Regal Cinemas announced a reopening date for its theaters, as parent company Cineworld restarts operations. Like many cinema chains, Regal closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic and has been waiting for cases to decline before setting a reopen date. We now know that the theater chain will open again on July 10.
"We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theater," CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement, according to CNN. "Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Cineworld's main priority remains the health and well-being of both our customers and colleagues," Cineworld added. The company also stated that its scheduled opening dates were "subject to final clarifications and confirmation in relation to various government Covid-19 restrictions in certain territories." Notably, Cineworld closed all 787 of its cinemas, in 10 countries, when governments began to roll out social distancing guidelines, back in March.
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In a post on the Regal Cinemas website, the chain explained that its "reopening plans include a wide range of new health and safety measures based on guidelines provided from the CDC and other public health organizations." Regal will begin instituting "new contactless payment options and innovative sanitizing methods." These include guests having "the ability to purchase concession items from the app," and new ULV Foggers. "Employees will sanitize every auditorium and seat after each movie using new electrostatic ‘fogger’ equipment," Regal explained. "This form of deep sanitization is highly effective in disinfecting all materials with a non-toxic formula that is fast drying."
Additionally, "each theatre will sanitize high-contact points on an increased schedule and use floor markers throughout the building to assist with social distancing." Regal employees will "undergo daily health screenings including temperature check," and will also be required to regularly wash their hands and — if required by local ordinances — wear masks. Regal will also be hiring greeters to help "assist guests with new procedural changes."
Regarding the concession stands, Regal will keep "every other register" closed "to maintain social distancing," and "a reduced menu offering will be temporarily available." Furthermore, "self-service condiment stands will be closed," and "refills on large drinks and popcorn will be suspended." Finally, many theaters auditoriums may have a 50 percent reduced capacity, and the "reservation system will maintain two empty seats between groups (1 seat at recliner locations) to maintain proper social distancing throughout the movie."