LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Regal Cinemas, the nation’s second-largest movie theater chain, says they are planning to reopen Aug. 21, even though health departments across the country have not given such venues permission to reopen yet.
Regal announced its reopening plan Tuesday, touting a “wide range of new health and safety measures based on guidelines provided from the CDC.”
The new guidelines include contactless payment, sanitizing every auditorium and seat after every movie with electrostatic “fogger” equipment, requiring masks, frequent hand washing and temperature checks for employees; required face masks for guests and shutting down vending machines, water fountains, self-serve condiment stands and arcade games where required by local ordinances.
Regal says they will also limit capacity in each auditorium to 50% and require two empty seats between groups in its reservation system.
AMC, which is the largest movie theater chain in the country, also announced plans to reopen in mid-to-late August in anticipation of blockbusters like “Tenet” and “Mulan.” Both films had been delayed multiple times by their respective studios, but “Tenet” is now expected to be released in September. A new release date has not yet been announced for “Mulan.”
It’s not clear, however, if movie theaters will be allowed to reopen by local public health officials. A resurgence of COVID-19 infections in California prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to order bars, restaurants, churches, malls and gyms to shut down their indoor operations in the dozens of counties on the state’s watch list.