Following Governor Cuomo’s announcement to reopen theatres on March 5th, American-Multi Cinema (AMC) Theatres opened all of their locations in New York City. Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Entertainment stated in the company’s press release, “we are excited to announce that AMC, the largest movie theatre exhibitor in New York City, will reopen all 13 of our theatres in New York City beginning March 5. We will do so with the highest devotion to the health and safety of our guests and associates through our AMC Safe & Clean policies and protocols, which were developed in consultation with Clorox and with current and former faculty at the prestigious Harvard University School of Public Health.” According to the press release, the AMC Safe & Clean initiative will provide a reduced amount of tickets for each showtime, social distancing within theatres, required mask-wearing, upgraded air filtration systems, and disinfecting with HEPA vacuums to ensure safety for all guests. The theatre also promises to provide disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizing stations, and extra time between screenings so that theatres can be properly cleaned.
This news comes after a year of theatres being shut down across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the rigid restrictions in 2020, many anticipated films had a delayed-release. Some fan favorites included: Marvel’s Black Widow, A Quiet Place Part II, Godzilla vs. Kong, and many more. This left movie lovers to resort to having to wait for anticipated releases or utilizing streaming services to watch movies from home. For Disney+ and HBO Max subscribers, movies that were supposed to be released during the pandemic, like Mulan and Wonder Woman 1984, were instead released through their respective streaming services. While there is both safety and convenience in watching movies from home, there is also something special about the movie-going experience.
The Knight News spoke with some Queens College students to hear their thoughts on movie theatres re-opening in New York City. Senior and Early Childhood Education student, Paige Fili says, “I miss going to the movies because of the experience of being taken out of reality for a while. However, I don’t miss paying outrageous prices.” Paige also does not like the idea of “wearing a mask or being too tightly seated with others.” “I guess now that the pandemic has happened, going to the movies doesn’t really sound as enjoyable. Something like a drive-in theatre feels more appropriate according to social distance regulations and personal comfort and hygiene.”
Jimmy McMillan, QC senior and English major is “happy that things like theatres are opening up again” but also acknowledges that “due to the pandemic, more and more people have gotten used to streaming movies and shows at home.” He believes that the lockdown has “propelled [the] popularity” of streaming. “As long as the necessary safety precautions – like masks and social distancing regulations are in place, we can finally return to a little normalcy. Theatres reopening may be the beginning of the end for this pandemic” says Jimmy.
Although theatres are reopening, there will still be streaming platforms such as HBO Max who provide dual releases of movies, where viewers have the option of streaming the movie at home and/or going to the theatre on the day of its release. With several releases set to come out this year such as Top Gun: Maverick and Candyman, movie lovers get to enjoy the best of both worlds, in theatres and at home.