Lockyer approves sale of San Francisco
Kabuki Theatre to Redford Group
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
May 9, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - California Attorney General Bill
Lockyer announced Monday that he has approved the sale of the
eight-screen Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco to Sundance Cinemas
LLC, a theater chain owned by actor Robert Redford.
The movie house in the Japantown district of the city is now
owned by Kansas City-based AMC Entertainment Inc.
The proposed sale to Sundance was announced in March, but Lockyer's
approval was necessary under the terms of a federal court settlement
allowing the merger of AMC and Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.
Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar said the attorney general's approval
of the sale of the Kabuki to Sundance was made contingent on a
guarantee that Sundance will show first run films there through
at least Jan. 18, 2011.
Sundance is permitted to lease the theater to another operator,
but only if that operator agrees to show first-run films until
the same date.
The merger of AMC and Loews was completed in January and created
the second largest theater chain in the nation, with interests
in approximately 415 theaters in 29 states. The new company retains
the name of AMC Entertainment Inc.
Lockyer challenged the merger in an antitrust lawsuit filed in
federal court in San Francisco in December, but simultaneously
filed a proposed settlement containing the condition that AMC
sell two multiplex theaters in San Francisco.
The settlement also gave Lockyer the right to approve the transactions
selling the two theaters.
The second theater, the 14-screen AMC Van Ness, is still awaiting
a buyer, according to Dresslar.
Lockyer said in January that without the divestiture of the two
theatres, the new AMC chain would have controlled 77 percent of
the screens in San Francisco's first-run commercial movie market.
AMC was also required to sell eight other theaters in Seattle,
Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. in settlements
of other antitrust lawsuits filed by other state attorneys general.
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