The AMC Theatres in the Georgetown neighborhood is closed due to a global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC.N), the world’s largest theater operator, has placed its chief executive and all of its corporate employees on furlough to preserve cash during the coronavirus outbreak, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.
AMC’s 1,000 theaters around the world were closed last week to help prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.
“This leaves AMC with no revenue, and substantial fixed costs that continue,” AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan said.
The furloughs apply to Chief Executive Adam Aron and other employees at the company’s headquarters in Leawood, Kansas. Some workers will see reduced hours and reduced pay, while others will be cut to no hours and no pay.
The step was “absolutely necessary to preserve cash and to ensure that AMC can reopen our doors once this health crisis has dissipated,” Noonan said.
Movie theaters have gone dark worldwide and some operators are worried they will not be able to reopen if the shutdown extends for months. The National Association of Theatre Owners has called on the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration to provide emergency relief.
AMC’s furloughs will extend for the “hopefully short period of time” that all of its theaters are closed, Noonan said. Employees will retain health benefits during that time.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Tom Brown