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AMC courts individual investors with free popcorn

June 2, 2021, 3:22 PM UTC

Meme stock AMC has long since passed the point at which individual investors outnumber institutional ones—and now it’s opening a dialogue with those owners directly.

The theater chain on Wednesday announced AMC Investor Connect, a program that will let those investors receive some perks (and, more importantly, get people back into theaters). Up first: a free large tub of popcorn.

“During my five-plus-year tenure as CEO at AMC, I’ve taken great pride in the relationships I have forged with AMC’s owners,” said Adam Aron, president and CEO of AMC in a statement. “With AMC Investor Connect, that effort in relationship building will continue apace even if our shareholders now number in the millions. After all, these people are the owners of AMC, and I work for them.”

People who sign up for AMC Investor Connect will receive perks ranging from free and discounted items to special screenings to direct communications from Aron.

But the company isn’t exactly insisting on proof of ownership. Signing up for the program is done simply by checking a box on the sign-up page. (You’ll also have to be a member of AMC’s loyalty program, called AMC Stubs.)

 The program was warmly welcomed on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets community, which is where a lot of the AMC enthusiasm is generated.

“This is a ceo who understands. I love it!” exclaimed JurassicPark-fan-190, while Hard2Digest used the program to further pump the stock, saying, “[Aron] is giving away FREE large popcorn. The LEAST you apes can do today is buy 1 more share. Just one share. 3.2million apes, let’s keep pushing.”

Twitter was just as enamored with the announcement.

AMC said over 3.2 million individual investors held an ownership stake in the company as of March 11. That number has certainly gone up since then. The theater chain is now more than 80% owned by individual investors.

Year to date, the stock is up more than 1,800%. Its market cap recently topped $10 billion—a far cry from last October, when it appeared the chain could run out of money by the end of 2020.

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