Our Story

Traveling the Midwest in the early 1900s, three brothers were happy to invite you into their grand tent. Not for any circus acts or to sell snake oil, but for a little melodramatic entertainment. Maurice, Edward and Barney Dubinsky were actors who settled down in Kansas City, Missouri when they purchased the Regent Theatre in 1920. Changing their family name to Durwood, their company was soon known as Durwood Theatres, which Edward grew into a prosperous chain of a dozen movie houses and drive-ins. That was just the beginning.

"Handsome Ed," as Edward came to be called, served the best films and entertainment of the day, and he served his guests the same way he wanted to be treated. He even shared this quasi-secret approach with his son, Stanley H. Durwood, when he joined the company in1945. Stanley graduated from Harvard University and was a navigator in the Air Force during World War II. He brought new levels of organization and management to the company and ran with his father's promise of superior service. Heck, he even thought of creating the first multi-screen theatre in the early 1950s.

"I was standing in the lobby of the Roxy theatre, and we were running an Abbott and Costello picture," Stanley Durwood recalled in a 1998 profile for Variety. The film was doing poorly and he had just closed the balcony to avoid having to place an usher there. "I thought, if we could just run another picture up in the balcony, we'd double our gross." That's when inspiration switched on brighter than the house lights.

After cutting several giant Kansas City theatres into smaller auditoriums to show multiple movies, the first originally designed multiplex theatre in the world-the Parkway Twin-was built in south Kansas City in 1963. It was a mega success. By 1968, Durwood's multi-screen theatre chain had expanded nationwide and was incorporated as American Multi-Cinema, Inc. (AMC) in honor of our signature facility, the multiplex. We later introduced more industry firsts like such as the armchair cup holder and stadium seating to continue to revolutionize the cinema industry But we were just warming up.

Peter C. Brown, working closely with Durwood, joined AMC in 1991 as CFO. After Durwood's passing in 1999, Brown moved into the CEO role and guided the company to many innovations and achievements including online ticketing, the acquisition of Loews Theatres in 2002 and increasing total revenue from $400 million in 1991 to $2.4 billion in 2008.

Key to our recent innovations and successes is Gerardo "Gerry" Lopez who joined AMC following Brown's retirement in 2009 to become only the fourth CEO in AMC history. Under Lopez's leadership, the values, excellence and superior service that are our the foundation of our success will continue to be carry on to guide us. They're our driving force as we innovate, inspire and entertain our guests with stories as unique and special as our own. We'll continue to innovate, inspire and entertain our guests with stories as unique and special as our own, and we'll keep doing it with a smile. Just like Handsome Ed.