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AMC multiplex annexed

Pacific boosts L.A. presence with buy

Pacific Theaters has purchased a five-screen multiplex in Sherman Oaks from AMC Entertainment.

AMC turned over the keys after a last night of unspoolings Thursday. Pacific is taking over the contracts on current film runs at the venue and will begin operating the site as its own property starting today.

Move further focuses closely held Pacific’s focus on Southern California, where most of its properties lie. Pacific also operates 109 screens in 11 theaters in Hawaii under the Consolidated Theaters brand, after closing a three-screen property and Imax venue on Honolulu’s Waikiki beach in February.

With the Sherman Oaks site, L.A.-based Pacific now operates a total 296 screens throughout California, including a pair of stadium-seat 14-screeners opened last year in midtown L.A. and Hollywood and a recently debuted 12-screen venue in the Westside burg of Culver City. Fourteen of its 25 theaters in the state are located in the L.A. area and seven around San Diego.

Heavy L.A. presence

Since November 2001, Pacific has also operated a 16-screen megaplex at the Galleria mall in Sherman Oaks. So with the AMC acquisition, it now controls that suburban zone and will newly have access to all firstrun titles.

“We’re very excited at the opportunity of having both theaters in Sherman Oaks,” said Pacific chief operating officer Nora Dashwood.

Financial terms of Pacific’s transaction with AMC weren’t available. Exhib reiterated its commitment to the market, despite the sale.

“We’re focused on our megaplex buildout program,” AMC spokesman Rick King said.

Century City project

The Kansas City, Mo.-based exhib is working with local planners on a stadium-seat makeover of its Century City megaplex. Project will boost screen count by two to 16 screens, though seating capacity won’t jump as stadium seating requires greater floor space.

AMC, which also recently announced plans for a new 18-screen facility in suburban Santa Anita, has been pruning its inventory of older and smaller properties. Some still operating — including the seven-screen Galaxy theater in Hollywood, acquired last year along with other General Cinemas properties — are expected to be shut or sold eventually.

AMC operates 3,134 screens in the U.S. and Canada, with another 300 situated in six international markets.

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