AMC Theatres’ stock price surged 22% higher on Monday morning, after the nation’s largest cinema chain said it would resume operations at a number of New York locations. The leap follows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement this past weekend that movie theaters in the state — outside of New York City — could reopen this Friday at limited capacity.
About an hour into trading, AMC’s stock was trading at $3.71 per share. (The jump comes after another healthy increase last Friday, when the company’s shares closed about 9% higher on the day.) Before the market opened Monday, AMC announced it would be reopening a dozen theaters in New York, mostly upstate and on Long Island, due to Cuomo’s recent green light. By the end of the month, AMC said 530 of its 600 theaters in the U.S. will be operating.
“The reopening of movie theatres around the country is essential to the theatrical industry and the entire entertainment ecosystem,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said. “It has become clear that movie studios are not willing to release blockbuster product until key major markets are open. Therefore, it is a monumental step in the right direction for our entire industry that theatres are starting to reopen across the state of New York.”
On Saturday, Cuomo said theaters in New York will be allowed to open at 25% capacity on October 23, with a maximum of 50 people per screening room. “There will be mandatory social distancing and other precautions,” Cuomo added, including mandatory mask-wearing and assigned seating.
Monday’s rebound stands in stark contrast to where the company was just a week ago, when AMC said it could run out of cash by the end of 2021 — sending its stock price plunging.
Cinemark, the parent company of Century Theaters and CineArt, also enjoyed a healthy jump on Monday morning, with its stock price increasing 10% to $8.66 per share.