AMC Theatres has acquired the movie theater at Westroads Mall from Rave Cinemas of Dallas, one of several Rave theaters around the country that AMC has taken over this winter.
Westroads Mall's senior general manager, Jim Sadler, said he doesn't expect any major renovations at the theater, which opened in 2008 as the city's first all-digital cinema. “The theater is relatively brand new,” Sadler said.
New signs are in the works, he said. The mall owns the land and AMC owns the building, Sadler said.
AMC, the second-largest U.S. theater chain with about 330 cinemas and 4,800 screens, has been buying and redeveloping theaters since its parent company, AMC Entertainment, was sold last summer to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group for $2.6 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Westroads cinema was the only Nebraska location for Rave Cinemas, the United States' fifth-largest theater exhibition chain. Its website says it owns or manages 62 theaters.
In Nebraska, AMC also owns the Oakview Plaza 24 theater. In Iowa, it has the AMC Star Council Bluffs 17 and the AMC Star Dubuque 14.
The renamed AMC Westroads 14 will honor Rave gift cards and Director's Club bulk tickets through June 13.
It's not the first time AMC has owned a theater at Westroads.
Westroads opened in 1969 with a six-screen complex, the world's first, according to World-Herald reports at the time. Westroads also had the twin-screen Fox Theater. AMC bought both and in the 1980s began operating the two as one eight-screen complex where Dick's Sporting Goods is today.
AMC closed the Westroads 8 in 1997 when it opened Oakview 24. Since then, several new cinemas have opened in the metro area, including Marcus Midtown Cinema, Film Streams, Marcus Village Pointe Cinema and Aksarben Cinema.
Now AMC is again interested in the Westroads location.
“We are looking for areas of opportunity around the country,” spokesman Ryan Noonan said. “We felt like this really matched up with our needs.”
Sadler said he is “extremely happy” about AMC's ownership and said having a movie theater makes the mall more of an entertainment destination.
“We don't want to just be a place where you come and buy tennis shoes,” he said. “We want people to come and enjoy themselves: shop, have a nice meal, see a movie.”
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