INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — AMC Theatres, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, is reopening in the U.S. on Thursday with retro ticket prices of 15 cents per movie. It’s part of a 100-year celebration for the business.
AMC Entertainment, which owns the chain, said around 100 cinemas — or about a sixth of its nationwide locations — will open on Aug. 20 with throwback pricing for a day.
Two Indianapolis theaters – Castleton Square 14 and Indianapolis 17 – are reopening and already almost all of the movie tickets for Thursday are sold out online.
AMC said this is all part of a phased reopening plan. During its opening-day promotion, AMC will show catalog films, including “Ghostbusters,” “Black Panther,” “Back to the Future” and “Grease.” Those older films will continue to play afterward for $5.
The company said there are a lot of COVID-19 safety precautions now in place.
The theaters will be at 40% capacity or less for social distancing and people must wear masks unless they are eating and drinking. There’s also more time between movies, so staff can clean.
The theaters have new electrostatic cleaning machines, new air filters and new policies, such as no refills on drinks.
Movie treats will only be $5 until Halloween, however, there will be a limited menu.
AMC theaters have reopened in numerous international countries but have remained shuttered in the U.S. since March. The chain touted the reopening as “Movies in 2020 at 1920 Prices.”
After several false starts due to a summer rise in coronavirus cases throughout much of the U.S., widespread moviegoing is currently set to resume in late August. Regal Cinemas, the second-largest chain, is to reopen some U.S. locations on Aug. 21.
AMC confirmed that Disney’s much-delayed “New Mutants” will debut in theaters Aug. 28, with Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” to follow Sept. 3. Warner Bros. is planning to release “Tenet” a week earlier internationally, including in Canada. A handful of smaller new releases are also planned for late August, including “Unhinged,” a thriller from Solstice Studios with Russell Crowe; and Armando Iannucci’s “Personal History of David Copperfield,” from Disney’s Fox Searchlight.
AMC said it expects about two-thirds of its theaters will be open in time for “Tenet.” Several states, including California and New York, are yet to allow movie theaters to reopen.