As movie theaters seek to boost ticket sales amid increasing competition from on-demand entertainment services through cable television and the Internet, such as Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and (Nasdaq: AMZN), strategic buyers are jockeying to snatch up struggling theater companies. Cinema chains are also becoming more creative in the services they provide.

A recent deal by Carmike Cinemas Inc. (Nasdaq: CKEC) underscores the trend. The Columbus, Ga.-based movie theater operator purchased nine entertainment complexes in November, gaining 147 movie screens across California, Florida and Illinois.

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