Kansas City-based AMC Theatres, the No. 2 U.S. movie chain after Regal Theaters, said today (Tuesday) that it plans to set aside 72 screens in 39 U.S. cities to show traditional art-house fare. The exhibitor said that it planned to introduce independent and foreign film fare under a program dubbed "AMC Select." Initial films under the program are due to debut this weekend, including the Al Gore global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth and Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. In an interview with today's Los Angeles Times, AMC CEO Peter Brown said, "We are constantly thinking about how we can get more people to come to the theaters," Brown said. "This is realizing the promise of the megaplex -- we are broadening out the depth and breadth of the [movies] available." The move puts AMC in direct competition with Mark Cuban's Landmark Theatres, which operates 57 theaters with 213 screens, making it the nation's largest art-house chain.
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