Pacific Theatres is another one that bites the dust. The COVID-19 pandemic is having an affect on various in person business across the world. One of the industries to get hurt significantly was that of the film industry. While movie and show production might have slowed down a little bit, reception of content at cinema houses would certainly grind to a halt. That had a significant impact on the actual movie houses across the industry.
The unfortunate truth is that movie houses were in a state of decline. They were not growing their customer base over the past few years. COVID-19 didn’t affect a business that was thriving, rather, it affected an already sickly business and put into an even more grave condition.
Pacific Theatres Will Scale Down Operations
Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corporation will be one of the latest entities to leave or partially leave the cinema house industry. It will enter into Chapter 7 and will close the doors on its ArcLight Cinemas and other locations.
If you have never heard of this firm, it is because it has over 15 locations and is a mid size entity compared to AMC, Cinemark, or others in the industry.
Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corporation will move forward with Chapter 7 and liquidate assets to pay its creditors. It notes that it is thankful for all of the support from employees, guests, and others within the industry for participating and helping it to sustain its operations of the past years.
The issue with the chain of the theatres was that it had amassed significant liabilities and did not have the opportunity to become a meme stock. It had liabilities that ranged over $70 million and could not sustain these liabilities any longer.
ArcLight and Pacific Theatres were known due to their involvement in over 300 screens in the California area.
AMC and Others Swoop In
Other movie houses are taking their newly structured companies and additional finances due to further investment from investors and are swooping in to take advantage of this Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corporation Chapter 7 situation. Operators such as AMC can step in and take over the leases of specific theatres, such as The Grove location, The Americana, and others.
Will Cinema Houses Innovate?
Are you going to change your movie going habits after COVID-19? Will you watch from your home or from that of a friends’ instead of going to a crowded movie theater? Sure, watching it from your home or from a friend’s house is much cheaper. Food, drinks, and more may already be present while the only cost that you must bear is the cost of the movie.
But if you are streaming the movie, it is a single cost for the whole party, that’s $20 or less split by your whole party.
That’s a bargain. If that is the case, the movie house would have to provide something much more compelling for you to go and visit their place. Either the movie is just that good that you want to see it on a really big screen, or it would have some technology additions that make your viewing experience that much better.
But it seems like besides a few special movies and some effects here and there, movie houses still primarily offer a communal place to watch movies.
If the trends of the past continue, you will likely stream it from your home or at a friend or family member’s house, if it were to reverse, you will go right back to the movie house.
At the same time, it makes you wonder, how can companies like AMC stay relevant? What can they do in addition to providing a place to watch movies with food, drinks, and comfortable seating? Can they do more? Should they switch to more digital platforms?