AMC Lays Out Plans To Reopen Theaters With Centennial Events

AMC theater

AMC Entertainment Holdings, which has repeatedly delayed its plans to reopen theaters, announced Thursday (Aug. 13) in a press release that it “expects to open approximately two-thirds of its more than 600 U.S. theater locations” by Sept. 3 — the release date for the Warner Bros. film “Tenet.”

AMC said the phased-in approach will mean that 100 theaters should open by Aug. 20. The additional 300 theaters that are part of the plan “are expected to open in the two weeks leading to the Aug. 28 release of Disney’s “The New Mutants.”

The plan relies on needed authorization by state and local officials.

As theaters reopen, the company is marking its centennial. The first theater opened in 1920 at 12th St. and Grand Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.

To celebrate, the AMC release said, all theaters that open up on Aug. 20 “will offer all available seats for all movies that day for the 1920s admission price of 15 cents each.” AMC added, however, that while all seats will go for that price, its total ticket sales will be “significantly reduced” in order to meet social distancing goals for the theaters.

That’s a one-day event. But AMC said part of the celebration will involve screening older gems for $5. The company said these would include “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Inception,” “Back To the Future” and “Black Panther.”

Back in June, AMC warned investors that the coronavirus crisis meant that the company’s very survival “as a going concern” was in doubt. However, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, AMC said it believed it had the cash to reopen its theaters this summer or even later.

Also in June, AMC started up a new health and sanitization initiative and said it would restart operations at roughly 450 U.S. cinemas on July 15. That deadline came and went.

The company said its AMC Safe & Clean effort was created with the guidance of existing and past Harvard University School of Public Health faculty in addition to Clorox Co.