Sitting in a dark, air-conditioned movie theater with a big bag of popcorn watching a film on the big screen has been off the table recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But after closing doors for the past few months, Regal Cinemas plans to reopen next month. The whole experience, however, is going to look pretty different as safety precautions need to be put in place.
Regal Cinemas, which is owned by Cineworld, is set to reopen all 546 of its locations across the country and in the United Kingdom on Friday, July 10. "We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theater. Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Cineworld's main priority remains the health and well-being of both our customers and colleagues," CEO Mooky Greidinger told People in a statement.
With that in mind, the company shared on its website that new COVID-19 safety measures will be put in place upon reopening to keep staff and customers safe. These include contactless payment, with customers able to buy concession stand items as well as tickets on an app, and sanitizing every auditorium with "ULV Foggers," which the cinema says is a "form of deep sanitization is highly effective in disinfecting all materials with a non-toxic formula that is fast drying."
There will also be measures to encourage social distancing like floor markers throughout the building and reducing auditorium capacity to 50%. Some services will be reduced as well, with a limited menu available and refills on drinks and popcorn suspended.
While things might look different when Regal Cinemas opens its doors in July, parents may be interested to know that several excellent movie choices are coming out for kids this summer, including the highly anticipated live-action version of Mulan from Disney set to come out on July 24. There's also the new Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run, coming out on Aug. 7 to the delight of millennial parents everywhere.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.