In brief: The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted just about every industry, but theater chains like AMC have been hit particularly hard. After months of virus-related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, though, the company is finally ready to begin reopening its theaters.
AMC first announced its intentions to do so last month, but the company's plans were quite vague at the time. Now, they're considerably more concrete: AMC will begin its not-so-grand reopening on August 20, according to a new report from The Verge.
Around 100 theaters will be part of this reopening initially, but if all goes well, AMC will gradually scale up until "about two-thirds" of its locations are ready for business once again. This process is expected to be complete by September 3, an email sent out to AMC's A-List subscribers claims.
A-List, for the unaware, is AMC's take on the MoviePass-style ticket subscription service. For $20/month, you can see up to three movies a week (12 per month) with few restrictions. A-List also gives you a discount on food and drink purchases, and it lets you watch films in any format (including IMAX and 3D) at no additional cost.
A-List customers have had their subscriptions put on hold while AMC grapples with Covid-19, and as such have not been charged for the service in recent months. However, beginning on December 1, auto-billing will resume.
Background aside, AMC plans to fully open its remaining locations once state and local authorities give them the go-ahead. Notably, even where the limited reopening is concerned, the company is not throwing caution to the wind.
All theaters will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly, with special attention paid toward "high traffic" areas. Auditorium seating will also be restricted, so you won't be seeing packed theaters any time soon.
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