Movie theater chains across America began addressing the coronavirus pandemic on Friday. They remain open, though, unlike many of their counterparts in Europe and Asia.
AMC Theatres was the first to set a limit on ticket sales, with Regal following suit soon after.
From Saturday through April 30, AMC is limiting ticket sales to cut the seating capacity in its theaters to half. For its larger auditoriums that seat more than 500 people, tickets will be capped at 250.
“With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen,” said Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Theatres.
AMC operates two multiplexes in Las Vegas, at Town Square and Rainbow Promenade.
Regal announced a similar measure, in a statement to Deadline.com.
“We have reduced auditorium capacity by 50% and are complying, where applicable, with state mandates on social gathering limits.”
In Las Vegas, Regal operates the cinemas at Aliante, Boulder Station, Colonnade, Downtown Summerlin, Fiesta Henderson, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Palace Station, Red Rock Resort, Sunset Station, Texas Station and Village Square.
Brenden Theatres, owned by Las Vegan Johnny Brenden, said in a statement that its theaters, including its multiplex at the Palms, are undergoing enhanced deep-cleaning procedures. Hand sanitizer stations are available, the statement said, and micro disinfectant towel dispensers are being installed at the entrance to each auditorium.
Maya Cinemas, which has a multiplex in North Las Vegas, said via a statement on its website that the company is limiting ticket sales. Additionally, employees are wearing latex gloves, and hand sanitizers have been installed in high-traffic areas, the statement said.
In China, which trails only the U.S. in the size of its moviegoing audience, movie theaters were closed in late January as a response to the outbreak, and most of them remain so.
While there are sporadic closures across the globe, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Norway and Greece are among the European nations who have closed all theaters for at least 14 days, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.