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AMC Theaters plans to reopen globally in July

The chain says it is keeping customer safety in mind and is aiming for the releases of 'Tenet' and 'Mulan' next month.

AMC Theaters, the largest chain in the U.S., says it expects to fully reopen its theaters worldwide in July. It comes days after AMC said it might not survive the coronavirus pandemic that shut down theaters for months.

In its first quarter earnings report, AMC said it has already opened 10 theaters in Norway, Germany, Spain and Portugal and expects to be fully open globally in July. The theater chain is aiming for the July 17 release of "Tenet" followed a week later by Disney's live-action "Mulan."

AMC said that safety of customers during the ongoing pandemic will be a key part of the reopening plan. The company will continue to follow local and national requirements. It said it is looking at various strategies including use of personal protective equipment, cleaning protocols, limiting theater capacity and blocking seats. 

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AMC said it had an adjusted net loss of $231.6 million for the first quarter of 2020 and a cash balance of $299.8 million as of March 31. Its revenues were up 10% over the prior year through February, but that was before social distancing measures forced AMC to shut down all its locations.

AMC said last week in a regulatory filing that it has enough cash to reopen its theaters this summer as planned. But if it’s not allowed to reopen, it will need more money, which it may not be able to borrow. Film delays are another concern. AMC noted that people may be afraid to go to theaters, but hopes the desire for social distancing is temporary and that people will want to go to the movies again.

Cinemark last week said it’s taking a slew of measures to tempt back moviegoers as it reopens. Those include discounting and vigorous cleaning protocols for theaters, like disinfecting seats in the mornings and before each showtime. It will also require employees — but not customers — to wear masks and will stagger showtimes to thin out crowds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credit: AP
People exit an AMC theater Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Los Angeles. Californians wanting to escape the new reality of the coronavirus at the movies, casino or amusement park are running into the six-foot rule. State health officials issued new guidance Saturday urging theaters to keep attendance under 250 people and ask strangers to sit six feet apart. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)