|Founded||June 7, 1984|
|Founder||Lee Roy Mitchell|
|Headquarters||Plano, Texas, US|
Number of locations
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (stylized as CineMark) is an American movie theater chain that started operations in 1984 as Cinemark USA, Inc. and since then it operates theaters with hundreds of throughout the Americas and in Taiwan. It is headquartered in Plano, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is the largest movie theatre chain in Brazil, with a 30 percent market share.
Cinemark was started by Lee Roy Mitchell as a chain of theatres in California, Texas and Utah. It is unclear when Cinemark was first founded. While Cinemark officially claims to have launched in 1984 (and previously claimed a 1983 founding date), online records show Cinemark might have started as early as 1977. The roots of the company date back to the 1960s when brothers J.C. and Lee Roy Mitchell created Mitchell Theatres, Inc. By 1972, the company was named Texas Cinema Corporation. Lee Roy Mitchell then formed a group of theaters under the Cinemark name beginning in 1977. Cinemark Corporation and Texas Cinema Corporation merged operations in June 1979 creating a portfolio of 25 theaters in Texas and New Mexico under the Cinemark brand.
With the opening of the Movies 8 on 3912 Hampton Road in Texarkana, Texas in 1987, Cinemark began building theaters with colorful interiors and large video game arcades. The following year, Cinemark introduced its Front Row Joe mascot created by independent animation studio Wilming Reams Animation. This animated cat appeared in policy trailers and on kids' concession products. The mascot was retired in 1998 when Cinemark had begun to open Art Deco-style theatres, and was revived in 2002, and again in 2018 with a CGI look, darker orange color and the beige color being added. In 1992, Cinemark opened a new theater concept called Hollywood USA in Garland, Texas; this concept was subsequently refined into the Tinseltown USA brand of theaters, which were much bigger than what Cinemark had previously built. The following year, Cinemark expanded to Latin America with the opening of a theater in Santiago, Chile. The next year, Cinemark opened four theaters in Mexico. In 1998, Cinemark announced that it would replace its bright color interiors with what Cinemark characterized as a more classic Art Deco design. Through new theatre construction and acquisitions, it became the third largest theatre chain in the United States and the second largest theatre chain in the world. Mitchell's son Kevin Mitchell worked with the company as an executive until leaving in 2007 to found ShowBiz Cinemas. In 2013, Cinemark decided to sell all of its Mexican theaters to Cinemex.
In the 1990s, Cinemark Theatres was one of the first chains to incorporate stadium-style seating into their theatres. In 1997, several disabled individuals filed a lawsuit against Cinemark, alleging that their stadium style seats forced patrons who used wheelchairs to sit in the front row of the theatre, effectively rendering them unable to see the screen without assuming a horizontal position. The case was heard in El Paso district court as Lara v. Cinemark USA, where a judge ruled that the architecture of Cinemark's theatres violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ruling was later overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Cinemark only had to provide an "unobstructed view" of the screen, and that since disabled patrons' view was only awkward and not actually obscured, Cinemark was not violating the law.
In response, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed their own suit against Cinemark while appealing the appellate court's decision. The DOJ argued that, while Cinemark was not technically violating the ADA, it was nevertheless discriminating against disabled patrons by relegating them to the worst seats in the auditorium. Cinemark responded by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, alleging misconduct on the DOJ's behalf. Cinemark's lawsuit was thrown out, and the Department of Justice proceeded with its lawsuit. Cinemark ultimately agreed to settle out of court before the court came to a ruling, agreeing with the DOJ that it was in the company's best interest to end litigation before a ruling was issued. Per the terms of the settlement, Cinemark agreed to renovate all existing theatres to provide patrons who used wheelchairs access to rows higher in its theatres, and also agreed that all future theatres would be constructed so as to allow handicapped patrons better access to higher rows. In turn, the Department of Justice agreed not to bring further litigation against the company in relation to the architecture of stadium seating as it applies to the ADA.
On July 20, 2012, a gunman opened fire during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in a Century theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. The gunman, later identified as James Eagan Holmes, who was believed to be acting alone, entered the theater dressed in protective clothing, set off tactical grenades, then opened fire with multiple firearms on the theatergoers. Counting both fatalities and injuries, the attack was the largest mass shooting in terms of number of casualties in United States history at the time. The theater was reopened on January 17, 2013.
