AMC's reopened theaters sold out almost everywhere, CEO says
15-cent ticket prices may be driving people back to the movies
AMC Theatres, which has been struggling since closing on March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic, flung open some of its doors on Thursday, charging patrons a mere 15 cents to celebrate.
Of the 600 theaters across the country, 100 of them reopened on Thursday, including metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas and St. Louis.
In an exclusive interview with FOX Business' Liz Claman, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. CEO Adam Aron says even though his theaters are at limited capacity, he was proud to announce they were "sold out" at many of its theaters nationwide.
"Welcome, America, back to the movies," Aron celebrated. "We're only selling 30 percent of our seats, and so we are sold out today almost all across the country."
AMC THEATERS CHARGING '1920 PRICES' OF 15 CENTS PER TICKET ON OPENING DAY
AMC detailed the safety measures in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus such as frequent cleanings in partnership with Clorox, limited capacity for social distance purposes, the requirement of masks for employees and audience members, no cash accepted at concessions, no refills on popcorn or drinks and several hand sanitizer stations.
"We've been waiting for this for five months, and we've spent so much time and effort to make sure that we get opened safely, cleanly, responsibly," Aron said on "The Claman Countdown." "Everybody's wearing masks. Social distancing is very important. We set up plexiglass shields."
Beyond that, Aron says the theaters have gone "high tech," listing measures such as electrostatic sprayers and HEPA air filters.
"You could eat off the floor of our theaters, they've never been this clean," Aron bragged.
The low cost is roughly equivalent to what the company’s founders charged in 1920 when they began on a single movie screen in Kansas City, Mo.
The opening day films didn't include any new films. The lineup includes movies such as "Empire Strikes Back," “Black Panther,” "Grease," "Ghostbusters," and “Back to the Future."
AMC REVEALS ITS 'SAFE & CLEAN' PLAN FOR REOPENING IN NEW VIDEO
Beginning Aug. 21, older films will be priced at $5.
Newer releases such as "Unhinged”, “The New Mutants” and “Tenet" will be priced starting at $10 depending on the location.
AMC AND UNIVERSAL REACH DEAL FOR THEATRICAL EXCLUSIVITY AND ON-DEMAND RELEASE
AMC is hoping to reopen two-thirds of its locations prior to Sept. 3. The company's plans are dependent on state policies where major cities such as New York and Los Angeles have not progressed their reopening phases to allow cinemas.
The theater chain was initially supposed to reopen its venues on July 15 but was delayed several times.