Moviegoers eager to sit in a traditional movie theater will need to be a bit more patient as the nation's largest network delays its reopening plans.
AMC Theaters is delaying its plans to start reopening theaters two weeks after closing due to COVID-19. The company said Monday it would open approximately 450 locations in the United States on July 30 and the remaining 150 the following week.
The company had planned to start opening theaters in mid-July, but last week the July theatrical release schedule was deleted when Disney and Warner Bros. decided to delay the releases of "Mulan" and "Tenet." The films now have August release dates.
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The popular theater chain received a backlash this month after announcing its initial reopening plan, which did not include making mandatory masks for fear of "political controversy."
AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said his general managers in the United States began working full time on Monday to prepare their buildings for reopening.
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"We continue to dedicate extraordinary resources to our plan to operate our theaters with a hyper-commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates," Aron said in a statement.
Most of the US indoor theaters have been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But both independent locations and major chains are preparing to reopen in the next month.
However, plans may continue to change due to the reported increase in cases in several states.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state would delay the reopening of theaters while continuing to investigate the safety of indoor air-conditioned venues.
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AMC expects its approximately 1,000 locations worldwide to be open in early August.
Associated Press contributed to this report.