As it launches a health and sanitization initiative, AMC will restart operations at roughly 450 cinemas in the United States on July 15 and a further roughly 150 cinemas in time for the release of “TENET” and “Mulan.” The company is also rolling out its AMC Safe & Clean effort, which was created with the guidance of existing and past Harvard University School of Public Health faculty in addition to The Clorox Company, according to an announcement.
AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in the announcement, “From the moment we made the decision back in March to temporarily shutter our theatres, we immediately began to formulate a comprehensive, effective and responsible health and sanitation plan which would allow us to move forward. This has been the core element to all of our discussions about again opening our doors to moviegoers.”
In the first phase of reopening, which starts on July 15, AMC will make 30 percent of its seating capacity at most available for each screening in cinemas throughout the country. AMC will have an empty row of seats between each row for each showtime in non-recliner rooms.
The company plans to move to the second phase when it “deems it to be acceptable given local and regional health conditions.” At that time, capacity restrictions will increase to 40 percent and the company will also put “automatic seat-blocking” into place.
AMC intends to have seat capacity restrictions rise to 50 percent in the third phase of reopening, which is believed to start around Labor Day. And the company plans to run at its complete capacity in the fourth phase that it forecasts to be at approximately Thanksgiving.
The move company also said that all theater workers and guests will have to wear masks when they are in the cinema. Masks will be available for purchase for $1 at every cinema.
The news comes as it was reported that the box office was eyeing its worst year as of 1998 and was forecast to make 40 percent less than last year because of the COVID-19 health situation.