It is rumoured that Amazon is in the running to purchase a small cinema chain in the United States. The Landmark group has 50 picture playing premises. There are no details about the possible terms of the acquisition or indeed how likely the bid is to succeed.
If Amazon is successful though, the deal with Landmark will give it access to 50 theaters (cinemas) with 252 screens in 27 locales. The Landmark group was founded in 1974 and is well known for its interest in independent and foreign films.
It has been apparent for quite some time that there is nowhere that Amazon is unwilling to go when it comes to offering value and making a buck. And sometimes when a move seems unlikely, it’s because Amazon wants to learn more about an industry or sector where it has little existing expertise. Don’t forget what Bezos has ingrained into company culture: it’s ok to fail at Amazon as long as you learn from the experience. This could be the precursor to a full global Amazon Cinemas chain. Or not.
And it has proved it isn’t shy about buying bricks and mortar establishments either, indeed its geographical footprint must be big and growing when you consider all the fulfilment houses, Whole Foods and even bookshops in Seattle, that it has. And one thing about real world locations is that they offer opportunities for collection and returns at the most basic. At the very least we must be talking Amazon lockers in the foyer.
But what would Amazon do with a cinema chain specifically? One obvious possibility is that it could easily start showing its own films and moving picture offerings. Amazon Studios is already very popular (the Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour) and also Oscar winning, so the big screen is an obvious possible horizon. And it could be a way of giving Prime subscribers an additional perk. Preview showings and preferential ticket terms as rewards, are a possibility.
Is a chain of Amazon Cinemas a realistic idea? Because, in general, it seems like an incongruous notion.