Despite COVID-19 being a very real threat in many major cities and regions of the US and the rest of the world, cinemas are planning to reopen shortly, as in a couple of weeks. We’ve already heard from AMC about the plan to reopen almost all of the company’s locations by July and now, Regal Cinemas is following suit, as the chain has announced a reopening date of July 10 and a brand-spanking-new list of regulations customers and employees will have to follow.
As we’ve seen with how the state and local governments are handling the COVID-19 response, with some states being much more strict than others, it appears that cinema chains are each going to adopt their own regulations about how to safely reopen in July. In the case of Regal, and the company’s new guidelines, it appears that the chain is doing its best to follow the regulations of the local governments while also making sure people can enjoy popcorn and drinks, if possible.
You can read the entire set of guidelines at Regal’s website, but the general idea is that employees will be undergoing all sorts of health checks regularly and will be asked to wash their hands at least once per hour. In addition, movie-goers will only have access to a limited menu at the concession stands and social distancing will be the rule of law, both at the popcorn line and in the theater.
Perhaps the biggest concern for many people, and the source of a bit of controversy when Cinemark announces its plan, PPE masks will only be required to be worn by employees and guests when it’s required by local government. So, some of the big cities will likely require face masks but those places (you know where they are) that think masks are an obstruction to their personal liberties (ugh), will likely continue to be mask-free.
With Regal opening on July 10, that gives the cinema chain plenty of time to work out the bugs of its new plan and make sure everything is good to go (as best as possible) for when “Tenet” opens on July 31. Again, the big unknown is how many people are still going to venture out to movie theaters next month and take the risk for Christopher Nolan’s feature.