Last week, AMC announced their plan to reopen their theaters across the country. With the recent news that the movie theater company will require movie goers to wear masks, we're taking a closer look at AMC's broader reopening plan.
Reopening In Phases
With the news of their reopening plan, AMC has put forth a new division within the company titled AMC Safe & Clean. The division will be overseen by Harvard's School of Public Health.
AMC told investors in a press release that reopening will be handled in 4 phases. AMC's first phase will include:
"Phase 1 commences on July 15, when AMC will make available a maximum of 30% of the seating capacity in every showtime, at all its theatres nationwide. In non-recliner auditoriums, AMC will automatically block out every other row of seats for every showtime."
Phase 2 will see a raise in seat capacity and more. The movie theatre company says:
"Phase 2 will begin when AMC deems it to be acceptable given local and regional health conditions, and capacity limitations will rise to 40%."
Phase 3 is expected by labor day, and it will see another increase in capacity:
"Phase 3 is expected to commence around Labor Day weekend, and seat capacity limits will increase to 50%."
Phase 4, while far away, will see AMC back to being fully operational:
"And finally, in Phase 4, expected around Thanksgiving, AMC plans to operate at full capacity."
AMC has listed the help of Harvard University and will be instituting several key cleaning procedures:
Every auditorium will be cleaned between each showtime with enhanced hard surface disinfection including doors, handrails, recliner buttons, and tray tables. There will be extra time allocated between showtimes to allow a full, thorough cleaning of each auditorium.
Auditorium fixtures and seating areas will be disinfected nightly using electrostatic sprayers.
All high-touch areas including door handles, stanchions, service counters, handrails, escalator rails, benches, and restroom fixtures will be routinely disinfected. Self-service Freestyle machines will be sanitized routinely, and sanitation stations with sanitizing wipes and/or hand sanitizer will be provided immediately nearby for guest use.
Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be found throughout theatres for guest use as well.
The products used for sanitation and disinfection at AMC are EPA approved for use against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens including COVID-19.
Associate and Guest Safety Protocols
AMC has also released guidelines for staff and people attending the movies. The company states:
All theatre associates are required to wear masks while in the theatre.
All theatre associates will take their temperature and undergo a health assessment screening prior to their shift. If any theatre associate is found to have a fever or symptoms, or self-reports a fever or symptoms, he or she will not work but will be compensated nonetheless.
FDA approved hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the theatre for associate and guest use. A hand-sanitizing station will be available near areas where guests interact with AMC equipment including box-office, greeter, food & beverage area, and restrooms.
In areas of the country where guests are required to wear masks, AMC will abide by that ordinance and guests will be required to wear masks except while eating and drinking. Guests at other locations are strongly encouraged to wear a mask during their visit to AMC. For guests who would like to purchase a mask upon arrival, they will be available for $1 at all locations.
Disinfectant wipes will be available to guests by request.
Contactless Ticketing, Food, and Guest Communications
AMC plans to only use contactless ticketing, new guidelines for food and beverages and guest communications:
AMC strongly recommends that guests use AMC's world-class online ticketing and mobile app for ticketless entry. Not only does this save time at the box office, but it minimizes the amount of interactions for a guest.
For guests who would like to purchase their tickets at the theatre, AMC also offers Automated Box Offices, which will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
For those unable to use AMC's contactless ticketing, guests can purchase their tickets at the box office or the guest service station at all theatres.
Food and Beverage, Including expanded Mobile Ordering
Menu selections have been temporarily reduced at all AMC locations to ensure a more efficient service, minimizing the amount of time it takes to prepare and serve, and reducing wait times.
Food & Beverage transactions will be contactless using credit, debit, or gift cards only. Any guests who want to pay with cash will need to convert their cash into a gift card at either the box office or guest services.
Except where prohibited by state or local guidelines, guests may select their own drinks from Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. All Freestyle machine touchscreens will be sanitized frequently. Where self-serve is prohibited AMC associates will serve the guests from Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.
To decrease time spent by guests at and around concession stands, AMC is greatly expanding the mobile food & beverage ordering capabilities through the AMC website and mobile app.
In the weeks and months following the resumption of operations, AMC expects that guests will be able to"order ahead" at nearly 600 locations.
Signage will be placed throughout theatres to educate guests as to AMC Safe & Clean protocols.
Social distancing decals will be affixed throughout theatres to facilitate appropriate distancing between guests.
Where helpful, various points within theatres will be marked for one-way walking flows.
AMC plans to bring movie goers back with Mulan and TENET. Both films were originally delayed from their respective releases. It remains to be seen if these guidelines will bring back movie watchers.
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