October 19, 2020
Fiscally challenged AMC Theatres Oct. 19 announced that several of its locations throughout New York state will resume operations beginning Oct. 23. The re-openings are a result of the recent announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, allowing movie theaters throughout much of the state to reopen following lengthy closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New York, along with California and New Jersey, are seen as vital markets to the movie theater industry.
About 12 AMC locations are expected to resume operations primarily in portions of Upstate New York and on Long Island. As a result of these openings, AMC expects to have approximately 530 of its 600-theater circuit open by the end of October. Beginning Oct. 23, AMC will be operating theaters in 44 of the 45 states where it has business operations.
News of the re-openings sent AMC Entertainment shares up 22% in early morning trading.
“The reopening of movie theaters around the country is essential to the theatrical industry and the entire entertainment ecosystem,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement, adding that studios are pushing back new releases without major market re-openings.
“Therefore, it is a monumental step in the right direction for our entire industry that theaters are starting to open across the state of New York,” Aron said.
The CEO said AMC continues to work closely with state and local authorities about re-openings, which Aron believes will increase confidence among moviegoers to return to cinemas.
“We continue to see state and local governments all across the United States recognize the strong steps we have taken through [our sanitation and safety protocols],” Aron said.
AMC’s clean protocols feature social distancing, mandatory mask wearing, availability of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, along with high-tech solutions like electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and enhanced air filtration through MERV 13 filters.
In areas where theaters are not yet able to open, Aron said AMC continues to have discussions with local authorities about resuming operations.
The re-openings are key to AMC staying in business. Parent company AMC Entertainment Oct. 13 disclosed it has only enough cash to maintain operations through the end of the year.