Just a day after California governor Gavin Newsom announced he'd allow theatres to reopen in the state starting this weekend, AMC Theatres responded by announcing it plans to have most of its locations open by July. AMC, the largest theater chain in the world, announced earlier this month in an SEC filing that it had posted losses of $2.18 billion in the first quarter of the year.
“We believe, but cannot guarantee, that the exhibition industry will ultimately rebound and benefit from pent-up social demand for out-of-home entertainment, as government restrictions are lifted and home sheltering subsides. However, the ultimate significance of the pandemic, including the extent of the adverse impact on our financial and operational results, will be dictated by the currently unknowable duration and the effect on the overall economy and of responsive governmental regulations, including shelter-in-place orders of the pandemic and mandated suspension of operations,” the company said in a legal filing announcing its massive losses.
As with most other theatre locations, AMC is also implementing its own social distancing guidelines upon reopening, including the following:
- Maintaining close contact with local, national and international officials to understand and coordinate the timing
and requirements under which we can reopen.
- Consulting with current and former faculty from the prestigious Harvard University School of Public Health to seek guidance from the best scientists and experts on how best to create a safe environment for our guests and associates. Personal protection equipment, cleaning protocols, limited theatre capacity, blocked seating, and other strategies are all being planned. We are especially looking at high tech solutions as well, to aid in our sanitization techniques including the use of electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and wherever possible upgraded MERV 13 air ventilation filters.
- Establishing a protocol partnership with the global leader in all things clean, the Clorox Company, as they advise us as to how we can make our theatre environments as safe and clean as possible.
- Educating our guests so that they understand the actions we are taking with their safety in mind.
- Implementing aggressive marketing communications and promotional activity aimed at jumpstarting consumer demand.
- Reducing our cost structure, intensely examining every category of our expenditures to lower our spending wherever possible.
According to the latest report from Deadline, the chain is also currently in talks with Universal to move their business relationship forward after the exhibitor pledged to stop showing Universal movies after the studio revealed it wanted to place a heavier emphasis on straight-to-video offerings.
Cover photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images