AMC Theatres has announced that their first wave of reopenings will take place on Wednesday, July 15.
The chain had some vague information on its opening strategy earlier this month, noting in an investor call that it plans for almost all of its theaters in the U.S. to be open in time for the release of Tenet—at the time July 17, though subsequently changed to July 31.
This evening, the chain—North America’s largest—provided more information, noting that approximately 450 of AMC’s 634 (as of February 2, 2020) AMC locations will reopen on July 15. This puts AMC in line with the other top-five exhibitors in North America, all of which have announced that they plan to have the bulk of their theaters open mid-July: Regal on July 10 and July 14; Cineplex on July 3; and Cinemark and Marcus in phases throughout late June and July.
When the first wave of AMC locations opens on July 15, capacity will be reduced to 30 percent at maximum. Approximately 150 locations will open in the second wave, prior to the July 24 release of Disney’s Mulan. In that wave, capacity will be at a 40 percent maximum. Phase 3, around Labor Day, will up the capacity to half. Phase four, in which theaters will be back at full capacity, is “expected around Thanksgiving.”
“I cannot emphasize enough how much care and attention to detail we have taken in developing AMC Safe & Clean, our absolute commitment to optimizing the health and safety of our theaters for our guests and associates,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron, who added:
“Developed along with The Clorox Company, and current and former faculty of Harvard University’s School of Public Health, AMC Safe & Clean represents a comprehensive commitment with a broad array of tools being used in sanitizing our theaters. Social distancing, reduced seat capacity, greatly intensified cleaning regimens, new employee health protocols, contactless ticketing and mobile food & beverage ordering are all part of AMC Safe & Clean. So too is a new multimillion-dollar commitment to implementing high tech solutions in making AMC theatres safe, including deploying electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and upgraded MERV 13 ventilation filters.”
More details on AMC’s Safe & Clean plan can be found here.
Staff will be required to wear masks, and patrons will be “strongly encouraged” to do so in areas where masks are not already a requirement per government regulations. Masks will be available to purchase at AMC locations, and disinfectant wipes will be made available upon request.