How Movie Theaters Plan to Keep You Safe Once They Reopen
By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor
Movie theater chains across the country might be closed, but they’re adamant about the safety of their viewers and working on a “comprehensive” plan once they can reopen.
“We’ve put together a task force of our members, as well as experts on health and safety and supply chains. We’ve sent guidance to theater owners. Different states will have different things in terms of what is mandated, but we are trying to think comprehensively,” John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners told Variety.
The big three chains, AMC, Cinemark and Regal, are closed along with smaller independent chains due to COVID-19.
While larger chains may be able to stay closed longer, smaller theaters desperately need business to resume.
“I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. If we don’t come up with something, we’re bankrupt.” said Jim Billek, an independent movie theater owner in Wisconsin.
Although the fate of independent theaters hangs in the balance, the big three chains have more of a chance to survive.
“We’re planning for how we open up our seating so we can adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. We’re encouraging companies to lean in on reserved ticketing and to train their staff to prevent congestion in the lobbies,” said NATO’s Fithian.
Meanwhile, drive-in movie theaters have resurged during this time.
Although there’s talk about MULAN and a Christopher Nolan movie coming to theaters at the end of summer, any change in the health landscape could further postpone these releases.
Several titles like TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, THE CALL OF THE WILD and I STILL BELIEVE came to VOD early, due to the national theater shutdown.
Hollywood might look different post-COVID-19, but it’s an encouragement that theater exhibitors want to keep their customers safe by adhering to health professionals’ recommendations.
Take a look at the photo below that Regal posted to make followers laugh during this time of isolation.