For consumers who usually patronize the biggest operators of theaters in the U.S., going to the movies will mean settling into the couch for the next few weeks.
AMC Theatres said on Wednesday (July 22) that theaters in the U.S. will remain closed until mid-August, later than the previously announced goal of late-July openings. The company closed all of its theaters in March.
“This new timing reflects currently expected release dates for much-anticipated blockbusters like Warner Bros.’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan, as well as release dates for several other new movies coming to AMC’s big screens,” AMC stated in a news release.
The release adds: “Looking abroad, approximately one-third of all AMC cinemas in Europe and the Middle East are already open and are operating normally.”
The home page of the company’s website lists COVID-19-related adjustments that include reduced auditorium capacity, extra cleaning, mandated social distancing and limited menus. The good news is that consumers will still be able to get large Cokes and buttered popcorn. The bad news: no free refills for now. The company announced in June that any reopenings would come with social distancing rules.
AMC says it has 11,041 screens at 1,004 theaters.
In early June, the company told investors that its viability as a company was in doubt. “We have never previously experienced a complete cessation of our operations, and as a consequence, our ability to be predictive is uncertain,” the company in its filing with the SEC. Then in July, the company indicated that it likely would likely reopen in July.