AMC Theatres Enter Phased Reopenings Across the U.S.
Over 90 AMC movie theatre locations reopened on Friday, Aug. 20 after being shut down since March. New precautions have been put in place with limited seating and required face coverings, but will consumers still go to see movies like they normally do?
AMC has a phased plan to reopen all of their locations. The company expects two-thirds of all 600 locations to be open in the second week of September.
“The remainder of AMC’s U.S. theatres will open only after authorized to do so by state and local officials,” AMC said in a press release.
An anonymous employee of an AMC Theatre in N.J. has been out of work for the last five months due to the pandemic.
“It has been pretty weird for me,” she said.
“It is hard to figure out a lot of things because most places have a set date [to open], but for some reason the governor [Phil Murphy] just will not open up movie theaters.”
She is a supervisor at her AMC location and needs to know the details about the reopening plan, she said. She added customers will not have an issue coming back to theatres because of all the safety measures AMC has put in place.
AMC locations were closed for five months during the peak of the pandemic. Without movie-goers, AMCs stock dropped quickly. From February 20 at 7.76 USD to April 13 at 2.08 USD.
Now, after reopening, AMC has promised 15 cent tickets to increase sales. Their current stock is back up to 6.29 USD as of August 28.
In a new study done by Performance Research & Full Circle Research CO. it found 70% of consumers would rather watch a first-run movie at home if it costs about the same and came out at the same time, 13% said they would rather go to the movies, and 17% said they were unsure.
Some movie consumers have found a different route to get their entertainment: Drive-in movies.
Open since 1949, The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre shows movies, new and old, seven days a week. $8 for adults and $5 for kids, anyone can go see a childhood classic or a new hit movie while also practicing social distancing.
Craig Askew, operator of the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre, said since COVID-19 shut down every indoor movie theatre, it has been a whirlwind.
“It has been very tiring. It has been super busy,” Askew told Scriberr News.
They have put in new safety precautions, such as allowing outside food and social distancing measures, but Askew said people tend to “congregate in their own tribes” anyways.
With over 70 years of movie showing experience, things have changed drastically for the theatre.
Askew added they’ve had to up their game to show the public that they are more than vintage. By adding new types of entertainment like special events, and concerts, their following has grown from more than just classic movie lovers.
“I love the movies, it is one of my happy places, one of the things I have missed the most,” Megan McFarland, a TV and Film student at Columbia College Chicago told Scriberr News. “I have never been to a drive-in movie, but if I had the opportunity, I would definitely go.”