After weeks and months of guesswork, speculation, and general “Hey, wouldn’t it be crazy if we all died to watch a Trolls movie?” madness, AMC Theaters has now set a formal date for re-opening its doors: July 15. Per Deadline, the company’s CEO, Adam Aron, has said that the world’s largest theater chain is “committed” to that date—even if, say, Disney’s Mulan (currently the first major blockbuster slated to head back into theaters, on July 24) ends up jumping ship for a later time. Aron has declared that roughly 450 of the company’s 660 U.S. theaters will re-open in mid-July, with another 150 following in the weeks after.
AMC also released its new cleaning and safety guidelines, including the announcement that it’ll be doing a phased re-opening, with the initial weeks seeing theaters running at just 30 percent occupancy. (The plan being to get back to a full 100 percent capacity by right around Thanksgiving.) The company also announced that, while it won’t be requiring temperature checks for theater-goers, it will encourage (but not require) attendees to wear masks while watching their movies—with Aron admitting that the company doesn’t want to get yelled at (or, god help us, sang at) over the very “politicized” issue of whether you should wear a mask in public during a global pandemic, which has been a real hot-button topic for the assholes of the planet.
Other new safety guidelines include deep cleanings of theaters in between showings, mandatory temperature checks for employees (with compensation if they’re forced to be sent home), and improved air filtration systems in all of the company’s facilities. All of this is roughly in line with what the other big theater chains have announced, too, so it’s looking like mid-July really will be the point where we decide to test how safe any of these measures actually are, weighed against our deep and truly human desire to sit in a dark room and risk our lives to watch the live-action Mulan reboot.