By MEGAN STONE and CARSON BLACKWELDER, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — AMC Theatres is taking steps to reopen after shuttering its theaters worldwide in mid-March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email sent to the company’s “A List” members on Wednesday, the theater chain announced that movies will resume starting Aug. 20.
Should all go well, the company hopes to have roughly two-thirds of its franchises up and running by Sept. 3.
“We already have opened more than half of our theaters in Europe and the Middle East, safely and without incident, and will open all by Aug. 26,” the company said in the email. “Here in the United States, we will begin opening AMC with more than 100 theaters resuming operations on Aug. 20, and continuing such that about two-thirds of our theaters across the country should be open no later than Sept. 3. The remaining AMC locations will open after we get further clearance from state and local authorities that it is safe to do so.”
Those eager to watch a movie on the big screen can check the opening status of local AMCs starting Thursday on the company’s website or by downloading its mobile app.
Among the spate of new movies the chain is readying to premiere are “The New Mutants” (Aug. 28), “Tenet” (Sept. 3) and “Unhinged” (Aug. 21) to start.
AMC said it will fill the gaps in its schedules with hit films like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Black Panther,” “Inception” and more at just $5 plus tax per ticket.
AMC is also offering numerous offers to entice movie fans to return to its theaters, including a one-day event on Aug. 20. Tickets that day will cost what they did in 1920, when the company was founded: 15 cents plus tax.
In terms of cleaning and safety measures being implemented, AMC said it will “significantly” limit seating capacity for movies as well as enforce social distancing and the wearing of masks for “all guests and employees.”
AMC added that hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes will be “widely available” throughout its theaters, there will be “reduced cash handling at box offices and concession stands” and food and beverages can be ordered online via mobile phones.
Additionally, AMC is limiting seating capacity and adding extra time between showings so each auditorium can be cleaned, with guests able to expect “continuous extra cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas.”
AMC said it worked with The Clorox Company and former faculty of Harvard University’s School of Public Health on its safety measures as well as investing “tens of millions of dollars” to create all of its Safe & Clean initiatives, which can be viewed in full here.
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