It seems almost every hour COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the entertainment industry. Most recently, many of 2020’s prominent features such as “F9,” “Mulan,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” and “The New Mutants” got delayed indefinitely, Disney halted production across their live-action slate, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are in quarantine fighting off the disease. With no new releases in sight, theater chains are about to be hit hard and will be hit harder as government and health officials encourage social distancing to prevent the further spread of the virus. However, AMC Theaters may have just found a solution.
In a statement released by AMC Theaters, the chain announced that it will be limiting auditorium capacity to at least 50% starting tomorrow March 14 until April 30, 2020, to help customers engage in “social distancing.” While that sounds like a massive blow to profits, an empty marketplace allows the chain the flexibility to shift audiences to different auditoriums screening less popular films should certain theaters reach the cut off.
AMC’s Official Release is as follows:
“LIMITING SEATING CAPACITY
Beginning tomorrow Saturday, March 14 and continuing until April 30, 2020, AMC will cut in half the seating capacity of every one of its theatre’s auditoriums. It will do so by capping ticket sales for each showtime in each of its theatre’s auditoriums to an amount equal to 50% of the normal seating capacity. In those auditoriums with more than 500 seats, AMC will further cap ticket sales to a maximum of 250 in any case. AMC is also actively complying with all local authorities’ directives on social gathering and is further reducing the availability of tickets to comply with any current or future federal, state or local governmental order.
ENHANCED THEATRE CLEANING
AMC theatre teams are following AMC’s stringent health and safety cleaning protocols, which have been enhanced to ensure that at least once per hour within an AMC building, the theatre team is cleaning high-touch point areas, including kiosks, counter tops, restroom areas, glass, handrails, and doorknobs. In addition, AMC cleans every auditorium between every showtime.
GUIDANCE FOR GUESTS AND THEATRE STAFF
AMC has mandated that any theatre associate who feels ill is excused from work and should not come to the theatre. Additionally, AMC urges all its potential guests to stay at home and seek medical assistance if they are not feeling well.”
“These are uncharted times in the United States,” stated CEO and President of AMC Theaters Adam Aron. “We are very closely monitoring the guidance of the CDC. We are complying with all directives from federal, state and local health and government authorities, and with our unilateral move to reduce capacity and increase social distancing, we are going beyond what governments are requiring of us. Founded in 1920, AMC Theatres has a proud history that spans 100 years. As we enter our second century, AMC remains firmly committed to offering a clean, healthy, entertaining environment every time our guests come to movies at our theatres.”
With AMC implementing these changes, will you still be heading to the movies amid the COVID-19 outbreak? Let us know in the comments below and, most importantly, stay healthy and safe out there!