Bitcoin is set to be accepted as a payment method by AMC Theatres for tickets and concessions before the end of this year as part of a broader shift towards cryptocurrencies.

The US movie theatre chain made the announcement during a Q2 earnings call.

Chief executive Adam Aron said that embracing Bitcoin will form part of the company’s recovery plan as the industry looks beyond the pandemic. 

AMC, which will be the first major cinema chain to process cryptocurrency payments, will also start accepting Google Pay and Apple Pay transactions, Aron added.

“We are… in the preliminary stage of now exploring how else AMC can participate in this new burgeoning cryptocurrency universe and we’re quite intrigued by potentially lucrative business opportunities for AMC if we intelligently pursue further serious involvement with cryptocurrency,” Aron said.

The announcement comes just days after new US Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler called for additional powers to regulate cryptocurrencies, the values of which have been notoriously volatile. However, according to multiple reports, a number of recent investors in AMC are enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by the sector.

AMC operates nearly 1,000 cinemas across the globe, and successfully fended off bankruptcy at the beginning of 2021 when it raised nearly $1bn in new equity and debt capital. The chain suffered a coronavirus-ravaged 2020, with cinemas closed for months at a time. 

Aron added: “AMC’s journey through this pandemic is not finished, and we are not yet out of the woods. However, while there are no guarantees as to what the future will bring in a still infection-impacted world, one can look ahead and envision a happy Hollywood ending to this story. 

“We would like to think that someday when a movie is filmed about AMC and Covid, its title will be one compelling word, ‘recovery’. But, only time will tell.”

Image: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash