While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced movies theaters to close down since March for most places in the United States, AMC Theatres has announced plans to open up 70% of its locations by Friday, September 4, Labor Day weekend.
Approximately 420 locations will be opened across the US, with the majority of these reopenings happening on Thursday, September 3. On Friday, AMC expects to see its first locations in California reopen, with seven returning to operation in and around San Diego, according to a press release. The chain is “closely monitoring all local directives and will follow guidelines on auditorium capacity.”
In the near future, the company plans to announce additional openings in California, New Jersey, and other markets, after they are authorized to reopen by local and state officials.
“The first two weekends of operations have exceeded our expectations in terms of guests returning to the movies and in terms of their feedback about our extensive AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures,” said AMC Theatres CEO and president Adam Aron. “Our comprehensive commitment to operating our theatres safely now includes social distancing through limiting ticket sales and automatic seat blocking, seamless contactless ticketing, greatly enhanced cleaning procedures, the availability of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes throughout our theatres, as well as a mandatory mask policy for all guests and crew members.
“We’re also closely monitoring local and state guidance, and we are complying with any additional capacity restrictions. In addition, we have invested millions for high tech solutions to sanitization and disinfection including electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and MERV 13 air filters. Guests returning to AMC can do so knowing that we’ve been in constant dialogue with top scientists and experts in public health and cleaning about how best to reopen our theatres in ways that will be responsible and welcoming.”
The chain has the AMC Safe and Clean initiative, which details the safety precautions these movie theaters will be taking in order to keep moviegoers safe. In addition to what Aron mentioned, this will also include routine cleaning throughout the day–such as high touch points–reduced auditorium capacity (currently at 40% or less according to the website), and enforced mask wearing for guests at all times when not eating or drinking.
The major release during this time is none other than Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which GameSpot gave a 9/10. In our review of Tenet, Eddie Makuch said, “Tenet is a mind-bender of a movie that has action galore, characters you can for the most part connect with and understand, and a time travel story that doesn’t get bogged down in the details and just lets you enjoy the spectacle.”
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