Business Culture

Cinemas Are Set to Reopen Throughout the US With Strict Safety Measures In Place

By Adriaan Brits Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Good news for movie aficionados: the nation’s biggest theatre chains are preparing to open up their cinemas to the public once again in July. The reopening comes with new rules to be followed, and the timeline for how long these guidelines will be in place is, for now, at least, undetermined.

“We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theater,” Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, said in a statement. “Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Cineworld’s main priority remains the health and well-being of both our customers and colleagues.”

Cinemark, AMC Theatres, and Movie Tavern to Reopen

Recently, the world’s largest movie theater owner announced that it is set to reopen more than 600 US theaters next month. Cinemark intends to reopen all of its 500-plus cinemas by July 17. With major blockbusters yet to be released, Cinemark is planning to show classics in their theatres until new films are released. The success of Netflix during this pandemic shows that the thirst for watching movies is possibly at an all-time high.

COVID-19 Procedures for Cinemas

Employees will wear masks and gloves during their shifts, and guests will be encouraged to wear face masks. These will be obligatory in some cinemas, depending on local guidelines.

According to a spokesperson for Cinemark, “we understand that people will naturally be concerned about returning to the theatre, we want to reassure the public that we are very conscious of these concerns and have worked meticulously with health experts to help guide us on how we can best protect our valued customers.”

The Financial Impact on the Entertainment Industry

The global coronavirus outbreak is continuing to have a significant toll on cinemas worldwide. Perhaps unsurprisingly, shares of Cinemark are down nearly 55% since January, this is in line with many other theatres across the globe. During these times, many customer-based businesses have seen their income become completely frozen, so it's safe to assume that this news will be somewhat of a relief to theatre owners across the world.

The demand for theatre-going is likely to be high with people being locked up for so long. It is the hope that these businesses will be able to recover some of their significant losses over the coming months.

Criticism

Whether it is too early to open up such theatres to the general public is a matter for debate. Even with the new safety rules in place, you can't rule out the chance of the spread of COVID-19.

That being said, no one knows how long the US will have to live with these regulations in place. Many believe it is necessary to make these small steps and bring back some form of normality to the public.

Preventative Measures Taken by Theatres

  • Customers can buy tickets in advance and also buy concession items via an app. This change will prevent items from being transferred between hands.
  • Employees will sanitize every auditorium and seat after each movie using new electrostatic “fogger” equipment. This form of deep sanitization is highly effective in disinfecting all materials with a fast-drying, non-toxic formula.
  • Employees will undergo daily health screenings, including temperature checks, where mandated.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be mounted on the wall on either side of the main entrance.
  • Vending machines and water fountains will not be available for use. Arcade games will also be closed where required by local governances.
  • Concession stands will have reduced menu offerings, and there will be no refills on large drinks and popcorn.

About the Author


Headshot of author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.