June 24, 2020
Odeon Cinemas, the British exhibitor owned by AMC Entertainment, is set to resume operations to the public July 4 after the government gave the green light for theaters. The chain, along with AMC’s 11,000 screens worldwide, has been largely shuttered due the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheduled re-opening comes as some health care officials in the U.K. worry a second wave of COVID-19 poses a “real risk” to consumers. Officials, including presidents of the Royal College of Physicians and the chair of the British Medical Association, stress politicians, civic leaders and businesses should work together to ensure the country is well-prepared when the wave hits later this year.
Unlike AMC Theatres, which is re-opening 450 screens on July 15 with mandatory masks, Odeon has not announced whether masks will be required for moviegoers.
“We’re currently awaiting detailed government guidelines for the cinema industry,” Odeon said in a statement. “We will be re-opening in line with these guidelines.”
The chain said it would offer pre-packaged concessions, drinks, contactless ticketing, staggered showtimes, social distancing inside theaters, except among family members, enhanced cleaning protocols and an abundance of sanitizing options available to consumers and staff.
Movies to be screened include mostly current home entertainment releases: 1917, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Sonic the Hedgehog, Onward, Little Women, Bad Boys for Life, Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman, among others.
Most of the titles rank among the top 10 selling DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital releases on the U.K.’s weekly Official Film Chart.