Newswire: Spanish-language theater accuses AMC of forcing it out of business

Viva Cinemas, a small Spanish-language movie theater, has filed suit against AMC Entertainment in a Houston federal court. Viva Cinemas, which went out of business in November 2013, seeks unspecified damages in excess of $75,000. “AMC’s conduct was anticompetitive, unlawful, and harmful to Houston’s substantial Hispanic and Spanish-speaking community,” the suit says.

Viva opened in spring 2013 as an eight-screen venue with slightly cheaper ticket prices than AMC theaters; the theater specifically catered to Houston’s Hispanic population by showing Spanish-language versions of first-run Hollywood films. But the second Viva started to thrive, in came big, bad megachain AMC.

The plaintiffs claim that the chain threatened not to screen Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Sony, or Lionsgate releases if any of the distributors did business with Viva. As a result, Disney and AMC prevented Viva from licensing Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Monsters University, The …

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