AMC Theatres has had its doors shuttered since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it caused the chain to go through a financially traumatic period that almost threatened to close its doors permanently. So how does AMC plan to bring back moviegoers on opening day as they are set to begin reopening on August 20, 2020, beginning with 100 locations? They’re paying tribute to the past by making tickets prices the price they once were back in 1920, for one day only!
Tickets at AMC locations, for one day on its opening launch, will sell for 15 cents! This is roughly the price of a ticket back in 1920 and it’s the year that the company’s founders, the Dubinsky Brothers, began operations with a single movie screen in Kansas City, Missouri. The major caveat here is that the movies that people will get to see for this price won’t be new blockbusters like Tenet. AMC Theatres will be showcasing catalog titles to start such a The Empire Strikes Back and Black Panther.
AMC is doing what they can as they embark on a phased reopening of its theaters in the United States with the goal of having at least two-thirds of its more than 600 locations operational in time for the movie that is looked at to save the moviegoing experience opens on September 3: Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Unfortunately, this does not include venues in some of the more major markets that drive the box office such as Los Angeles and New York. Officials have yet to reopen cinemas in these areas due to public health concerns.
Beginning on August 21, 2020, AMC will bring out a few catalog titles in order to ease moviegoers into going to the movies again. Some of these films include the tenth-anniversary re-release of Inception, as well as Back To The Future, Grease, and Ghostbusters. These titles will run $5 a ticket at the AMC locations showing them. In the case of the few new movies that are opening ahead of Tenet, such as the Rusell Crowe road-rage thriller Unhinged and The New Mutants, they will run for 2020 prices at roughly $10, depending on the market you live in. Those two films open August 21 and August 28, 2020, respectively.
As for their once popular AMC Stubs A-List program, the theater chain is offering incentives to members by giving them a $10 credit to use through the end of October. The chain also pledges not to increase the prices of the subscription service through June 2021. The program enables users to see up to three movies a month for between $20 and $25. Subscribers will also decide when to reinstate their membership depending on when theater locations open in their respective markets. This is being done so they aren’t charged for the program until they find a location near them to begin seeing movies at again.
The theater chain has also instituted new cleaning measures, protocols that their CEO Adam Aron said would have costs that will be “passed on to the consumers.” This will result in higher ticket prices and higher prices at their concession stands sometime down the road. AMC venues will also be seated at a limited capacity so their guests can socially distance and both employees and audience members will be required to wear face masks. The first round of openings includes theaters in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, and other markets.