Update: AMC has discontinued the 'twilight' showing pricing, which was even cheaper than matinee if you went to see a movie between 4 and 6 pm Mon - Thu. Not only that, but they raised the prices on all other types of admissions. Bastards!

As far as I can tell, AMC stands for "Alas, More Commercials." Of all the theaters in the area, AMC has the most commercials playing, in terms of before the movie itself, over the radio, and between showings. Over the stereo system before the movie is their "Movie Tunes" program, which plays songs and urges you to buy CDs, and then has commercials. On screen between movies is their slide show, which has advertisements for local businesses, and advertisements by Coke thinly disguised as games and trivia. They also have the dumbest employees around. It doesn't take much to work at a movie theater, but apparently it takes less to work at AMC. Come on people! How hard is it to take an order for a movie or popcorn? Watching movies at AMC also means having to watch their stupid commercials. There are few commercials that make me actively not want to use the product being advertised, and these are some of them.

In spite of their crass commercialism, I do appreciate how they will start commercials before the showtime. Usually, if a movie starts at 8, that means commercials begin at 8, then trailers, then the movie may start as late as 8:20. Well, AMC starts the trailers at 8, so the commercials begin maybe 7:55. It's small, but it's nice.
The best thing about AMC is their Moviewatcher program. This is a frequent rewards card that encourages people to come and patronize their theater again, since the more you go, the more you get. The rewards aren't that big, but sometimes they're enough. Each movie you go to with a card yields you two points. At ten points, you get a free soda. After ten more, you get a free popcorn. Ten more and you get a free movie ticket, then it cycles back to soda. Each hundred points gets you a free popcorn, soda, and movie.
In June of 2001, they tested a "Premium Card" program where you pay a monthly rate and can watch as many movies as you want during the month, limited to one per day, no restrictions. However, I don't know what happened to the test, or if they decided on a national rollout.
AMC is based in Kansas, and has been around for over 80 years. It is currently the second largest chain in the country, having recently acquired Gulf Coast and GC. It operates about 3,500 screens in over 250 theaters in 29 states and abroad, and is still growing. In a telling sign, it did not declare bankruptcy, unlike almost everybody else. AMC's parent company also owns the National Cinema Network, an advertising company responsible for the junk you see on the screen between movies.
AMC has a contract with Coke, so that means Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Barqs, Mr. Pibb, and Hi-C.
The Orange County theaters are relatively new, since AMC has not been in this market for long. This means that they tend to be nicer. AMC replaced slide show ads between movies with digital ads, which means things can move, have sound, and look a little slicker. They are smart at picking locations. Each theater is smack in the middle of a nice retail area, which means lots of foot traffic. All of them are stadium love-seat style, and the sound is decent. Prospects for expansion here are probably dim, since AMC prefers the huge multiplex compared to the smaller theater. They will most likely build only if they can anchor a new mall, and there are few in production. Plus, the market is saturated with theaters.
AMC Fullerton 20
AMC 30 at the Block

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