Flattening the curve? Whuzzat? Despite the COVID-19 cases spiking, and a federal government that doesn’t seem to give a shit, the show really must go on. Businesses that shutdown during the outbreak are starting to open back up, and cinemas are a big part of that plan. While we already know AMC is gearing up to reopen next month, and now Regal Cinemas has announced new safety rules and regulations in preparation for a July 10th return.
Regal Cinemas is reopening its doors on July 10th, but things will be done a bit differently in order to mitigate the threat of COVID-19. You can read the entire list at Regal’s website, but the gist is that each individual theater will be going by state guidelines. Theaters will be kept at 50% max capacity in states that require it, and the same goes for wearing make. If the state government demands masks be worn, most likely in big cities, then those will be the rules. As for the Regal staffers, they’ll be undergoing daily health screening checks, as well. If buying tickets online, the system will automatically include theater spacing to account for social distancing measures. In places without online ticketing? Well, Regal will hope you’ll follow the rules. Concession stands will be socially distanced, and theaters will be thoroughly sanitized after each showing.
Nothing is going to make going out to a movie 100% safe, and hopefully Regal and AMC realize that. So when/if audiences are slow to return, they’ll understand why. This is going to be very slow going for a while, and there’s no guarantee it’ll ever get back to normal, even with films like Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984 out there.
As a critic, I’m curious to see what all of this means for movie screenings. Have we seen the end of general audiences sneak peeks? Kinda hard to socially distance when the entire point of screenings is to jam pack the house for maximum word-of-mouth. Very interesting, and scary, times ahead. Are you eager to return to cinemas next month? Let us know!