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AMC theaters are set to reopen 100 locations next week: will they stay open?

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I’m so tired of everything reopening, of people socializing like everything is fine, and of seeing people without masks in stores. A new study just came out finding that New York City’s early coronavirus death rate is comparable to the 1918 pandemic. We’re living through one of the worst pandemics in history and instead of locking everything down and limiting gatherings, the government and big corporations are actively trying to kill people. That’s preface to this story about AMC theaters, the largest movie chain the US, saying they’re going to open, for sure, next week. They announced three weeks ago that they would be opening in mid to late August, after several false starts. The official reopening date for 100 locations is now August 20th, with 2/3 of all theaters open by September 3. Tickets and refreshments will be cheaper to incentivize people to risk their lives by going to the movies.

AMC Theaters has detailed its plans to reopen movie theaters throughout the US, in addition to a new deadline for its MoviePass-style A-List subscription, in an email sent to customers on Wednesday.

Starting August 20th, AMC plans to have more than 100 theaters open, and it says it will continue opening locations “such that about two-thirds of our theatres across the country should be open no later than September 3.” AMC has repeatedly delayed its reopening as spread of the coronavirus has caused massive spikes in positive cases in parts of the US that have started to ease restrictions.

The company, the largest theater chain in the country, operates around 600 theaters in the US. But AMC has faced significant challenges to its business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to forced closures and a near-standstill in Hollywood releases, causing AMC to furlough large swaths of its corporate workforce as it edged close to bankruptcy.

“The remaining AMC locations will open after we get further clearance from state and local authorities that it is safe to do so,” the company writes in an email sent to AMC A-List members. As part of its new safety measures, AMC says all staff and customers must wear masks, following a controversial remark from AMC CEO Adam Aron in June in which he suggested mask-wearing among customers would be encouraged but not mandatory.

The email says customers “can expect continuous extra cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas,” that hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes would be widely available, and that AMC will “significantly limit seating capacity in our auditoriums.” The company claims it will use “high-tech HEPA vacuums” and “upgraded MERV 13 air filters wherever possible .”

[From The Verge]

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The Verge goes on to report that tickets on opening day will be just 15 cents and then $5 thereafter for already-run movies. They’re showing classics and newer films like Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, Black Panther, Bloodshot, Ghostbusters, Goonies, and The Empire Strikes Back. Movies premiering will be The New Mutants on August 28th and Tenet on September 3rd. They’re also promoting a new moviepass-like subscription where you can see unlimited movies for under $24. Popcorn and drinks will be $5 each.

Read that last line in the quote above, they’re using HEPA vacuums and special air filters “wherever possible.” They’ve also mandated masks after saying they won’t be required because of “politics,” but how are teenagers working there going to enforce that? We’ve seen MAGAs attack grown men in grocery stores for their asinine right to go maskless. This isn’t going to end well. Judging by the way that schools have been reopening and closing after the virus spreads, I think we can give this about ten days.

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Photos credit: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash, Getty, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Studios

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