As I understood Movie Production Companies are prohibited by law from owning any theaters.

When the studios were forced to sell their theaters, the result was higher rental rates charged to exhibitors (rising from an average of approximately 35% to its current level of approximately 50%), so the studios could recoup their expenses.


The end of the Golden Age had been signaled by the majors' loss of a federal antitrust case that led to the divestiture of the Big Five's theater chains.


Given this case, how does Universal, a major film studio, own the theater mentioned in this recent news story?

  • 4
    Rather than forcing us to go to links, can you please explain what you're talking about in the question? You've got the information about the theater sell-off but not about Universal opening a theater.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 22:22
  • 1
    I think there's a good question in here, but it needs to be articulated more clearly.
    – dvaeg
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 2:27
  • 2
    It's at the Universal Citywalk, but it's an AMC Theatre. - One can read more about it e.g. here.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Short Answer: The theater is not owned by Universal.

Long Answer: You are correct that studios are not allowed to own movie theaters, let alone chains. In this case, the news stories make clear reference to Universal Theater. This theater is on Universal Studios' property, but is owned by AMC.

See here:


What is Universal Citywalk?

Universal CityWalk are the entertainment and retail districts located adjacent to the theme parks of Universal Parks & Resorts. CityWalk began as an expansion of Universal's first park, Universal Studios Hollywood, and serves as an entrance plaza from the parking lots to the theme parks.

So the theater is located on Universal Studios property, but...

The AMC Citywalk Stadium 19 located in Universal Studios Hollywood's Citywalk was rebranded under this name in December 2016 and was renovated and had its grand reopening on April 25, 2017 under the new brand...

The source for this stating:

...Universal Cinema is an exciting multi-million dollar renovation of its AMC Theatre at CityWalk.

So in essence, AMC rebranded the theater located on Universal Studios property to better leverage synergy between the brands and {continues business speak}

  • Technically, Universal owns the building, while AMC owns the business. You can bet most of the profit flows to Universal via rent. In any case, this isn't a law, it's a "consent decree" and would have to be enforced by DoJ via federal court. I doubt anyone would care if Universal opened its own movie theater in conjunction with its parks if it were limited to these such cases.
    – theMayer
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 20:28

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