AMC reopening news
Movie theatres have been at the receiving end of the COVID pandemic. They were projected to be among the worst affected businesses as social distancing and the risks associated with the pandemic were expected to hit the movie theatre business the hardest.
However, there is some good news. The world’s largest theatre operator, AMC Theatres, announced on the 18th of June, 2020 that it plans to reopen 450 of its locations in the US on July 15th. The reopening will happen in a phased manner and initially, only 30% of seating will be allowed.
In the second phase, the seating limit will be lifted to 40%. In phase 3, which the company is targeting around the Labor Day weekend in September, 50% seating will be allowed. And finally, operations at full capacity by Thanksgiving is the intended final goal.
AMC has also revealed that it will sanitize and disinfect auditoriums between each showtime. All high-risk areas like door handles, restroom fixtures, handrails, escalator rails, and service counters will be disinfected.
Interestingly, the company will not ask patrons to wear a mask. Even though the theatre employees will be required to wear masks, AMC will leave it to the moviegoers on the decision to wear a mask. The company, however, will sell masks at its locations. AMC CEO Adam Arom said, “We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy. We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks.”
Theatre chains like AMC, Cinemark, and Regal have drawn criticism and backlash for their decision to not insist on moviegoers wearing a mask. It remains to be seen whether AMC dine in and all other offerings will be operational.
AMC stock closed at $5.63 on 18th June 2020, up 23.46% for the past month.