Hearne: AMC Head Lashes Out at Cordish in Star Before Story Vanishes

You know it’s an ugly divorce when the CEO gets nasty and goes public…

For months rumors have flown about a pending nasty split between KC-based movie giant AMC Entertainment and Cordish Company. According to a source heated-beyond-belief emails were exchanged between AMC honcho Gerry Lopez and the operator of the Power & Light District.

Extremely heated.

Which explains why rather than simply divvying things up – AMC’s Mainstreet and Midland by AMC – AMC was effectively kicked to the curb in favor of tiny Texas movie exhibitor Alamo Drafthouse. Embarrased in its home town no less (to the extent that the Chinese-owned firm ever gave a you-know-what about KC since the money lenders – including Bain Capital – took over a handful of years back.

How ugly did it get?

Check out the comments fed to the Star by Lopez that went up then quickly came down this afternoon:

"(Lopez) said today irreconcilable differences between the two companies over the operation of the Mainstreet, formerly the Empire Theater at 14th and Main street led to the divorce," it reads.

"When the operation came under distress, we’re not apt to cut corners and other folks had a different point of view," Lopez seethed. "It’s a stressful working environment with six screens. There’s not enough oxygen in that fish bowl for all the fish to live."

Hello, when you’re hemorrhaging red ink like the Mainstreet, there’s not enough oxygen for even one fish.

Another example of how ugly it got; AMC has until Wednesday to not let the door hit it in the butt before it gets the heck out.

Meaning movie titan AMC’s one-time pride and joy will almost instantly be disrobed, taken over and run by a small, control freak exhibitor out of San Antonio. 

Now here’s the funny part…

The Star posted Lopez testy comments at 3:23 pm. but replaced the story an hour later at 4:24 p.m.

Minus the parts with Lopez fuming and dissing Cordish.

Like I said, this divorce was an ugly one.

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7 Responses to Hearne: AMC Head Lashes Out at Cordish in Star Before Story Vanishes

  1. balbonis moleskine says:

    Just wanted to point out that yesterday you were lamenting the death of print journalism standards but today you devote a column to a story they broke.

    I dont read the star anymore now that they dont carry Zippy the Pinhead.

  2. WRONG says:

    Alamo is not a control freak exhibitor out of San Antonio. They’re a well respected small circuit operated out of Austin.
    And as to your obsession with Bain Capital, they were not the main equity firm that funded AMC. Apollo was the big dog.
    Hearne you need a readers rep to correct your many errors these days.

  3. Hearne says:

    Let me count the ways…
    This story is a commentary on a nasty divorce and the pulling of a story with controversial quotes by the Star. Goes hand-in-hand with my journalism story actually, bm.

    As for Mr. Wrong, apt name. Alamo are total control freaks – text, talk, get fingered by someone else in the theater and they kick you out with no refund, no questions asked. Let’s see, by my count that’s judge, jury and executioner. No corrections here, other than your comment.

    They’re also a very small circuit and while Bain wasn’t the main, the point is AMC has been in the hands out out-of-town moneylenders who have one objective and one objective only; to cash in on their investment, which they did.

  4. kcobserver says:

    The fact is . . .
    You have a choice about whether or not you go to the theater once it is under new management. When/if you make that choice you go knowing that you have to turn off your cellphone. Control freaks? Hardly. They are setting a standard that many people will be happy to live by. How is this any different from a restaurant that has a dress code?

    Stop whining Hearne, and go someplace else.

  5. also says:

    For what it’s worth, the entire story, including the quotes in question, appears today in the print edition of the star

  6. the dude says:

    AMC is going down
    in chinese commie flames, smell ya later.

  7. Hearne says:

    Hey, also….
    Try finding the story online from where it was removed. So now how are the “millions” of Star readers worldwide going to see Lopez quotes?

    Yes, local geezer print subscribers can find it, but what about AMC’s new owners in China who might frown on Lopez taking some arguably cheap shots? Or followers and members of the movie industry who might be interested in hearing AMC’s side of this very nasty divorce? Or other folks battling with Cordish in other markets? Or the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of Star readers right here in Kansas City who only read online?

    Right now it’s a national / international entertainment news story that’s been blacked out to all but the remaining print subscribers to the Star.

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