AMC plans Tokyo megaplex

TOKYO — AMC Intl. Inc. said Tuesday it plans to build its first megaplex theater in the Tokyo region by the summer of 2000. The 16-screen, 3,500-seat theater will be located 10 kilometers (6 miles) from downtown Tokyo, next to Tokyo Disneyland.

Talks for the Tokyo Disneyland megaplex have been in the works for more than a year. The new AMC theater will be located in a real estate project being developed by Oriental Land Co., operators of Tokyo Disneyland.

AMC senior vice president Mark McDonald said the company is hoping to build theaters in about 50 locations in Japan over the next six years, which will encompass about 1,000 screens.

Oriental Land is also working to develop by 2001 the DisneySea theme park, which will be in the same general area. Tokyo Disneyland is already the most visited tourist site in Asia, and the additional Disney park, megaplex and other facilities will certainly boost revenue and attendance.

In October, AMC said it will build a second multiplex in Japan, which will be the largest theater complex in the country.

AMC’s second venture will be located just up the bullet train tracks from its first venture on the main southwest Japanese island of Kyushu. AMC opened its first multiplex in Kyushu’s largest city of Fukuoka in April 1996. The second AMC complex is slated to open in fall 1998 in the Kita Kyushu suburb of Nakama. Kita Kyushu is the second-largest city on the island.

The 16-screen theater will be called AMC Nakama 16. AMC said it signed a lease for the multiplex with Daiei Leasing Co.

AMC made a huge splash in Japan with its Fukuoka multiplex. It is Japan’s largest multiplex and the only fully foreign-owned multiplex in the country.

Since it opened, the AMC theater complex has captured more than 50% of the market in Fukuoka, which is one of the major markets for movies in Japan. Movie attendance in Fukuoka has also increased by 50% since AMC entered the market.

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