The AMC theater chain continues its gradual path toward full reopening by opening the doors to 100 of its locations on Thursday, Aug. 20 to test out new cleaning and social distancing protocols.
We are excited to share we will open more than 100 U.S. locations on Thursday, 8/20. Another 300 will open during the following 2 weeks and the remainder will open only after authorized to do so by state and local officials. Check for your theatre now: https://t.co/4yQ7dhTF21 pic.twitter.com/DInzxtmvMW— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) August 13, 2020
And for hardy cinephiles who don't mind being a part of this phased experiment, the chain is offering a huge throwback deal on ticket prices.
The price of movie tickets for that Thursday only will be 15 cents, the cost of a movie on the day the first AMC Theatre opened its doors in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, as a celebration of a century of being in business.
The featured films for this Thursday deal are a mix of older and newer films, from Sonic the Hedgehog and The Goonies to Bloodshot. After Thursday, Aug, 20, tickets for screenings of throwbacks like the 10th anniversary of Inception, Black Panther, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Grease and The Empire Strikes Back will be available for $5.
New safety precautions in place include opening theaters at reduced capacity, required masks on the part of both employees and customers (though masks can be removed while eating or drinking, and, y'know, large darkened room), cashless transactions, and enhanced cleaning procedures.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit AMC hard. The company closed the doors to all of its theaters in March, only now reopening in late August.
June was a particularly bad month, with the company releasing a regulatory filing basically saying there was "substantial doubt" that they could remain in business. Later that month CEO Adam Aron got roasted for a 24-hour flip-hop where he first said the theater chain would not require customers to wear masks, and then a day later reversed course (good call in the end).
AMC is attempting to resume the majority of its operations in time for a Sept. 3 opening of the new Christopher Nolan movie Tenet, betting on a big box-office turnout as a way to reverse a dismal year of business.
Other new films The New Mutants and The Personal History of David Copperfield are both out Aug. 28.
This story first appeared at our sister publication Orlando Weekly.