Back in Business?

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Adilene Hernandez, Yearbook Editor-in-Chief

For the first time in months, movie theaters have reopened their doors. Big-time movie theater chains such as AMC have announced new rules and regulations in addition to extra safety measures. During your visit to the movies, you will expect wearing masks, social distancing, cashless transactions, and a simplified food menu. When it comes to the auditorium, AMC has upgraded its air filters and implemented a new cleaning system using electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and HEPA filter vacuums.

Returning to the movies during a pandemic is risky, therefore making it harder for theaters to win back customers. A few ways they try to get people back in their seats is by promoting a “Safe & Clean” initiative and new movie releases. Giving people a sense of safety allows for more business. The more business, the faster they can recover from months of lost profit. For the time being, movie theaters have been offering to play old movies while new ones come out. Some new movies include Unhinged and The New Tenets but those are not as well-known making it harder for people to be interested.

Due to the stay at home order, many families have turned to other movie streaming services like Netflix to satisfy their entertainment needs. Some 15.8 million people around the world signed up for service through March according to staff writer David Sims at The Atlantic. Netflix is currently leading all streaming services with a total subscriber count of 182.8 million. Not far behind is Disney+ with a striking 60.5 million subscribers. Both have contributed greatly to the amount of new content being presented to the people. This poses a threat to movie theaters and their comeback into the entertainment business.

Going to the movies may be a fun and entertaining activity when you want to go out, but it is not ideal at the moment. “The battle is not over,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Movie theaters will continue to have limitations and restrictions when it comes to reopening. For example, a lower capacity rate and strict sanitation guidelines. Overall, local movie theaters are working on a safe and healthy environment where people can relax while watching the big screen.