Times are tough for the cinema with studios scaling back their much-anticipated 2020-releases, especially of tentpole blockbusters. In their latest attempt to woo audiences back in, AMC Theatres are offering discounted VIP auditorium rentals ranging anywhere from $99 to $349, with guests permitted to bring up to 20 attendees to have their own personal screening. While all major chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark suspended operations amidst the pandemic, only AMC and Cinemark chose to weather the drought as setbacks in places like New York and ever-changing local and state pandemic ordinances continue to decimate movie theatre markets everywhere.
Regal Cinemas' parent company Cineworld decided to temporarily shutter operations again in light of the latest round of delays, including MGM and Eon's decision to push the November release of No Time to Die Easter 2021, marking the second time for the film. Regal blamed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his reluctance to re-open cinemas. New York and Los Angeles are the country's two biggest two film markets. With Cuomo recently softening his stance, he's allowed theatres outside the city to start reopening on October 23. AMC announced they'll start reopening select theatres while implementing their COVID-oriented sanitation policy AMC Safe and Clean nationally.
"The reopening of movie theatres around the country is essential to the theatrical industry and the entire entertainment ecosystem," AMC CEO Adam Aron said. "It has become clear that movie studios are not willing to release a blockbuster product until key major markets are open. Therefore, it is a monumental step in the right direction for our entire industry that theatres are starting to open across the state of New York. We thank Governor Cuomo and local leaders in our New York communities for allowing guests to return to AMC at several locations throughout the state. We continue to work closely with state and local authorities about the reopening of New York City, which we now hope with increasing confidence is not far away."