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Movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York City hope to reopen on July 10 in a key development for the return of the box office after an unprecedented hiatus.
The country’s two largest moviegoing markets are crucial for Hollywood studios as they gear up to release big-budget tentpoles Mulan on July 24 and Tenet on July 31 (the latter was originally set to open on July 17, but moved last week).
The first two new nationwide releases set to hit the big screen since all indoor cinemas shuttered in mid-March are Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe road rage thriller Unhinged on July 10 and Sony’s romantic-comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery on July 17.
Regal Cinemas announced Tuesday morning that the majority of its locations will open on July 10, while all 541 U.S. sites will be up and running by July 24. AMC Theatres and Cinemark Theatres are planning on similar phased reopenings.
None of the circuits — the three biggest in the U.S. — have announced specific plans for New York City and Los Angeles since they first need the go-ahead from local authorities, yet numerous sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that movie chains and Hollywood now believe cinemas there will once again be allowed to welcome customers on July 10.
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave theaters the OK to reopen, with L.A. County expected to follow suit. New York City is more complicated. Movie theaters are currently part of the Phase Four reopening plan for businesses, but there’s a push to make them part of Phase Three.
On Tuesday, Regal detailed a wide array of safety measures it will take upon reopening, including keeping two seats empty between groups of patrons (and one in the instance of recliner seats), contactless payment, reduced concessions, cleaning with special equipment and more. And where required by local authorities, employees and guests will wear masks, while capacity may be reduced by 50 percent.
Regal says it will initially offer classic titles — such as the Harry Potter films — at a discounted price of $5 for adults and $3 for children.
June 16, 3:15 p.m. Updated with new release date for The Broken Hearts Gallery.
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