Arts and Entertainment Editor
Movie theaters have reopened in most states, but confusion still lingers among consumers as COVID-19 cases rise. The COVID-19 era has turned the cinematic industry upside down as with every other industry.
According to Associated Press news, “Movie studios and theater owners have found themselves in the unique position of having to re-educate audiences on how to see movies now.”
The ESU community has also expressed mixed feelings about cinemas and returning to in house cinemas.
“I think a couple of months ago I would have been fine going to the cinema again, but now with numbers rising, I would not feel comfortable,” said senior, Samira Khoury. “I believe when numbers go down, I’d feel more comfortable going to the cinema again…It’s sad, but hopefully things will get better soon.”
Big theaters like AMC are now struggling to stay afloat.
Despite reopening about 500 of its 600 theaters across the country, the owners are desperately looking for solutions as the company could run out of cash by the end of the year if it does not receive financial relief.
As a result, to prevent bankruptcy they are now offering special services like being able to rent an entire theater for just $99. They are also following social distancing guidelines and limiting the number of people to twenty per private viewing party.
You can also upgrade your package to include extra features like including a microphone to introduce your guests over the PA system for an extra fee of $100.
This will attract persons who are still optimistic that in-house cinemas will make a comeback.
“I don’t believe the cinematic era is ending because there will always be a need to leave the house to go see a movie. It will just be some time until we reach that level of being comfortable again,” said senior Deandre Scott.
Currently, there are 17 movies to choose from, including recent releases like “Tenet”, “Honest Thief,” and “Unhinged” as well as classics including “Monsters Inc.” and “Shrek.”
The theaters are strictly following safety guidelines and have updated their website to inform its audience of the relevant changes.
Firstly, masks are required for anyone entering the building.
They have simplified the menu to help with patrons keeping their masks on for most of the movie.
The COVID-19 menu includes, “AMC Perfectly Popcorn, Coca-Cola Freestyle, hot dogs, candy, movie nachos, and AMC KidsPacks.” However, refills are unavailable as a way to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.
Daily associate health checks are being conducted, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are available throughout the theater and at the concessions area, and they now have cashless transactions.
The cinema chain has taken the health and safety of their patrons and staff a step further and have upgraded the air filters to MERV 13 air filters to ensure superior air quality in their theaters.
They are also disinfecting the theaters before and after a viewing with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, cleaning carpeted areas with HEPA filter vacuums, and carrying out routine cleaning, not only when closed but throughout the course of the day.
While these precautions seem to be enough to persuade some patrons to venture out, according to Markets Insider, “…81% of Americans have avoided movie theaters since March.”
Which leaves the questions of, Will we be saying good-bye to cinemas for good? As we have seen so many other companies close their doors in 2020. Or will Generation Z have an in-house cinema experience they remember?
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