The big picture: AMC Theatres might make it through the pandemic after all. The world’s largest theatrical exhibition company recently said it is planning to re-open theaters in the US by the middle or end of August. But will people feel comfortable returning to the movies with Covid-19 still lingering?
AMC, if you recall, closed all of its US theaters in mid-March as stay-at-home orders were ramping up in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The chain operator said the timing of its August reopen reflects the expected release dates of some of the summer’s most anticipated blockbusters such as Warner Bros.’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan. The latter film premiered in Hollywood on March 9 but a wider theatrical release was postponed due to Covid-19.
Several major films scheduled to hit theaters this summer have seen their release dates pushed back as a result of the pandemic. Others, like Bill & Ted Face the Music, have elected to forge ahead with a simultaneous release in theaters and on demand at home. That flick is now scheduled to debut on September 1.
Regal Cinemas, operator of the second-largest theater chain in the US, started reopening its doors on July 10. The company is taking multiple measures to ensure the safety of guests and employees including implementing new contactless payment options and sanitizing auditoriums between each screening.
AMC said roughly a third of its cinemas in the Middle East and Europe are already back open and operating as usual.
Masthead credit: Maria Sbytova