As theaters across the country welcome back guests, we broke down the safety measures you can expect at local ones.
After rounds of delays, movie theaters are reopening across Dallas-Fort Worth — but it won’t be business as usual. The Texas Medical Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list going to a movie theater as a high-risk activity, so it’s important to note the new safety policies that theaters have in place. Changes include mask mandates, scheduling extra time between showings for cleaning, reducing the number of tickets per screening, spacing out seats and offering hand sanitizing stations.
A number of theaters are showing classic movies at reduced prices before first-run films arrive later. Here’s the deal at major D-FW movie spots.
The chain’s Lake Highlands theater reopened Thursday, and all other North Texas locations will reopen between Aug. 24 and 26.
New releases Unhinged and Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula are showing along with older films like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Inception and Back to the Future.
Alamo Drafthouse theaters will be following new COVID-19 precautions. Guests must wear a mask at all times unless they are eating or drinking, and Alamo will provide disposable masks for those who forget theirs. Alamo says customers who feel sick should stay home, and their tickets will be refunded.
Customers are asked to keep 6 feet of space between themselves and others, and tickets will be sold with at least two buffer seats between parties. When a movie ends, people should remain in their seats and wait their turn to exit row by row.
Alamo employees will disinfect auditoriums after each screening, according to the chain’s website, and highly trafficked areas such as the bathrooms and kitchens will be routinely deep-cleaned. Countertops and stall doors will be sanitized every 30 minutes. Staff members will have their temperatures checked daily, and some locations will also check the temperatures of guests.
Alamo is offering a limited menu at reopening, and don’t plan on raising one of those order cards for in-theater food service. Instead, guests must order food online when purchasing tickets. Bars will be closed. Private screenings can be reserved at drafthouse.com/theater-rental.
Locations in Lake Highlands, the Cedars, Richardson, Irving, North Richland Hills and Denton. drafthouse.com.
Seven Dallas-area AMC locations reopened Thursday: the Parks at Arlington 18, NorthPark 15, Grapevine Mills 30, Stonebriar Mall 24, Firewheel Town Center 18, Mesquite 30 and Irving Mall 14.
AMC offered a special promotion on opening day, with classic movies priced at just 15 cents. Beginning Friday, new releases will be screened, including Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe; Cut Throat City; Words on Bathroom Walls; and Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula. Older films will continue to screen at $5 a ticket.
AMC aims to open 300 more locations across the country before the Aug. 28 release of Disney’s The New Mutants and the long-awaited spy flick Tenet on Sept. 3.
The theater chain plans to reduce seating capacity and space out seat assignments to allow for social distancing. Masks will be mandatory for all attendees and employees, and the theaters will offer hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes. Additionally, extra time will be allotted between shows for cleaning.
See website for all North Texas locations. amctheatres.com.
The theater reopens Aug. 28 showing Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula and The Personal History of David Copperfield. Tenet officially opens Sept. 3, with a few early screenings starting Aug. 31. Check the website for information about other films that may be announced later.
Guests are required to wear face masks, and in order to limit crowds, the theater says to arrive no more than 30 minutes before showtime. Seating has been decreased for the sake of social distancing. Acrylic barriers have been placed at concession stands and in other areas of the building, along with hand sanitizer stations. Additionally, the theater has upped its cleaning routine for frequently touched areas. It will not be accepting cash.
Reopening plans have not been finalized for the Angelika Plano.
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. angelikafilmcenter.com.
Cinemark is stepping up cleaning and safety measures as it reopens theaters nationwide.
Locations in Allen, Dallas, Fort Worth, Hurst, McKinney, Plano and Rockwall have already opened, and additional theaters in Denton, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Mansfield and Roanoke open Friday. Lewisville and Cedar Hill locations open Aug. 25, and theaters in Frisco, McKinney, Plano and Lancaster open Aug. 28.
Moviegoers should stay 6 feet away from others and are encouraged to purchase tickets online. Showtimes are staggered and have reduced capacity, and seats next to each party will be blocked off. Face masks are required, except when eating and drinking inside the auditorium.
Contactless pay is encouraged. Each theater will have a designated area where cash will be accepted, but cash cannot be used to purchase snacks.
Plexiglass screens have been added in some areas of Cinemark theaters. Concession stands, kitchens, restrooms and other frequently touched areas will be sanitized every 30 minutes. Auditoriums will be disinfected every morning, and any seat that is occupied during a movie will be sanitized again before the next showtime, along with adjacent seats, handrails and children’s booster seats. Sanitizer and seat wipe dispensers are available to guests.
