Amazon Looking Into Buying A Major Theater Chain

By: Todd Betzold

We all discovered Amazon, as they started out their business as the place to go for books and online shopping. They have now become a billion dollar company that is known for their ebooks, as well as being a hige player in streaming video and music. They have been trying to expand beyond the internet recently also, as they have opened their own bookstores, as well as the purchase of Whole Foods.

However, it looks like Amazon is not ready to stop right there, but why would they? The Seattle-based company is now looking into adding movie theaters into their business offerings, as they are one of the companies in the running to acquire Landmark Theaters. Bloomberg reported that Amazon is one of several potential buyers for the company, which is owned by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner.

This could be a huge grab for Amazon, as the theater chain is comprised of 50 theaters in 27 markets. Landmark Theaters is mostly known for showing indie movies and foreign films, which could be perfect for Amazon. Of course, they also have Amazon Studios, so this would be the perfect way to get their original movies into theaters. That would give them greater visibility and also qualify them for awards consideration. Both of those things without needing to pay distribution fees to other exhibitors, so it could be well worth the price tag of buying Landmark Theaters.

There is an issue though, as the Golden Age of Hollywood brought us five major studio that had a monopoly over distribution and controlled exhibition of their films. The Supreme Court struck it down and gave us the production, distribution and exhibition model we have today. This would mean that Amazon would be barred from owning their own theater chain, since they own their own movie studio also. However, the Supreme Court has stated the ruling might no longer be applicable or effective, so could Amazon change the way it's interpreted?

Time will tell, but for now, this could mean free movies for Amazon Prime members?


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