The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly-profound effect on the entertainment sphere, as social distancing guidelines have made going to a concert, a stage show, or the movie theater not plausible. A large number of blockbusters have been forced to rethink their release strategy or delay their films entirely, especially as movie theaters still haven't reopened on a major scale. According to a new report, one of the biggest theater chains, AMC, will be gearing up to open stateside very soon. Late Wednesday night, AMC sent an email to customers (via The Verge), chronicling the company's plans to reopen.
This will include AMC reopening more than 100 theater locations starting August 20th, with a plan to continue to reopen locations "such that about two-thirds of our theatres across the country should be open no later than September 3." That is conveniently the date that Christopher Nolan's Tenet is expected to open in theaters in America, after opening in some international markets the week before. Disney and Fox's The New Mutants is also scheduled to open a week prior, on August 28th. The chain will also be offering screenings of Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, Black Panther, Bloodshot, Ghostbusters, Goonies, Grease, I Still Believe, Jumanji: The Next Level, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
Of course, this doesn't provide an indication of which theaters will reopen when, as the company stresses that it is based on local restrictions, writing that “the remaining AMC locations will open after we get further clearance from state and local authorities that it is safe to do so." When customers come to an AMC location, they can also "expect continuous extra cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas,” a "significant" limit on seating capacity, and that hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be widely available.
All AMC staff and customers will also be required to wear masks, a decision that comes after AMC CEO Adam Aron was controversially quoted as saying that a mask policy was "not necessary".
“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” Aron explained back in June. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example.”
What do you think of AMC's plans to reopen its theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!