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LEAWOOD, Kan. — Across the Kansas City metro, people are grabbing their popcorn, candy and seats at movie theaters once again.

A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Leawood-based AMC Theaters to close all its locations nationwide. But even after many locations reopened, some patrons were still apprehensive.

However, as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, moviegoers tell FOX4 that they feel more comfortable returning to theaters.

“Well, there’s not very many people here. Everyone is starting to get vaccinated; numbers are going down, and I feel like they do a pretty good job with all the restrictions here,” said Hillary Kauffman, an Edgerton resident.

“We felt like it was safer to come now. We saw that the seats are spaced out in the theater, so we felt like it was OK,” said Kortney Leech, another Edgerton resident.

On Friday, 98% of AMC locations across the U.S. will be reopened, and by March 26, the Leawood-based company will have 99% reopened. 

AMC’s revenue took a nose dive during the pandemic. The company lost close to $4 billion in 2020, according to the Kansas City Business Journal. Still, CEO Adam Aron is optimistic about the new movie titles being released and the company’s outlook this year.