Cinemark to Reopen Most of Its U.S. Movie Theaters by July 17

Courtesy of Business Wire

The country's third-largest movie circuit will "strongly encourage" customers to wear masks in addition to a host of new sanitary protocols.

Cinemark announced a phased reopening plan early Wednesday that will see most of the circuit's U.S. locations back in business by mid-July with enhanced sanitizing and social distancing protocols in place.

The country's third-largest exhibitor will open a handful of Dallas locations June 19, while the majority of its cinemas will be open for business between July 3 and July 17 in advance of Hollywood tentpoles Mulan (July 24) and Tenet (July 31). Other new nationwide releases include smaller titles Unhinged (July 10) and The Broken Hearts Gallery (July 17).

Some Cinemark locations won't open until July 14.

Industry sources expect Cinemark, AMC and Regal theaters to reopen their cinemas Los Angeles and New York City — the country's two busiest moviegoing markets — as early as July 10.

Initially, Cinemark said it will also offer a number of classic titles at discounted prices — $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors — including Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Goonies and Inception. Concession prices will be likewise reduced, although self-service fountain drinks will be off-limits.

The theater chain, like other circuits, is implementing a raft of sanitary precautions. They include staggered seating, increased air filtration and reduced showtimes to allow for cleanings. Cinemark will also encourage guests to wear a face mask (masks could be compulsory in some locales).

"What we are doing is very substantial and very significant," Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Our theaters are always clean. Now they will sparkle."

Employees will wear face masks and gloves, in addition to undergoing a wellness check before each shift.

Cinemark operates 555 cinemas in 41 states and 15 countries throughout South and Central America.

Listed below are the additional measures Cinemark is implementing:

"All public and high-touch spaces, such as concession stands, door handles, drink stations, self-ticketing kiosks, benches and restrooms will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes using products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19.

Each auditorium will be disinfected every morning, and all handrails and occupied seats, along with those on either side, will be sanitized between show times.

All theatres will reopen with reduced operating hours and staggered showtimes to maximize physical distancing.

For additional assurance, there will be seat wipes and ample hand sanitizer available for customer use.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks. Where applicable, Cinemark will adhere to local policies that require residents to wear face masks in public.

Cinemark will be employing new tactics to increase the fresh air intake to enhance the overall air quality of our theatres and using High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing (HEPA) filtration in all vacuums.

To help reduce potential contact between cash and food-handling areas, cash payments will not be accepted at the concession stand. However, each theatre will have a designated area where cash will be accepted, and gift cards will be available.

Moviegoers are asked to properly dispose of their trash to further protect our employees and allow for maximized cleaning between showtimes."