The cinema chain’s president and CEO, Adam Aron, made the announcement on Thursday. All of AMC’s auditoriums are expected to reopen by the end of July.
Courtesy of AMC Theatres
A major talking point for cinephiles during the COVID-19 pandemic has been which cinemas will reopen and when. For AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the United States, the answers are: Yes, they will reopen, and most locations will resume exhibiting films on July 15.
The company’s president and CEO, Adam Aron, announced it will reopen approximately 450 of its 600 or so movie theaters in the United States on July 15, prior to the premiere of Disney’s “Mulan” remake which is slated to hit the big screen on July 24. “Tenet,” from Warner Bros, is scheduled for release the following week and AMC expects to have its remaining theaters open in time for its premiere.
The theater chain, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, will be taking precautions to protect its employees and guests amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company will require its patrons to wear masks, and stated cinema employees must also wear masks and that they'll be subject to temperature checks.
AMC Safe & Clean was announced as part of the reopening plan. The program states there will be enhanced cleaning procedures and also air filtration upgrades made to auditoriums. Theater capacities will be set to 30% or less initially. Over time, capacity will be increased to 40% and then 50%. The company said it predicts many of its auditoriums will be allowed to fill by Labor Day and that it expects to be operating at full capacity nationwide by Thanksgiving.
Concession offerings will also be scaled back to curb the amount of time spent in the lobby and social distancing will be encouraged. To learn more about the Safe & Clean plan, a link is included below.
Reopening dates are subject to change, according to AMC’s website, which also states the company will follow all directives set forth by government mandates. For AMC Stubs members, points that were set to expire during the shutdown have been extended through September. All annual AMC Stubs Premiere memberships have been extended by six months.
The following is the statement Adam Aron sent out Thursday:
"First and foremost, I hope this note finds you and your family healthy and as well as can be hoped for during these trying times. For sure, the past few months have been difficult and painful around the world and across all corners of America. Today, I am writing you with the good news that coming soon, movies will be returning to the big screen at AMC Theatres throughout the United States. We now expect that on Wednesday July 15, AMC will open approximately 450 theatre locations around the country (representing more than 90% of moviegoing at AMC). We will be showing new releases, as well as classic movies that are widely known and loved. And essentially all of our U.S. theatres should re-open by the end of July. This means that AMC will be there for you with open arms, welcoming you to enjoy Disney's inspiring MULAN and the Warner Brothers release of Christopher Nolan's intriguing TENET, along with several more superb movies now scheduled for a July theatrical release. As we reopen, we recognize that the world has changed, and the health and safety of our movie theatre guests and our movie theatre staff is our absolute highest priority. We cannot and would not welcome you back to our theatres without having full confidence in the measures we are taking toward this all-important objective. In so doing, we have consulted with noted scientists and experts, especially current and former faculty of the world renowned Harvard University School of Public Health. Importantly, we are also partnering with the number one U.S. cleaning brand, Clorox®. Assimilating what the experts have told us and after extensive preparation, AMC is implementing AMC Safe & Clean™, a crucial new initiative. Designed to meet or exceed health and safety directives set forth by federal, state and local authorities, AMC Safe & Clean is a comprehensive array of new policies and protocols specifically designed to bring you back to our theatres in ways that are welcoming and responsible. Seat capacity restrictions, social distancing efforts, commitments to health, new intensified cleaning protocols, contactless ticketing and expanded mobile ordering of food & beverages are all vital elements of AMC Safe & Clean. Importantly, too, we also have invested millions and millions of dollars in high tech solutions to sanitation, disinfection and cleanliness, such as the ordering of electrostatic sprayers, HEPA filter vacuum cleaners and MERV 13 air ventilation filters wherever we can. Clearly, there will be significant interest in the specific steps AMC is taking to best address the health and safety of our guests and associates. So, now and in the coming weeks, you'll find more detailed information about AMC Safe & Clean by going to this page on AMC's website. In early July, we also will post on our website the opening dates of specific theatres, movie listings and showtimes, and highlights of our extensive promotional activity including discounted movie admissions and reduced food & beverage pricing to entice you back to our theatres. AMC Stubs A-List, AMC Stubs Premiere and AMC Stubs Insiders members are among AMC's most precious customers, and you can be sure we will be implementing a whole host of steps to encourage you to rejoin us at AMC as well. Please watch your inbox for more information coming this weekend, or also visit our AMC Safe & Clean page. Finally, I am pleased to report that AMC Theatres is in an excellent financial position to welcome you back to our movie theatres. In recent weeks, you may have seen or read speculation about AMC's future. In this time of great uncertainty, where facts are in short supply, speculation and guessing sometimes becomes the norm. Somehow, that speculation can become conventional wisdom, and that conventional wisdom in turn can be reported as truth. Let me say to all of you that so much of the speculation about AMC that was prevalent in the last several weeks was just plain wrong. In April, we successfully raised a half a billion dollars of new investment capital for AMC, and fortunately that puts us now in a position of considerable strength. AMC was founded at the corner of 12th and Grand in Kansas City, Missouri in 1920, making this year our 100th Anniversary. Now that we can once again reopen our doors to you, we are so looking forward to another 100 years of making smiles happen. As we welcome you back to the movies very, very soon, may I also take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty to AMC. We treasure our relationship with you, and hope it continues for decades to come"
Note: This story was updated on June 19 to reflect AMC's reversal on its stance regarding guests wearing masks. The company initially stated it wouldn't require patrons to wear masks but reversed its decision the next day.