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Podcast: iPic CEO Hamid Hashemi

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Shares of iPic Entertainment (IPIC) have had a tough time since the luxury theater chain went public on Feb. 1.

The company raised $15 million in an offering of 818,429 shares at $18.50 per share. The stock plunged 18% from the offering price in its market debut on the Nasdaq, and has struggled to find its footing ever since.

While 2018 is shaping up to be a solid year for IPOs, investors still don’t seem to have much of an appetite for movie theater stocks. In 2017, AMC Entertainment’s (AMC) stock sank 56%, shares of IMAX (IMAX) fell 26%, and Cinemark Holdings (CNK) lost nearly 12%.

Streaming giants and video-on-demand powerhouses such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are shifting consumer habits, forcing the movie theater industry to come up with new ways to get customers off the couch and into the theaters.

iPic Entertainment believes its in-theater dining experience is the answer. Its premium movie theaters offer on-site casual restaurants and high-end bars, allowing customers to eat a meal and sip a cocktail while watching a first-run movie. Since its inception eight years ago, iPic has expanded to include eGaming and even live performances at its theaters.

Founder and CEO Hamid Hashemi tells me in the accompanying podcast that the money raised from the IPO will be used to open four new iPic venues in Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; and Norwalk, Conn.

Hashemi says the goal is to open four new locations a year, beginning in 2019. The company currently operates 16 locations, with 10 restaurants and 121 screens in 10 states.

iPic gets 51% of its revenues from food and beverage sales; 31% of sales are derived from its theaters, and 18% from things like memberships and sponsorships.

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