that Regency’s owners own the land and the building.
He said landlords have approved AMC Regency’s remodeling plans and work will start soon.
“It is not uncommon for a tenant to refresh/renew/remodel their space following a lease renewal,” he said by email.
The city is reviewing the building permit application for the project, which calls for an interior renovation to include remodeling the auditorium seating, the bar and the restrooms.
The 24 auditoriums range in seating from 395 for its largest, with an IMAX screen, to 40, which six units offer.
Plans show the work will be performed in phases, starting with the center of the theater —concession, lobby, bar and four auditoriums.
The second and third phases comprise the 10 auditoriums on each side. The theater will remain in service during demolition and construction.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is based in metropolitan Kansas City.
The company announced Sept. 18 that because of continuing improvements in operating results at theaters where it deployed the strategic initiatives, the board decided to spend another $39 million to accelerate the roll-out of more.
Gerry Lopez, AMC president and CEO, said in the news release that the comfort and convenience, especially with the recliner seats, “continues to significantly outperform the industry.”
The $39 million is an almost 20 percent increase from the estimated $200 million in net cash outlays planned this year. AMC said total spending will be $265 million to $285 million before landlord contributions of $35 million to $55 million.
Kramer said to his knowledge, there would be no landlord contribution at Regency.
As of June 30, AMC said it had recliner re-seats in 44 locations with 505 screens, 74 MacGuffins and 148 IMAX screens, which it said made AMC the leading and largest IMAX distributor in North America.
Both AMC Regency 24 and AMC Orange Park 24 offer an IMAX screen.
Gregory did not have information about any renovation plans at the Orange Park theater.
The company announced in December it would undertake the $600 million, five-year recliner re-seat investment.
In the second quarter, admissions revenue per screen rose 33 percent at the 44 theaters with the recliners.
AMC operates 342 locations with almost 5,000 screens, primarily in the U.S.