What would Amazon do with Landmark Theatres? Here are 5 ideas

Amazon has a thing for physical spaces, and after the Whole Foods purchase, why wouldn't it buy Landmark Theatres?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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Amazon is reportedly looking to buy the Landmark Theatres in a move that could create some interesting possibilities. Before Amazon dove into brick-and-mortar via the Whole Foods acquisition, a Landmark purchase would've seemed nutty. Today, not so much.

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Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon is in talks to buy Landmark. We're conditioned to believe Amazon can extend into any market -- enterprise cloud computing, video, content, music, tablets, furniture, groceries etc. -- but we also know at some point the company will go too far and fail.

Is Landmark that moment? Probably not. Here are five possibilities should Amazon seal the Landmark purchase.

  • Amazon bolsters its studio credibility, gains clout in Hollywood and can bring its content costs down. You can already see how Amazon could bring its own movies to theaters and make them premium and unique experiences. After all, Landmark is focused in high-end locations with unique experiences.
  • Landmark gives you another reason to buy Prime. With Amazon, it's always about Prime subscriptions. Prime customers would get perks and may even get special access to Landmark. Prime would become Landmark's loyalty program -- just like it did with Whole Foods.
  • Amazon could use the Landmark real estate for other purposes. It's worth noting that Landmark has coffee bars and lounges. Perhaps Amazon uses the Landmark footprint to do movies and experience stores. If Whole Food is groceries, Landmark could become the Amazon outlet.
  • It's all about the mall. Amazon could use Landmark and its adjacency to malls as a way to reinvent the category. Think of a Landmark purchase as a trial balloon. Landmark doesn't take Amazon directly into the mall fray, but it does allow the e-commerce giant to dabble while it figures out whether it wants to buy all that empty space from Sears, JC Penney, and other retailers that'll fold.
  • Netflix. Buying Landmark would give Amazon an asset to better battle Netflix. This theory has some weight, but I'm willing to bet Amazon and Netflix have plenty of joint customers. Landmark would be a perk for Amazon Video, but it's not a zero-sum game. And, yes, Netflix runs on AWS.

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