Grab your popcorn: Cinepolis and AMC are back for business

Movie theaters reopen amidst the pandemic

Hayden Brown and Chase Willet

On Oct. 12, Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas began to open across the country, including the cinema in the Westlake Village Promenade. These openings are accompanied by new guidelines for the theaters to follow during the pandemic.

The theaters are practicing social distancing by ensuring that at least one seat is open on either side of a party and the seats are frequently disinfected. The times between showings have been extended in order to allow for thorough sanitation. 

Employees receive daily temperature checks and are required to wear a mask at all times. The theaters are also still providing the food services that were offered before the pandemic, a process that was similar to before, but the menu is now accessed through a barcode placed on the tray accompanying each seat.

The pandemic caused the shutdown of many big name productions, including The Batman and Jurassic World: Dominion, with many others being cancelled due to relatively low box office results, such as Black Widow and No Time to Die. Due to this, only a select few movies are new releases, all of which have been previously available through streaming or on demand services. Because of the lack of new films, the theater has many “throwback” options available for five dollars a ticket. 

AMC Theatres opened their doors to Southern California as well and plan to finally begin opening across Northern California. This allowed Oak Park students the opportunity to see some of the new releases in theatres.

“My viewing experience was very comfortable,” senior Jude Adams said. “It was so exciting to get back to the movie theater that the inconveniences that the [effects of the] new rules created were relatively minor, although the 40% maximum theater capacity did restrict some of my friends from being able to get tickets in time.” 

Even with mask enforcement and the 40% capacity rule, stating that seats in theaters can only be filled with 40% of the regular theater goers, being strictly enforced, many viewers agreed it was still successful in providing entertainment. Seeing new releases like Tenet, Honest Thief or The War with Grandpa on the big screen helps to support the film industry and to try to keep the theater experience alive during pandemic.

“I think it’s important to support businesses right now that have been shut down for months, even big companies like AMC [Theatres] or Regal [Cinemas],” senior Beshane Bans said.