First, AMC Theaters decided they have been closed long enough. Now, Cinemark rolls out its “post-COVID” plans to open its U.S. doors by July 17. In what Cinemark will allow as a phased approach to welcoming back patrons, their system will begin with five theaters in Dallas (corporate HQ) on June 19 as a beta launch. This will be followed by regional re-openings between July 3 and 17.
Cinemark, the country’s third-largest movie theater chain, is following the trend to re-open for business due to the release of Hollywood tentpoles Mulan (July 24) and Tenet (July 31), which is certain to be the opening bonanza theaters need. Ka-ching!
Among the COVID-19 regulations Cinemark will enforce are:
- Employees will wear masks and gloves, as well as undergo wellness checks before every shift
- “Public and high-touch spaces” (i.e., concession stands, door handles, drink stations, self-ticketing kiosks, benches, restrooms) will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes using products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19
- Each auditorium will be disinfected every morning, and all handrails and occupied seats, along with those on either side, will be sanitized between show times
- All theaters will reopen with reduced operating hours and staggered showtimes to maximize physical distancing
- For customer convenience, seat wipes and “ample” hand sanitizer will be available for customer use
- Guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks. Where applicable, Cinemark will adhere to local policies that require residents to wear face masks in public.
Cinemark has 345 U.S. theaters in the U.S., but operating at a reduced capacity is something Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi is prepared to manage related to cash flow limitations, which has been out of business for three months.
“On a typical week, exhibition operates at 50% capacity. The only time we would run into a capacity problem is opening night,” Zoradi said. “We will mitigate that by putting the big movie on more screens.”
Whatever works, Cinemark grand poobah. We just want the doors open to get back to enjoying the cinematic experience safely. Back to the masks and even gloves, don’t be that person who won’t wear a mask because it doesn’t match your outfit or get in the way of shoveling popcorn down your gullet.
While they won’t “force” you, Cinemark will “strongly encourage.”
If a particular state or county requires face masks, we will abide by that…We will strongly encourage it, but if the county or city has not deemed it a requirement, we will not require it on top of that.Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi to Variety
So, here’s the thing: If someone isn’t wearing a mask, maybe shaming is the only thing that will work? We need entertainment back in the world, and movies do bring that. If we can all do our part to keep those doors open, pry them open with gloves and hold your breath while you put a mask on in the concession line.
Got it? Good because it is all up to us.