A photo of a movie theater with a large Zoom logo on the screen
AMC Theatres / Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

It’s rare that you’re attending a work meeting on Zoom, and wish that you could hear your coworkers mutter “Sounds good” in state-of-the-art audio, or watch your boss on a 50-foot screen. Regardless, AMC is joining forces with Zoom to enable that experience.

It’s not exactly the meeting of Smith & Wesson, but AMC and Zoom are converting a handful of movie theaters into cinematic videoconferencing spaces, which shall be known as Zoom Rooms.

Companies will be able to book multiple auditoriums across the country for a three-hour block to virtually host their event, and workers will have access to food and beverage offerings (for an added cost), so their laptops can become as sticky as the floor.

They’ll also, of course, be able to potentially watch a movie, if they manage to get to it after that one coworker talks too long at the end of the meeting after not saying anything the entire time.

“Now through this partnership of Zoom and AMC, we have the best of both worlds — the spectacular communications platform of Zoom combined with the comfort, size, scale, and state-of-the-art sight and sound capabilities of AMC’s centrally located theatres,” said Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC Theatres.

“This creates an all-new product in major cities across the U.S. for companies and meeting planners.”

While the two companies are pitching the partnership as a means to connect disparate workers, the elephant in the movie theater is that theaters tend to be rather empty during the day, except for people playing hooky on work.

Now instead of showing Terrifier 2 to to three people, AMC can make money off the empty theater and show a work meeting in its place (also to three people). That’s something.

How this fares with companies and workers remains to be seen. Are employees really looking for a totally immersive work meeting experience that’s harder to walk away from? Because one can imagine a disgruntled worker getting irritated at the sight of his 50-foot boss and throwing a sledgehammer through the screen like that old Apple Macintosh ad.

Perhaps the popcorn and giant beverages and possibility of a movie afterwards will cut into that tension. But instead of a crowd of people with phones, they’ll have laptops too. AMC better make a new version of that “Silence is Golden” warning.

Source: AMC Theatres

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Chason Gordon is a former staff writer and editor for How-To Geek. His writing has previously appeared in Slate, Vice, Input, and The Globe and Mail, among other publications.
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