AMC theaters to reopen next week, but not in New York

Publicly traded firm dusting off 400 movie houses across the country

(Getty, iStock)
(Getty, iStock)

AMC theaters will reopen more than 100 of its movie theaters on Aug. 20, with another 300 the following two weeks, according to Newsday.

None of those theaters will be in New York, however. The state, where less than 1 percent of coronavirus tests are coming back positive, has indefinitely pushed back the reopening of movie theaters, along with gyms and malls.

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“Thanks to our data-driven public health policies and New Yorkers’ hard work, we have achieved — and so far maintained — one of the lowest rates of infection in the country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo spokesperson Jack Sterne told Newsday in a statement, “but with hot spots popping up across the country, we are continuing to monitor how and when higher-risk industries like movie theaters can safely reopen.”

The issue for theaters is that large numbers of people are indoors together for two hours at a time, creating the potential for super-spreader events. Mask-wearing, temperature screening, capacity limitations, and air filtering and recirculation could ameliorate that risk.

AMC was nearly forced into bankruptcy after the pandemic shut down the majority of its 1,000 locations worldwide. To draw movie-goers back into seats, the chain is re-launching with a one-day, 15-cent ticket sale. [Newsday] — Sasha Jones