Regal Cinemas parent Cineworld Group (OTC:CNNW.F) just announced its theater reopening schedule. The staggered opening plan begins with some eastern European markets at the end of June. Cineworld's largest markets in the U.K. and the United States are last on the list, with reopenings planned for July 10.
Cineworld's theater openings list is not set in stone. The company is keeping a close eye on the market-by-market development of COVID-19 infections and the planned opening dates are subject to change if the virus takes an unexpected turn along the way.
Reopened theaters will use an updated booking system that enforces social distancing policies by limiting the number of audience members per auditorium and leaves space between ticket groups that were not purchased together. Regal, Cineworld, and their sister brands will also offer a reduced movie schedule in order to cut down on the formation of crowds in the theater lobbies.
"We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theatre," said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger in a prepared statement.
Fellow movie theater giant AMC (NYSE:AMC) has not yet announced firm reopening dates, but the company started out with a few international reopenings this week and CEO Adam Aron hopes to have completed the opening plan by the end of July.
"Our current plan is to have almost all of our theaters globally operating in July, which is time for and assumes that the industry stays on schedule for Warner Bros' release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet, currently scheduled for July 17, followed by Disney's release of Mulan currently scheduled for July 24," Aron said in last week's first-quarter earnings call.