Cinemark is adding purge cycles to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in its theaters and using supply fans to increase the volume of outside air flowing into buildings.
Employees are given masks and gloves to wear during their shifts, and frequent hand-washing and glove changes are required. Employees will be asked about their health and have their temperatures checked before each shift.
Tickets for Unhinged, the 10th anniversary re-release of Inception, The New Mutants and The Personal History of David Copperfield are currently on sale, and tickets for Tenet will go on sale soon.
In addition to new releases, classic films such as The Goonies, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark are showing for $5 ($3 for children and seniors), and Cinemark is offering reduced concessions pricing. Additionally, moviegoers can rent a screening room and host a private watch party for up to 20 guests for $99-$175.
Cinemark has 21 D-FW locations. cinemark.com.
Cinépolis locations in Dallas, Flower Mound, Keller and McKinney are now open, and the Euless location reopens Aug. 28, with new safety and health protocols in place.
Masks are required at all times unless a customer is eating or drinking. Customers are asked to avoid congregating in the lobby or hallways. A new online booking service ensures parties are grouped at least 6 feet apart.
Showtimes are staggered, and doors open earlier to help limit guest interaction. Moviegoers are expected to exit theaters row by row. Food and beverage menus are accessible via mobile devices, and disposable paper menus, as well as sanitizer and wipes, are available upon request.
Frequently touched surfaces are sanitized at least every 30 minutes and even more frequently during busy times. Cinépolis has increased the amount of time between shows to allow for thorough cleanings of each auditorium. Theaters also undergo nightly deep cleanings.
Team members are subject to temperature and wellness checks upon clocking in daily.
Staff members are required to wear masks at all times and use additional personal protective equipment including gloves when handling food, beverages and other items.
Movies showing include Batman Begins, Jaws, It, Creed, Back to the Future, Hustlers, Purple Rain and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Locations in Dallas, Flower Mound, Keller, McKinney and Euless. cinepolis.com.
Regal’s only Dallas location, Regal UA Galaxy Theatre and ScreenX, opens Friday. New releases are showing along with catalog titles from Jaws to Interstellar to Sonic the Hedgehog and more. The older films will be available for $5 ($3 for children) as part of a promotion running through Sept. 3.
Reopening plans include new health and safety measures like contactless payment options, theater seat sanitization after each movie and the addition of sanitizer dispensers.
Theater employees will have daily temperature checks and will be required to wear masks. Guests will be required to wear masks at all times while in the lobby, hallways and restrooms, as well as in auditoriums when not eating or drinking.
Concession offerings will be reduced temporarily, and there will be no refills or self-service condiments.Vending machines and water fountains will not be accessible.
Regal is increasing its fresh air intake by 50% to 100% and limiting some of its auditoriums across the country to 50% capacity. An online reservation system will help maintain social distancing, and moviegoers are asked to leave two seats between groups.
11801 McCree Road, Dallas. regmovies.com.
Studio Movie Grill
Studio Movie Grill locations have reopened in Arlington, The Colony and Plano, and on Royal Lane and Spring Valley Road in Dallas. The Northwest Highway location and a new Fort Worth theater will welcome visitors on Aug. 28 as gradual reopening plans continue.
SMG is showing new releases Unhinged, Cut Throat City and Words on Bathroom Walls. It also has tickets on sale for Inception, Bill & Ted Face the Music and Disney’s The New Mutants. Older films such as Knives Out and The Goonies are also showing for $5 at select locations.
Capacity is limited to 50% to allow for social distancing. Through Sunday, loyalty members can reserve four free movie tickets for select films through the theater’s app. Membership is free and the app also allows for contactless concession orders, according to a release from the chain.
See website for all North Texas locations. studiomoviegrill.com.
The Texas Theatre
While the Texas Theatre is still closed to moviegoers, film fans can see movies at the Sunset Drive-In, located in the parking lot behind the theater facing Sunset Avenue, thanks to the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and the Oak Cliff Film Society.
The 10th- anniversary edition of Inception will be showing Aug. Friday through Sunday at 8:45 p.m. Screenings sell out fast due to capacity limits to allow for social distancing, so purchasing in advance is recommended. The lot opens at 8 p.m. most nights, and new show announcements are made weekly on the Texas Theatre’s Instagram.
Food and drinks are available to order in advance or during the screenings via phone or online and will be delivered to patrons’ cars. Masks are required to go inside and use the bathroom.
231 W. Jefferson Blvd, Dallas. thetexastheatre.com.
Staff writer Norma Cavazos contributed to this report.