AMC Says Nearly All Its Theaters Will Be Open in July
Ready or not, the American economy is gradually reopening after months of business closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has touched so many different corners of the economy, but it has been especially hard on the world of movies. Production on new movies has shut down, and thousands of theaters around the world have closed, some forever.
Those that survive are now tentatively moving towards the day when guests will be invited back. Cinemark has already said it is planning to reopen its theaters in July and now AMC, the country’s largest chain, says it expects “almost all” its theaters to reopen in the U.S. and U.K. in July.
According to The New York Times, the chain will add a host of safety measures to try to keep employees and guests as safe as possible:
Theater employees will be required to wear masks. Moviegoers may only be encouraged to wear them. AMC said it was looking into high-tech vacuums, “electrostatic sprayers” and upgraded ventilation systems. Clorox may serve as a cleanliness adviser.
Cinemark has already announced a similar mask policy; they’re a must for employees and optional for customers. (Theaters make most of their money from concession sales; they ain’t gonna sell too many nachos and Icees if people have to wear masks the whole time.)
The theater executives the Times spoke to “say they are confident that aggressive safety measures will offset any fears.” And they are also limiting the number of guests who can attend any screening, encouraging advance ticket sales, increasing cleanings and sanitization procedures, and spacing people out in auditoriums to ensure proper social distancing.
Still, the anecdotal evidence I’ve received from talking with dozens of movie lovers online is that most people are just not ready to go to a theater yet. They want to be ready. They’re desperate to escape from the real world for a couple hours. But these proposals don’t necessarily sound like an escape, and most folks I’ve spoken to are not ready to risk actual death to watch Tenet. Their fears, unfounded or not, have not been offset. At least not yet.
Gallery — What We Miss Most About Movie Theaters: