The local independent movie theatre acknowledges that many may have received gift cards from the mega-plex for the holidays. Rather than lose their business to the chain theatre, the indie cinema is offering to redeem the AMC gift cards, dollar for dollar, plus throw in some freebies. They see it as a way for people to experience their theatre for the first time, and, hopefully become converts once they see how much cheaper the concessions are.
What a great idea. Movie theatres have excess capacity, so a few extra bodies in the seats costs them nothing. Pop and popcorn are cheap too, so a few giveaways can be considered advertising and may have a hefty return in the long run. AMC card holders may bring paying friends or spend beyond their gift card limit. And it keeps people away from the competitors and out of the habit of always going there without considering the independent place.
Think about what you have in excess that you can use to lure potential customers away from competitors. Can you offer to provide free services as a trial basis if someone can prove they currently go elsewhere? Do you offer a discounted registration to members of a sister association? Can you replicate the gift card redemption in some other way? It could be the gift that keeps on giving.