Cinemark USA, Inc. is an American movie theatre chain owned by Cinemark Holdings, Inc. operating in North, Central America and South America, and Taiwan. It is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

As of December 31, 2013, the Cinemark circuit is the third largest in the United States with 495 theatres and 4,457 screens in 40 states.[1] It is the most geographically diverse circuit in Latin America with 148 theatres and 1,106 screens in 12 countries;[1] it is the largest movie theatre chain in Brazil.[5] Cinemark also holds the spot of second largest circuit internationally.

Cinemark operates theaters under several brands, including its flagship Cinemark, Century Theatres, Tinseltown USA, CinéArts, and Rave Cinemas.[6]


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Cinemark was started in 1984 by Lee Roy Mitchell as a chain of theatres in Texas, Utah, and California. Through new theatre construction and acquisitions, it became the third largest theatre chain in the United States and the second largest theatre chain in the world. In 2009, Cinemark introduced its own large screen concept, known as XD (being short for "Extreme Digital"; which competes against IMAX ), and has plans to install it in many well-performing locations around the world. All XD screens installed after August 2010 featured (or upgraded to) 7.1 surround sound and those installed after October 2012 feature (or upgraded to) Dolby Atmos. Cinemark is also known for its highly diversified concessions and dine-in theater options, serving such items as marinated lengua and imported un-carbonated Latin colas. Mitchell's son Kevin Mitchell worked with the company as well as an executive until leaving in 2007 to found ShowBiz Cinemas.[7][8][9]

United States Department of Justice lawsuits

In the 1990s, Cinemark Theatres was one of the first chains to incorporate stadium-style seating into their theatres.[10] In 1997, several disabled individuals filed a lawsuit against Cinemark, alleging that their stadium style seats forced patrons who used wheelchairs to sit in the front row of the theatre, effectively rendering them unable to see the screen without assuming a horizontal position. The case was heard in El Paso district court as Lara v. Cinemark USA, where a judge ruled that the architecture of Cinemark's theatres violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ruling was later overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Cinemark only had to provide an "unobstructed view" of the screen, and that since handicapped patrons' view was only awkward and not actually obscured, Cinemark was not violating the law.[11]

In response, the United States Department of Justice filed their own suit against Cinemark while appealing the appellate court's decision. The DOJ argued that, while Cinemark was not technically violating the ADA, it was nevertheless discriminating against handicapped patrons by relegating them to the worst seats in the auditorium.[12] Cinemark responded by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, alleging misconduct on the DOJ's behalf.[13] Cinemark's lawsuit was thrown out, and the Department of Justice proceeded with its lawsuit. Cinemark ultimately agreed to settle out of court before the court came to a ruling, agreeing with the DOJ that it was in the company's best interest to end litigation before a ruling was issued.[12] Per the terms of the settlement, Cinemark agreed to renovate all existing theatres to provide wheelchair-bound and other handicapped patrons access to rows higher in its theatres, and also agreed that all future theatres would be constructed so as to allow handicapped patrons better access to higher rows. In turn, the Department of Justice agreed not to bring further litigation against the company in relation to the architecture of stadium seating as it applies to the ADA.[12]

Century Theatres acquisition

In 2006, Cinemark purchased Century Theatres with a combination of cash and stock bonds. This acquisition added over 80 theatres and many more screens. Some of these theatres were subsequently shut down either being phased out as under performing or replaced with new complexes.

Muvico Theaters purchases

In 2009, in order to save the company from a potential bankruptcy, Muvico Theaters sold four theatres to Cinemark.[14] The theatres were Arundel Mills Egyptian 24 in Hanover, MD; Paradise 24 in Pembroke Pines, FL; Palace 20 in Boca Raton, FL; and Boynton Beach 14 in Boynton Beach, FL.; Arundel Mills was often one of the highest-grossing movie theaters in the nation.[15]

Rave Cinemas purchase

In November 2012 Cinemark announced it was acquiring Rave Cinemas, the Dallas, Texas–based chain that operates the former Bridge theater with IMAX in Los Angeles, for $240 million. The deal included 32 theaters located in 12 states, representing 483 screens. Tim Warner, Cinemark's CEO said in a statement "The acquisition of these high quality assets will further enhance Cinemark's diversified domestic footprint, including the expansion of our presence in the New England market".[16] The sale was closed on May 29, 2013, but Cinemark was required to sell the Rave Stonybrook 20 + IMAX theater in Louisville KY, the Rave Ritz Center 16 in southern New Jersey, and either the Rave Hickory Creek 16 in Hickory Creek, Texas or the Cinemark 14 in Denton, Texas. In addition, Cinemark's chairman Lee Roy Mitchell was also required to sell the Movie Tavern Inc. to Southern Theatres.[17] On July 18, 2013, Cinemark found a buyer, Carmike Cinemas, for the Stonybrook 20 & IMAX, Rave Ritz Center 16, and the Rave Hickory Creek 16. With this change, National CineMedia will be replaced with Screenvision at the Stonybrook 20 and Ritz Center 16. Screenvision is already at Hickory Creek, Texas at the time of the announcement of the sale.[18] The sale was closed on August 16, 2013.[19] On September 12, 2013, Southern Theatres announced that they acquired The Movie Tavern from Lee Roy Mitchell after he was required to sell The Movie Tavern after Cinemark bought Rave Cinemas on May 29, 2013. The Movie Tavern will remain a brand of Southern Theatres. As part of Southern Theatre's long-term deal with National CineMedia, The Movie Tavern will switch from Screenvision to National CineMedia in June 2014.[20]

Aurora shooting

Main article: 2012 Aurora shooting

On July 20, 2012, a gunman opened fire during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in a Century theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.[21] The gunman, later identified as James Eagan Holmes, who was believed to be acting alone, entered the theater dressed in protective clothing, set off tactical grenades, then opened fire with multiple firearms on the theatergoers. Counting both fatalities and injuries, the attack was the largest mass shooting in terms of number of casualties in United States history.[22] The theater was reopened on January 17, 2013.[23]

Political causes

In 2008, former CEO Alan Stock donated $9,999 toward the successful passage of California's Proposition 8, an initiative restricting the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and overturning the California Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. An ensuing campaign, launched by opponents to the Prop 8 passage, encouraged patrons to see the Gus Van Sant film Milk, starring Sean Penn in the title role of gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, at a competing theater in protest.[24] Others called for a more general boycott.[25] The issue became moot on June 26, 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, reinstating same-sex marriages in California.

See also

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External links

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Template:Major USA Cinema Chains

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