'Almost All' AMC Movie Theaters Plan to Reopen in July
Movie theaters are going to be reopening in the coming weeks and new movies will be released again.
The show must go on. Or, at least, it's going to, one way or another. AMC Theaters announced on June 9 that it plans to reopen theaters around the globe next month.
AMC closed all of its locations on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It plans on being "fully open globally in July," the company announced in its first-quarter earnings report Tuesday. The opening dates haven't been announced, but the New York Times reports the chain will open "almost all" of its theaters in the US and UK.
Not only are screens springing to life, but there will be new movies. (Though, lots of new movies have skipped the theater entirely. They've instead gone straight to streaming or been delayed until the fall.) Unhinged, a Russell Crowe thriller, will be released on July 1, and the highly-anticipated Tenet from Christopher Nolan is set to be released in mid-July.
The announcement is just a trailer for the real plan, though. Details about how the theaters will adjust to the coronavirus outbreak, which hit a global high in new cases on Sunday, have not yet been released. One change will certainly be limited capacity. Many states have put restrictions in place that limit movie theaters to 25% capacity. Other states have already allowed theaters to reopen, but most haven't because there isn't anything new to put on the screens. The exact capacity allowances will likely change state to state.
Moreover, AMC is looking into "high-tech vacuums, 'electrostatic sprayers,' and upgraded ventilation systems," per the Times.
Other theater chains will reopen in July as well. Cinemark will turn on the lights on June 10 and hopes to have every location up and running by July 10. Regal Theaters also hopes to have moviegoers in seats at some point in July.
At AMC, there's still no plan to screen movies made by Universal following the public spat over the VOD success of Trolls World Tour. There was an assumption that the ban on Universal movies was a hollow threat, and it may be, but there's no deal currently in place. "We are in active negotiations with Universal, but no movies made by Universal Studios are currently on our docket,” AMC chair-CEO Adam Aron said per the Times. "We will see how it all shakes out."
There will be risks involved with returning to theaters, as with any activity, until the pandemic concludes, but experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say "it isn't over yet."