Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to Check Temperatures in Many Locations

Courtesy of Heather Kennedy

The safety measure is among numerous precautions the maverick Texas-based theater chain will take when reopening next month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced Wednesday that it will check the temperatures of customers in many of its locations. The circuit operates 41 cinemas, including one in downtown Los Angeles.

The safety measure is among numerous precautions the maverick Texas-based theater chain will take when reopening next month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Alamo had previously announced that patrons will be required to wear face masks except when eating or drinking concessions.

Alamo didn't provide specific dates, but said it will begin the reopening process early next month. It stressed that it won't happen all at once.

The company didn't specify at which locations temperature checks will be required (Alamo will use contact-free infrared thermometers). Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to enter. All employees will have their temperatures taken as well.

Additionally, Alamo says that if a guest displays signs of illness during a screening — such as persistent coughing or sneezing — "we may drop by to check on them. If they appear to be sick, we may ask them to come back another time." Any guest who needs to leave because of illness will have their tickets and food refunded.

"We want you to feel safe. Our driving principle has been to make the Alamo Drafthouse experience one of the safest possible indoor activities — 'safer than a supermarket' — and far exceed the expectations you already have for supermarkets, gyms, and restaurants," Alamo founder and executive chairman Tim League said in a statement.

"The steps outlined … will dramatically increase physical distancing, introduce enhanced and exhaustive new cleaning procedures, and temporarily change our service model. To do this, we’re revising and reimagining how we do things, and how you experience Alamo Drafthouse," he continued. "That’s no small task — it means flexing a model we’ve refined for over twenty years — and we know we’ll need to stay nimble as we learn new and better methods, continuously gather feedback from our guests, and as the battle against COVID-19 continues."

View the full list of Alamo Drafthouse reopening measures below. 

All ticketing will be handled online, with at least two buffer seats providing at least six feet of physical distancing between groups.

We require that guests wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking. If you need a mask, we’ll provide you with one for free.

Once you’re seated you’ll be at least six or more feet distanced from other groups on all sides, and you may remove it for eating and drinking. In coordination with local and state regulations, we ask that you keep your mask on while you wait for your food or drink, and put it back on after you are finished.

In many theaters, food ordering and gratuity will be done in advance and online when you purchase your tickets. That means there’ll be no payment processing at the theater, and your interactions with our team members will be minimized.

Each auditorium – and specifically chairs and tables – will be sanitized between screenings with an electrostatic fogger and disinfectant. We’ll also have hand sanitizing wipes at your table for you to use.

All teammates will have their temperatures taken prior to starting work. And where needed, guests will also have their temperatures taken on their way inside.

All Alamo Drafthouse teammates will wear masks and gloves at all times, and they’ll regularly change their gloves and wash their hands at least every thirty minutes.

The reopening isn’t going to happen all at once. We operate 41 locations from coast-to-coast, spanning 23 regions and ten states, which have each been impacted by and are handling the COVID-19 threat differently. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 data trends in each community we serve. In cities or counties that have sustained a very low per capita rate of infection, we may choose to relax some of these protocols when we reopen their theaters.

However, we are not pinning our security solely to state and local regulations. Those are the base level — we intend to stay vigilant, carefully watch the data, and to escalate our protocols at a moment’s notice.

Our first step will be, in early July, reopening one or two locations as “learning labs” of sorts, where we’ll kick the tires and figure out how to make these new procedures work across our company. We expect other locations to come online after that — a few at first, and the rest when we believe we’re ready and when we believe that the risk in that area has declined. When we can announce these first locations, we’ll let you know first via our social media and email.