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The AMC theater chain is seeing strong revenue gains as it starts converting about a third of its 5,000 U.S. auditoriums to fully reclining seats — and is accelerating its spending on that front.

The chain reported Thursday that admissions revenues per screen increased by 33% and adjusted EBITDA more than doubled at the 44 locations that have been converted to fully reclining seats.

As a result, the company’s board increased its capital expenditures by approximately $39 million this year to accelerate the rollout of its on-going “customer experience” initiatives — including the larger reclining seats, its McGuffin cocktail bars and Imax screens.

That’s in addition to the previously announced $600 million revamp of the chain over the next five years. Capital outlays for 2014 will rise by nearly 20%.

“Our comfort and convenience strategic action front, best illustrated by our recliner reseats, continues to significantly outperform the industry, even in a cyclical year,” said Gerry Lopez, president and chief executive officer. “Our Board and our team are hitting the accelerator on what our guests have told us works. These innovations are increasing the productivity of existing assets, improving revenue per customer visit and driving shareholder value.”

The remodeled facilities will cost $350,000 to $500,000 per auditorium — with AMC’s landlords picking up some of the cost — and remove between 50% and 70% of the existing seats. The new seats are 36% wider with two chairs occupying about 5 feet compared with the current 3-feet-8 inches.

AMC Entertainment Group, which was purchased for $2.6 billion in 2012 by Dalian Wanda Group of China, had disclosed the conversion program late last year with plans to spend a total of $600 million.