The theater was sued by families of the victims, who alleged the theater should have taken greater measures to prevent the such a shooting. In May 2016, after years of legal debate, a jury took three hours to deliver a unanimous verdict that the theater chain was not liable to any degree for the tragedy that transpired. As the prevailing party in the judgement, Cinemark sought nearly US$700,000 from the plaintiffs to recover litigation expenses. In September 2016, after objections from the victims, Cinemark dropped all claims for reimbursement of legal fees. A separate group of victims were also dismissed in federal court when US District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled: "[James Holmes'] own premeditated and intentional actions were the predominant cause of the plaintiffs' losses."
In the wake of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Cinemark announced that it would no longer allow bags larger than 12 in × 12 in × 6 in (30 cm × 30 cm × 15 cm) in its theaters as a safety precaution.
Effective March 18, 2020, Cinemark closed all of its 345 theaters across the United States indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinemark released a statement describing the temporary closure "as a proactive measure in support of the health and safety of its employees, guests and communities." As of July 18, 2020, there are 5 locations currently open, one at Universal Studios and the other 4 are open in Texas, two in Plano, one in Dallas, and finally one in McKinney, most Cinemark locations were planned to open at the end of July. In light of the pandemic, a few dozen locations have upgraded their box office stands, replacing them with digital kiosks for ticket purchases, including the lay offs of many ushers working up front-end. Another reason is due to the plunging revenue in Q3 2020. 
In 2008, CEO Alan Stock donated US$9,999 toward the successful passage of California's Proposition 8, an initiative restricting the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and overturning the California Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. An ensuing campaign, launched by opponents to the Prop 8 passage, encouraged patrons to see the Gus Van Sant film Milk, starring Sean Penn in the title role of gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, at a competing theater in protest. Others called for a more general boycott.
In 2018, it was reported that company founder Lee Roy Mitchell was "solidly" supporting the reelection campaign of US Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and that Mitchell and his wife Tandy had donated $1 million to a pro-Cruz Super-PAC.
On August 8, 2006, Cinemark purchased Century Theatres with a combination of cash and stock bonds. This acquisition added over 80 theatres and many more screens. Some of these theatres were subsequently shut down either being phased out as under performing or replaced with new complexes. The transaction was completed on October 5, 2006. With this purchase, Cinemark heavily strengthened their presence in Northern California and entered Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Washington state, though at the transaction both of their locations in Washington state were still under construction. However, Cinemark retains the Century banner and continues to open new locations under that banner.
In 2009, in order to save the company from a potential bankruptcy, Muvico Theaters sold four theatres to Cinemark: Arundel Mills Egyptian 24 in Hanover, Maryland; Paradise 24 in Pembroke Pines, Florida; Palace 20 in Boca Raton, Florida; and Boynton Beach 14 in Boynton Beach, Florida.
In November 2012 Cinemark announced it was acquiring Rave Cinemas, the Dallas, Texas-based chain that operates the former Bridge theater with IMAX in Culver City, California for US$240 million. The deal included 32 theaters located in 12 US states, representing 483 screens. Tim Warner, Cinemark's CEO said in a statement "The acquisition of these high quality assets will further enhance Cinemark's diversified domestic footprint, including the expansion of our presence in the New England market". The sale was closed on May 29, 2013, but Cinemark was required to sell the Rave Stonybrook 20 + IMAX theater in Louisville, Kentucky, the Rave Ritz Center 16 in southern New Jersey, and either the Rave Hickory Creek 16 in Hickory Creek, Texas or the Cinemark 14 in Denton, Texas. In addition, Cinemark's chairman Lee Roy Mitchell was also required to sell the Movie Tavern Inc. to Southern Theatres. On July 18, 2013, Cinemark found a buyer, Carmike Cinemas, for the Stonybrook 20 & IMAX, Rave Ritz Center 16, and the Rave Hickory Creek 16. With this change, National CineMedia has been replaced with Screenvision at the Stonybrook 20 and Ritz Center 16. Screenvision is already at Hickory Creek, Texas at the time of the announcement of the sale. The sale was closed on August 16, 2013. On September 12, 2013, Southern Theatres announced that they acquired The Movie Tavern from Lee Roy Mitchell after he was required to sell The Movie Tavern after Cinemark bought Rave Cinemas on May 29, 2013. In 2018, Southern sold the Movie Tavern chain to the Marcus Corporation. As part of Southern Theatres' long-term deal with National CineMedia, The Movie Tavern switched from Screenvision to National CineMedia in June 2014. Also, Cinemark purchased Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw 15, in Los Angeles, in June 2014.