As Americans move further into 2020, the realization that certain luxuries we took for granted will likely not be returning as soon as we thought.
AMC Theaters had initially planned to open back up in July, though the theater chain announced this past week that they will now re-open mid-to-late August.
Looking at the current climate, this news comes as no surprise. As Coronavirus cases continue to surge, several major cities throughout the United States are setting restrictions. Many theater chains were unwilling to open until they had new films to showcase for audiences.
Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros were hoping that Tenet would be the film to entice people back to the theaters. However, after a long push and pull of release dates and holdings for July, Warner Bros decided it was best to pull the movie from the release schedule completely. They are currently in the process of assessing the best film for release.
Luckily for Disney lovers, Mulan is still set for release on August 21st. That is also the date in which AMC is set to open its doors. Of course, with COVID caseloads at an all-time-high here in the US, moviegoers are beginning to think that date seems optimistic.
It is important to note that AMC implemented what they call “AMC Safe & Clean.” This health and sanitation program was initially set to cap theaters at 30% capacity while cleaning and sanitizing theaters between showings.
Other popular theater chains, including Regal and Cinemark, are following the lead with AMC. They believe it is unsafe and irresponsible to open theaters right now, especially since movie theaters are one of the highest-risk environments for the spread of disease.
These are the same chains that stirred the pot earlier in the summer, saying they would be re-opening without any mask requirements in place. Outlooks changed, of course, though the question of how many moviegoers will actually wear masks, especially when they are eating, is questionable. Movie theater chains will not stop selling food either, as concession sales are where a majority of revenue comes from.
To many people, 2020 is feeling a bit like a lost year. Though films like Dune and No Time To Die are slated for release in November and December, the optimism has left the building. It wouldn’t be surprising if these films were pushed into 2021.
As we recently saw, Bill & Ted Face the Music will now be going straight to VOD while releasing in smaller theaters simultaneously.
The future of American movie theater chains is still relatively uncertain at this point. So many are hoping for some sort of government bailout, as the last thing people want is for these forms of entertainment to go under. As we all know, seeing a movie in the theater is still one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the experience truly.
The question is, is that experience worth dying over?