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What to Expect When American Theaters Reopen After COVID


What to Expect When American Theaters Reopen After COVID

Are you preparing for a trip to the local cinema? If so, you know most cinemas in the United States are on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many movie fans are gearing up for the reopening of America’s top movie chains – American Multi-Cinema (AMC), Cinemark, Regal Entertainment and Marcus Corporation. What we mean by “gearing up” is preparing for the next movie adventure. Below, you will discover a list of the ways Americans are preparing for the openings of their local theaters.

Why American Cinemas Closed?

The coronavirus pandemic has been linked to hundreds of thousands of business closings, including all of the top cinema chains. While none of these businesses were expecting the closure, they have learned to accept it.

While movie fans wait for some signs of reopening, cinemas are drawing up COVID-19 reopening guidelines. The current situation is not looking positive for most theaters. In fact, some are preparing this minute to file for bankruptcy protection.

Reopening and Shuttering – Is This the New Norm For Cinemas?

Things were looking better for American cinemas while they were permitted to reopen. But, within days, federal and state governments called for cinemas to shut back down. This was a letdown for theaters and their fans. American consumers would no longer have the option to watch a new movie release in a land-based cinema. This would only leave the option of streaming.

Fortunately, there are several American movie streaming services online. While this was great and all, the online movie streaming websites were not privy to new releases. As cinemas were forced to shut down, Hollywood was forced to shut down as well.

Hollywood producers would be forced to put their works on hold until COVID-19 was no longer a threat.

New Seating Arrangement

Unlike the traditional cinema setting, the new coronavirus regulations would not allow movie-goers to sit side-by-side. American cinemas would be required to follow the new coronavirus regulations, which would include a 6-foot separation for attendees.

It is unclear if cinemas would allow friends and family members to sit side-by-side. So far, we just know that the attendees will be separated by one or two seats. This basically means you may not have the option of sitting next to your friend or family member.

Required to Wear Masks

The new cinema coronavirus regulations would also include wearing masks. This is nothing new for American consumers since all retail stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and big-box stores require their customers to wear a mask. Consumers are not permitted to enter any of the retail establishments without a mask.

To minimize any confusion between consumers and land-based retailers, free masks are available through several outlets. When you play casino online, you never need to wear a mask. Unless you fear your own germs, you can play casino games until your heart is content free of a face mask.

No Soda Fountain and Popcorn

It is still unclear whether or not cinemas are going to ban the sale of popular and soft drinks from the soda fountain. Some American gas stations and convenience stores have stopped selling beverages from soda fountains, hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches and soft serve.

Without popcorn and soda from the fountain, cinemas would not be the same. Unfortunately, some movie-goers are not liking the possibility of this ban. It is possible, some cinemas will continue selling can and bottled sodas, as well as individual snack packs.

It is best to contact your local cinema in advance. Most cinemas have already posted their new coronavirus guides on their official websites.

What Are Movie Fans Saying About the New Cinema Regulations

Movie-goers are not sure what to think about the new COVID-19 cinema guidelines. Some have taken their disapproval to social media. One movie fan claims she will not visit her local cinema until the COVID-19 regulations are lifted. She expressed her dislike, saying masks restricted her ability to breathe, and not sitting next to her family and friends was just asking too much.


Ask yourself before you start planning your next cinema adventure can I accept these rules. If you can honestly answer this question, you may be ready to accept the new cinema coronavirus guidelines. Just know, cinemas have federal and state guidelines they must follow as well. With the movie-goers’ cooperation, everyone will come out of this pandemic unscathed.

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As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.

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