LEAWOOD, Kan. — The show must finally go on.
Leawood-based AMC Theaters reopened its locations across the U.S. on Thursday with brand new COVID-based precautions in place. AMC, which had closed all 1,000 of its locations in March, lost a reported $2.2 billion due to the pandemic.
Safety is the newest Hollywood star in AMC’s universe. New safety precautions at AMC Theaters include mask requirements for all staff members and customers, social distancing and smaller crowds in auditoriums, which are being sold at only 30 percent capacity.
On Re-Opening Day, ticketholders could choose from a selection of classic movies or new features for only 15 cents.
“The best thing we can do to change the karma is to re-open, re-open safely, and get our guests back in our theaters. Movies have been an incredible draw for 100 years,” Adam Aron, AMC’s CEO and President, told FOX4.
Movie fans were eager to return to the theatre while expressing their concern over the ongoing pandemic. AMC financial reports show the company survived losing billions of dollars during the pandemic by working the public debt market.
Aron said the company installed special cleaning and ventilation equipment at all of its locations.
“Our company has taken enormous steps to make sure our theaters will be safe and clean,” Aron said.
“The pandemic is very — catching something you’re trying to avoid is problematic,” Derwin Coleman, a moviegoer from La Cygne, Kansas, said. “If they do minimal cleaning and work with distance between patrons, I think we’ll be safe.”
“I think it helps people to get outside and do things they enjoy. A lot of people really enjoy the movies. It helps the economy and it gets back into the things we enjoy,” Stephanie Dewald, a ticketholder from Gardner said.
Aron said AMC hired advisors from the Clorox Corporation and the Harvard School of Public Health to guide them as they reopened.