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AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron is forecasting that shuttered U.S. movie theaters may reopen by mid-June.
That’s after the U.S. market’s largest cinema chain closed all 600 of its stateside locations on March 17 as the coronavirus outbreak spread domestically. “We said we expected to be shut for six to 12 weeks. That would be May 1 to mid-June. That might be more the right timing,” Aron on Tuesday told CNBC’s Squawk Alley.
His prediction fell at the outer edge of AMC’s original range. Aron added that no one could forecast cinema reopenings with precision.
AMC closing all of its movie screens was followed by around 26,000 employees being furloughed or let go. That included all of its 600 corporate employees and CEO Aron.
The exec on Tuesday insisted Americans were likely to flock to the local multiplex once the COVID-19 crisis had abated. “I think if we’ve learned anything in the last two weeks it’s people … just so want to get out of their houses. I think we’re all feeling cooped up and want to get out and have life return to normal,” Aron asserted.
But he also cautioned that Americans needed to reach the end of the coronavirus outbreak before they stopped sheltering in their homes and movie theaters could reopen.
A spokesperson for Cineplex, Canada’s largest cinema chain, said it was too early to speculate on when its own screens would reopen.
“We will continue to take our lead from government and public health authorities, and we will reopen our theaters and entertainment venues across Canada when they tell us it is safe to do so,” Cineplex said in a statement.
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