open the doors to 100 of their locations on Thursday, Aug. 20 to test out their new cleaning and social distancing protocols. And for hardy cinephiles who don't mind being a part of this phased reopening experiment, the chain is offering a huge throwback deal on ticket prices.
The price of movie tickets for that Thursday only will be 15 cents, the cost of a movie on the day the first AMC Theater opened their doors in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, as a celebration of a century of being in business. There are a few nearby Central Florida theaters on that list of early openers.
From the looks of AMC's website at the time of writing, AMC Altamonte Mall 18, AMC Dine-In Disney Springs (a number of their showings appear to be sold out already), and a little further out, AMC West Oaks in Ocoee are going to be part of the Aug. 20 opening. The films on offer on that Thursday sale are a mix of older films, from Grease to Bloodshot.
New safety precautions in place include opening theaters at reduced capacity, required masks on the part of both employees and customers (though masks can be removed while eating or drinking, and, y'know, large darkened room), cashless transactions, and enhanced cleaning procedures.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit AMC hard. The company closed the doors to all of its theaters in March, only now reopening in late August.
June was a particularly bad month, with the company releasing a regulatory filing basically saying there was "substantial doubt" that they could remain in business. Later that month CEO Adam Aron got roasted for a 24-hour flip-hop where he first said the theater chain would not require customers to wear masks, and then a day later reversed course (good call in the end).
AMC is attempting to resume the great majority of its operations in time for a Sept. 10 opening of the new Christopher Nolan movie Tenet, betting on a big box-office turnout as a way to reverse a dismal year of business.
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