AMC Theatres, the largest U.S. movie theater chain with Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group owning a majority stake, resumed theater operations at more than 100 U.S. locations Thursday for the first time in roughly five months.
As part of AMC’s Centennial Celebration, the theater chain announced all its U.S. theatre locations will offer all available seats for all movies with one-day-only 15-cent movie ticket pricing on the reopening day.
Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Theatres, told FOX Business that even though his theaters are at limited capacity, he was proud to announce tickets were sold out at many of its theaters nationwide.
AMC, founded in 1920 with a theater at 12th Street and Grand Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri, is now the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe and the largest in the world with approximately 1,000 theaters and 11,000 screens globally.
AMC suspended operations at all of its domestic and international theaters between Feb. 23 and March 17 in response to COVID-19 safety concerns. According to the company, some AMC theaters in states such as Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Colorado, and Florida are reopening. But theaters in California, New York and some other states are still waiting to reopen till local guidelines allow.
Approximately 300 additional AMC locations around the country are expected to open during the following two weeks, leading to the release of Disney’s latest installment in the X-Men Cinematic Universe — “The New Mutants” on Aug. 28 and Warner Bros.’ spy film “Tenet” on Sept. 3 — according to the company’s press release last week.
The company announced it is bringing back some classic movies, such as a special 10th anniversary edition of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” “Back to the Future,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Black Panther,” which will all be priced at only 5 U.S. dollars per ticket after the reopening day but new releases will be at normal current-day pricing.
Some moviegoers expressed their excitement.
“Thank You @AMCTheatres for reopening the doors again after 5 month absence due to the coronavirus. Can’t wait to go back and watch the rest of new movies of 2020 that we have left starting with @NewMutantsFilm,” wrote a twitter user.
But some voiced their concern about safety amid the pandemic. “Hope everyone going to the movies today has fun and stays safe,” a twitter user said.
AMC said it is going to implement rigorous cleaning and safety protocols, including social distancing and reducing auditorium capacities. All AMC auditoriums are at 40 percent capacity or less, based on municipality guidelines.
All guests and employees are required to wear masks. Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes will be widely available throughout theaters. Auditoriums are disinfected before each show with new electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. The theater chain noted it is closely monitoring federal, state and local guidelines and its policies and procedures will continue to evolve accordingly.
AMC and other major U.S. theater chains suffered financial hardship amid the pandemic. AMC reported earlier this month a net loss of 561 million U.S. dollars in the second quarter due to the pandemic. The company’s total revenue in the quarter ending June 30 fell 98.7 percent to 18.9 million dollars from 15.06 billion dollars a year ago.