Reopening of Harkins and Alamo Drafthouse cinemas in Arizona


PHOENIX – Five months after closing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, theaters in Arizona are starting to reopen. The move comes as COVID-19 cases have trended downward and are likely moving Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties into the next phase of reopening.Harkins Theaters announced last week that it would reopen three of its theaters in northern Arizona. But, on Thursday, shortly after the state announced that Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties would likely transition to “moderate” on Thursday, the Scottsdale-based theater chain announced it would reopen all of its theaters. cinema on Friday August. 28, 2020.

Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas also plan to reopen its three theaters in Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe. Its Tempe site will open on August 31, followed by Chandler and Gilbert on September 3, said Adam Frost, director of operations for the Phoenix market.

AMC Theaters began reopening its theaters in other states on August 20, but has yet to announce plans to reopen for its Arizona locations. AMC did not respond to ABC15’s request for comment or information.

The openings all come as Hollywood movie studios have started releasing their long-awaited films. Opening weekend films include Tenet, the new mutants, and Imbalance.

“There is no doubt that this was the most difficult period of my 50+ years in the business. I am so excited and so grateful for our amazing team and extremely loyal guests who have continued to support us during this difficult time, ”owner Dan Harkins said in a statement earlier this week.

According to state-mandated benchmarks, in the “moderate” category, cinemas, as well as some bars, water parks and tube operators in Arizona, will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity and will have to follow a set. strict guidelines, including requiring face masks, employee temperature checks and increased cleaning, among other requirements.

Bars that don’t serve food can’t reopen until the state’s COVID-19 percent positivity drops below 3 percent.

Like many businesses, Alamo and Harkins’ plans to reopen are similar:

  • Masks are mandatory unless you eat or drink
  • The capacity of the theater will be reduced and the “buffer” seats will separate the groups.
  • Groups will be encouraged to keep a distance of six feet from each other
  • Employees will undergo security checks
  • The schedules of the sessions will be shifted and will have places reserved

Harkins said his loyalty cups will be filled with paper cups. Other refills of drinks and popcorn have been suspended indefinitely, according to a statement.


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