Iconic Cinema permanently closes after 25 years of business
AMC Theatres, the world’s largest movie theater chain, has shuttered its final Des Moines metro location, marking the complete withdrawal of the brand from the area. The AMC Classic Johnston 16, situated at 5233 N.W. 86th St., Johnston, has ceased operations, as confirmed on the AMC Theatres website.
The theater, originally established in 1998 as Wynnsong Cinemas, underwent a comprehensive renovation in 2016, receiving new seating, lighting fixtures, and a bar. However, in late 2016, AMC acquired its competitor, Carmike Cinemas, for $1.1 billion, resulting in the ownership of the Johnston theater, along with theaters in Urbandale and at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines.
Over the past 13 months, all three AMC-owned theaters in the metro area have succumbed to closure. On October 27, 2022, the Cobblestone 9 cinema in Urbandale met its demise, followed by the AMC Classic Southridge 12 at the Southridge Mall in January, leaving the Johnston theater as the lone AMC outpost in the region.
AMC’s presence in Iowa remains limited to theaters in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, and Dubuque, as the Des Moines metro area bids farewell to the once-prominent movie theater chain. While Des Moines does still have a number of other cinemas that are available, this worrying trend hints toward fewer and fewer cinemas in the city.