MC Theaters has announced that “almost all” of its currently shuttered theaters will reopen in July. AMC is the number one operator of multiplex cinemas in the world and expects to be back in business by mid July.
The opening comes with the caveat that precautions for COVID-19 will limit capacity. That does not mean you will have to sit 6 feet away from your date. According to an article in the New York Times by Brooks Barnes, it just means that groups will be seated together, with appropriate social distance spacing maintained between the groups while also adhering to state regulations. Another measure discussed is staggered, designated arrival times and allowing customers to buy their concessions with an app.
The first anticipated blockbuster that can serve as the test case for other audiences will return to theaters is the Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged” which will be followed by Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” a couple weeks later. The same New York Times article notes that Clorox could serve as a “cleanliness advisor.”
Notably, theaters in Los Angeles may be able to open as early as this Friday. Theaters in New York could take a bit longer to open. Apparently AMC does have some cash on hand, enough to operate through summer and into fall. Nevertheless, the company has stated that it lost $2.18 billion this past quarter, dwarfing its $130 million loss in 2019.
In related to commercial cinema the reopening news, Cinemark says it will begin reopening at theaters beginning June 19 and hopes to have everything operational by July 10. And Regal Theaters also plans the reopening this July. All in all, it looks like there will be a summer movie season after all.