As a lover of the entire movie theater experience, it’s been a long, sad 5 months without movies. AMC movie theaters reopened and for $.15 I went back to the movies to see how it felt.
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Should We Be Going To the Movies Right Now?
I’m not going to try to sway anyone else, but… maybe? Maybe not?
As with all things in these unprecedented times, your comfort levels and caution level may vary.
Movies may be the very lowest priority right now for you. And I respect that.
But for the employees of theaters who count on a paycheck, I imagine getting back to work safely is a pretty big priority for them, so I do hope we can respect that as well.
Why I Went To the Movies During a Pandemic
Just typing that seems absurd, but here we go. 2020 is wild, you know?
For background: we’ve been pretty CV-19 compliant on the day-to-day.
We’ve taken this whole Darkest Timeline thing pretty seriously since the beginning of March; in fact, I was pulling my kids from school before it was cool. #trendsetter
We work from home, school is 100% virtual, the kids have a small bubble of friends they can play with (outside only with as much distance as possible from each other), and we curbside or carry out for most things.
I do make a weekly trip into the grocery store where I space myself appropriately from my fellow shoppers, sanitize eleventy bazillion times while there, and always, always wear a mask.
Honestly, masks are my favorite purchases right now- and I have no shame over the collection I’m creating. Anywhooo…
While we aren’t in full lockdown mode, we certainly are taking precautions where feasible and making any decision to leave our homes is done thoughtfully and with diligent preparation in advance.
NO ONE- and I mean, no one– wants to be the one that brings Corona into the house.
I share this to explain that making a decision to go to a movie theater was not something I did lightly.
But I wanted- no, needed!– to see what precautions are being put in place for the future.
Movie studios are planning to release new films and I plan on seeing some of those as intended: in a dark theater with shake my seat booming surround sound.
Hey, we all have our things, right? Mine happens to be the movies.
For me, life without big screens is adding to the sadness of these times.
I’m ready for a little happy in my life as long as the social aspect is distant and the sanitation concerns are upheld.
AMC Reopening Safety Precautions
I knew from the beginning when AMC announced its closures that they would do what they could to come back as safely as possible.
Over the past few months they made plans, they altered them a bit, they pushed back opening dates and then finally opened on August 20, 2020, with a throwback price incentive.
Was it worth $.15 to sit and watch Ghostbusters on the big screen again?
My friends: it was. And here’s what I can tell you about safety in the movie theaters.
Wear Your Mask
Look, friends, it’s not hard. And it’s required.
So don’t forget to wear your mask into the theater and at all times, even while seated.
The exception is when you are actively eating or drinking.
And if you forget your mask? No problem.
You can buy one at the theater for $1.
Touchpoints and Sanitation At AMC Theaters
Where possible, the touchpoints have been reduced and sanitizers and wipes are easily available.
Cashless is the way to pay, so do not leave your card at home! You will not be able to use cash to pay for concessions or at the theater bar.
I counted at least 10 different places where I was encouraged to grab a wipe or use sanitizer on my hands throughout the theater.
There may have been more, but I was just counting the ones I passed on my way to the theater.
Social Distance Measures In and Out of the Theater
Do you know what I want to stick around long after this whole thing staaahhhhppps?
I’m in love with the stickers on the ground that tell us where to stand.
Why? Because I love personal space.
And sometimes, yo, people do not respect it.
Even in normal times.
So let’s keep these- and hey, stay 6 feet away, umkay?
I’m also going to be a big fan of the spacing inside the theater.
I don’t know how long AMCs and Regals can afford to keep theaters at 40% or less capacity, but I am loving it.
Spacing is big for my comfort right now, so as long as I can manage to stay out of a crowd and away from strangers for an extended period of time, I’m good.
And the policy in place allows that to be the case.
I purchased my ticket for next week already (because, yes, I’ll be back) and loved how everything around me was automatically blocked off.
I don’t think my showing of Ghostbusters sold out, but it must have been close.
There were people walking up and being turned away at the ticket window as I walked in, but I’m guessing it was super hard to pass up $.15 movie tickets!
While I honestly do not think going into a movie theater is a necessity right now, I do feel that AMC’s precautions and policies are a solid step to reopening theaters.
At no time was I feeling too close or too confined while visiting the theater, and I always knew I could leave if that feeling changed.
AMC is even offering refunds if you do not feel comfortable once the movie starts, so keep that in mind if you choose to visit.
As for me: I reactivated my A-List and I’m hoping that means those blockbusters will be showing over the next few months.
And if they don’t? Well, who doesn’t want to watch Goonies like it’s 1985 again?
Patty Holliday is a parent movie reviewer, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.