Bloomington, Indiana – September 14, 2023
The doors have closed for the final time at AMC 11 in Bloomington, Indiana, marking the end of an era for the local movie theater. The last screenings were held on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
AMC, the parent company of the theater, issued a statement explaining their decision: “AMC routinely reviews the theaters in our circuit, as well as opportunities outside of our circuit, and makes decisions based on what will best strengthen the Company going forward.” This statement mirrors their response word for word to the closure of other theaters in the past.
The AMC 11 had witnessed better days, notably during the early 2000s when lines wrapped around the building for premieres of new Star Wars movies. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the movie theater industry, and both Bloomington theaters had to shutter temporarily.
According to Variety, AMC Entertainment reported a staggering net loss of $4.6 billion in 2020, reflecting the unprecedented challenges faced by the company. AMC’s CEO, Adam Aron, noted, “This past year has presented AMC with the most challenging market conditions in the 100-year history of the company. As unprecedented as these times have been, so too is the unprecedented drive and commitment of the AMC team to take swift and decisive actions to ensure our survival and our success.”
Simultaneously, streaming companies have emerged as formidable competitors to traditional movie theaters, with some blockbuster films being simultaneously released for streaming and in theaters.
While the closure of AMC 11 is a loss to Bloomington, IBIS World reports that the number of movie theaters in the United States increased by an average of 1.7 percent between 2018 and 2023. However, AMC has accumulated over $5 billion in debt, raising concerns among investors about the company’s long-term viability.
The closure of AMC 11 leaves the AMC 12 theater on Bloomington’s west side as the sole remaining AMC location in the city. Additionally, moviegoers in Bloomington still have the option of visiting the AMC 17 theater on the south side of Indianapolis, which also offers IMAX films. There is also a movie theater in Bedford, known for its seating, along with the seasonal Starlite Drive-in theater on Bloomington’s southside, which recently is under new ownership.
Indiana University also shows movies at the IU Cinema located on campus:
AMC 11’s closure adds to a growing list of movie theaters in the city that have shut their doors, including the Princess Theatre, College Mall Cinema, the Von Lee, and the Buskirk Chumley, which has transitioned from a movie theater to a community performance space. It’s worth noting that AMC 11 was once owned by Kerasotes, which subsequently sold it to AMC along with AMC 12.
Reflecting on the theater’s history, AMC 11 had been a fixture in the community for decades, originally opening its doors as General Cinema. The theater’s closure marks the end of an era in Bloomington’s entertainment landscape.