TheGrill Update: Why AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron Ain’t Afraid of Technology — Really

New technology “presents some challenges and limitless possibilities,” says Aron

Last Updated: August 19, 2016 @ 9:09 AM

Over the past decade, new technology has had mostly adverse effects on American moviegoing. It has enabled OTT viewing, higher-end home theater systems and widespread content piracy.

But Adam Aron, the new and unconventional CEO of AMC Theatres, remains a fan. “Advances in technology present some challenges and limitless possibilities,” he told us ahead of his keynote at our Grill conference in September.

Since joining as CEO last December, Aron has focused on using technology to drive new thinking and distinguish AMC from its competitors.

“The biggest challenge is making sure we’re investing our time and resources in the correct technology, which will best serve our guests and shareholders, while also keeping an eye on the next great advancement,” said Aron.

One new idea that didn’t fly — quickly — was allowing texting in theaters. Whoops. But AMC has made strides toward more widespread online ticketing and reserved seating — an area where North America notably lags far behind countries including China — and invested in premium large-screen experiences.

Aron has built a reputation as a marketing wizard, having transformed the Philadelphia 76ers when he was CEO of the team, and previously in his role as CEO of Vail Resorts, where he similarly brought a fresh approach to the ski industry.

Now he is bringing that experience to an industry in search of fresh ideas in the digital age.

“Sight and sound technology advances are leading to a better presentation experience for our guests at premium large-screen experiences like Dolby Cinema at AMC and IMAX, of which AMC offers more locations than anyone else in North America,” said Aron.

AMC is also planning a comprehensive redesign to streamline its website and mobile app this fall. The company has made big changes to its loyalty program, which Aron hopes will incentivize customers to return to AMC cinemas with higher frequency.

We look forward to welcoming Aron to TheGrill 2016, where he will discuss the Future of Moviegoing on a panel with other top industry executives.

“I hope to provide the audience with insights into our plan for ensuring AMC is the best place to watch a movie today, tomorrow, and for years to come,” he said.

Don’t miss this year’s Grill, where you can meet Adam Aron and other C-level thought leaders in entertainment, media and technology, September 26-27, 2016, at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Buy your ticket now!