Texas Movie Theaters Will Be Permitted to Reopen on Friday
On Monday, April 27, movie theaters in Georgia could reopen to the public — although many chains have already said they won’t or can’t welcome back customers yet, either because they’re not prepared to do in light of staff furloughs or layoffs, lingering fears about the coronavirus pandemic and customer safety, or, in the case of AMC Theatres, they’re waiting until Hollywood begins releasing blockbusters again.
The theaters that do choose to reopen in Georgia will soon be joined by those in Texas, as its governor, Greg Abbott, announced today that the state was prepared to let its stay-at-home order expire on Friday, May 1. “Phase One” of the state’s reopening begins then, at which point “all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, libraries and museums will be allowed to open, but the occupancy rate is capped at 25 percent.” If all goes according to Abbott’s plan, Phase Two of the reopening can begin on May 18, when these businesses’ occupancy rates will be allowed to expand to 50 percent.
There are some Texas business that cannot open yet, including gyms, salons, and bars. And outdoor sports are only permitted if they involved less than “four participants.” Abbott also noted that his announcement regarding theaters, malls, and other Phase One businesses was a “permission to open, not a requirement.”
That last part is key; for a lot of moviegoers and a lot of theaters, this announcement will amount to a formality because their local multiplex will choose to remain closed at least for the short-term. Even if the theaters do open, they won’t have new product to screen for at least several months, when Warner Bros. plans to release Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney has Mulan. And even then, audiences have to feel confident enough that they won’t get sick if they buy a ticket and head to their local theater. If you do go a theater in Georgia, Texas, or anywhere else in the weeks ahead, tell us what you’re seeing on Twitter or Facebook.
Gallery — What We Miss Most About Movie Theaters: