AMC Theaters delay pushes back opening to July 30

Lawrence Kim
June 30, 2020

Once the US reopening commences, AMC plans to open its multiplexes in all 15 countries that it operates.

The nation's two largest movie theater chains have announced new reopening dates after more delays related to the coronavirus pandemic.

AMC, which is the largest theater chain in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, plans to reopen 450 theaters by July 30 and have its "600-plus U.S. theatre circuit" fully operational by early August, according to a release from the company.

"Our theatre general managers across the USA started working full time again today and are back in their theatres gearing up to get their buildings fully ready just a few weeks from now for moviegoers", CEO Adam Aron said in a June 29 statement. "That happy day, when we can welcome guests back into most of our USA theatres, will be Thursday, July 30". The theater chain later backtracked and said it would require ticket-buyers to wear masks. It expects its approximately 1,000 global locations to be back in business by early August. "This will help us to determine what our mask policy will be as we go forward, as well as to make any other needed changes to this policy". All theaters will also reduce capacity by 50 percent (with two empty seats between groups), increase cleanings between showings, and implement other health and safety protocols, including contactless payments and gloves for all workers.

Still, face masks and disinfectant spray may not bring moviegoers back en masse, even in states where theaters are open. That said, AMC would still enforce the wearing of masks in areas that were still mandating such COVID-19 precautions. Major markets such as New York City and Los Angeles have yet to allow cinemas to reopen and studios are hesitant about distributing movies in theaters without those cities, both of which account for a major percentage of box office revenues. Complicating matters is the fact that states such as Florida and Texas that have taken an accelerated approach to reopening their businesses have also suffered from surging rates of coronavirus infections.

The U.S.is AMC Theatres' last region to begin a phased reopening.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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