The New “Normal” of Movie Theaters


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Some local movie theaters have recently opened back up with new expectations for the experience that has been long awaited. The AMC Clean & Safe Initiative has created social distance guidelines to make seeing a movie as safe as possible. 

Changes have been enacted in every aspect of the theater process. When purchasing a ticket, the screen shows an X for any seat marked for social distancing measures. The theaters with recliners have already been separated to adhere to guidelines. According to the AMC initiative, “The seating capacity for each showtime is 40% (or less based on municipality guidelines) to allow for social distancing.” 

For ordering food, everything has been made contactless. There is contact-free pouring on the drink machines, express ordering and pick ups, and the opportunity to order anything and pick it up when you get there. 

Among some of the theaters open is AMC Hoffman 22 off of Eisenhower Ave. Seniors Elisa Matson and Juliana Dexter have both been to multiple movies at this theater, saying “It was lovely.” Matson explains the emptiness of the theater, saying, “ I was alone in the theater all three times I’ve gone, which made it nice and even less scary.” 

Other theaters in the area that are open are AMC Courthouse Plaza 8 in Arlington, AMC Tysons Corner 16, and Cinemark West Springfield 15. Movie selections are limited to minimize the amount of people in the theaters and concessions area. “Tickets are cheaper now which is cool, but there’s just not a lot of selection,” Matson said. 

These safety measures in place put visitors in a position to still enjoy the movie-going experience in the safest way possible. Wearing a mask, online ordering, and social distancing is all that is required for a movie experience now.