Movie theaters have taken a huge hit during the pandemic. The entire movie industry has been shaken up, with film production being halted, released being delayed, and even the 2021 Oscars being postponed.

Despite my love for movies, I typically loathe seeing movies in theaters. I don't like sitting next to strangers while watching a movie, I don't like people talking or whispering or whatever, I want to murder anyone who busts out their phone...I'm just not a fan of the public viewing experience, when I have a comfy couch and free food at home.

Back in March, I got an email from AMC outlining their plans for social distancing (wow, back then we were talking about a two-week shutdown). I've heard that AMC is planning to re-open in July, but I haven't seen an exact date. However, Regal Cinema has said their theaters will be open starting July 10th. (UPDATE: I got an email from AMC saying they were opening "approximately 450 theatres, about 90% of their locations" on July 15th.)

Even though I don't go to the movies that often, I still get excited for the occasional big blockbusters (Star Wars, Marvel, etc) and I was very interested to see how theaters would adapt to the post-pandemic world. Theaters have already been removing seats and putting more space to stretch out, so it wouldn't be that difficult to re-arrange again to make sure pairs of seats were six feet apart. One of the biggest issues I've seen when it comes to social distancing is that none of the businesses seem to understand that the guideline works in 360-degrees, not just forward-and-backward or side-to-side. Keeping space in front and behind me is just as important as to my left and right.

Regal has laid out their new safety and health regulations for re-opening:


  • Regal employees will undergo daily health screenings including temperature checks where mandated.
  • Employees will be required to wash hands at minimum every 30 to 60 minutes, dependent on job role.
  • Where required by local governance, all employees and guests will wear masks.


  • Greeters will be located in the lobby to assist guests with new procedural changes.
  • Guests will be encouraged to proceed to their auditorium as soon as possible, and exit the theatre in a timely manner at the conclusion of their movie
  • Wall mounted sanitizer dispensers will be available on either side of the main entrance.
  • Arcade games and vending machines will remain closed. Additionally, water fountains will not be available for use.


  • Every other register will be closed to maintain social distancing.
  • A reduced menu offering will be temporarily available
  • Self-service condiment stands will be closed.
  • Refills on large drinks and popcorn will be suspended.
  • Locations featuring diners, restaurants and in-theatre ordering will have these services temporarily suspended.
  • Locations with bars will remain open for walk-up service only.


  • Where required by state or county mandate, auditorium capacities will be reduced to 50%.
  • Our reservation system will maintain two empty seats between groups (1 seat at recliner locations) to maintain proper social distancing throughout the movie.
  • At theatres where performances are non-reserved, you will be requested to leave two seats between groups.
  • Group sizes will only be limited where required by a state or county mandate.

I actually think those are pretty solid guidelines. The only thing I'm unsure of is whether they're saying masks are required just to enter and while interacting with employees, or if they have to stay on during the movie. I have been very vigilant with my mask-usage, I always wear it when I go in a store, but if you expect me to wear it for two hours straight, I'd rather just wait til Tenet comes out on VOD.

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