The article has been corrected to indicate three screens were added to the Town Plaza Cinema in 1983.
Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC Entertainment has announced plans to buy 93 theaters owned by Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, including Town Plaza Cinema in Cape Girardeau.
According to a news release from AMC, the company said it plans to purchase all but three of Kerasotes' theaters. Kerasotes will continue to operate theaters in Chicago, Minneapolis and Secaucus, N.J.
Terms of the deal were not released, and company officials would not elaborate on plans for Town Plaza Cinema until the acquisition is complete.
"Combining Kerasotes' highly regarded assets and operations with our own is a natural way for us to continue redefining the future of our industry," AMC CEO and president Gerry Lopez said in a written statement. "With almost 200 years in the exhibition business between us, our collective experiences and our complementary geographic footprints will allow us to maintain the reputation for excellence and leadership that is part of each company's culture."
AMC was founded in 1920 by three brothers in Kansas City. Ninety years later, the company, the second-largest movie theater chain in the country, has grown to 304 theaters and 4,574 screens.
Kerasotes, the nation's sixth-largest chain, began in 1909 in Springfield, Ill. Today, the company has theaters in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Dr. Bruce Domazlicky, a professor of economics at Southeast Missouri State University, said he's not surprised by the news.
"Whenever there's a recession, movies are one thing people can look forward to," Domazlicky said. "But even with a decent year in 2009, overall the industry has been ripe for consolidation."
Town Plaza Cinema opened Dec. 23, 1973, as a Kerasotes theater. "American Graffiti" and "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" were the first films shown at the theater.
By April 1983 the cinema added three more screens. A new box office and renovated concession stand were among the other improvements at the theater that year. Today, the cinema has five screens.
Cape Girardeau's other movie theater, Cape West Cine 14, opened July 25, 1997. The theater is owned by St. Louis-based Wehrenberg Theatres, the oldest family-owned theater business in the nation and among the top 20 largest theater chains in the nation. The company operates about 210 screens in 15 theaters in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
247 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO
2136 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO