Carmike Cinemas to purchase small movie theater company in Atlanta area

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 22, 2011 

Looking to grow its Georgia footprint, Carmike Cinemas said today it plans to gobble up a small movie-theater company in the Atlanta area.

Columbus-based Carmike said it has inked a letter of intent to purchase Duluth, Ga.-based MNM Theatres’ three movie houses in Atlanta, Hiram and Cumming, which have a combined 40 screens. The deal should close this fall, it said. Terms were not disclosed.

With only six of MNM’s screens digital, Carmike said it will begin converting the rest of them immediately and adding 3-D capability in some. The bulk of the Columbus company’s current 2,215 theater screens are digital, with 724 equipped for 3-D viewing.

Carmike also said Norman Shindler, MNM Theatres’ chief executive officer, will continue to operate the three theaters for at least three years. Shindler started the company in 1993.

Carmike President and CEO David Passman, in a statement, welcomed the MNM executive to the “Carmike family” and praised him for his “entrepreneurial, operations expertise” in the competitive Atlanta market.

“Despite being in the shadow of one of the country’s largest demographic markets, MNM Theatres provides the same small-town, customer-focused experience that Carmike patrons have come to enjoy,” Passman said.

The Columbus motion-picture exhibitor is slowly growing its theater count after enduring a bankruptcy filing several years ago, caused primarily from spending too much on construction of stadium-seat complexes throughout the 36 states in which it operates.

With the purchase of MNM, Carmike will have 25 theater houses in Georgia. It already has a handful around the Atlanta metro area perimeter, including in Conyers, Snellville and Newnan. Locally, it operates three theaters in Columbus and one at Fort Benning.

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