Returning to the Big Screen


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Movie theaters will begin to open back up amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but will have new safety protocols in place.

Alexa Reyna, ENN Staff

After five months of being shut down due to COVID-19, movie theaters across the country are starting to slowly re-open. Popular movie theaters like Cinemark, AMC, and Studio Movie Grill have been reopening cautiously and slowly. In addition to reopening again, there will be some new protocols and guidelines that guests will be required to follow in order to keep themselves and staff safe.

To start off this brand new experience, cleanliness will be shown everywhere in the theater. Every object in the theater will be sanitized at least every 30 minutes, from seats, child boosters, and other surfaces throughout the theater and auditoriums. This also includes contactless payments and ticket purchasings recommended. According to Cinemark officials, disinfecting every object is their number one priority for reopening their theaters again.

“Before you set foot into our auditoriums, rest assured that your seat and surrounding areas have been carefully prepared for you. Each morning, all auditoriums are extensively disinfected using pressurized sprayer equipment to reach all seats, handrails, armrests, tables, footrests, and cup holders. This fast drying and non-toxic method allows us to thoroughly and evenly apply products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19,” said Cinemark officials.

Cinemark officials have also trained all of their employees and staff members to ensure the safety of returning guests. All employees are provided with face coverings and gloves that they will be required to change frequently. Employees will also have temperature checks before they start their shifts and will be required to wash their hands on a regular basis. In addition, all theaters will have a chief monitoring all safety protocols being followed by staff and guests.

“All theater employees are taking part in enhanced training on cleaning, sanitizing, and food handling. Additionally, employees are participating in mandatory huddles at the beginning of each shift to reiterate our cleaning and safety protocols. Each Cinemark theatre will have a Chief Clean and Safety Monitor on duty during all operating hours to ensure the highest standards of safety, physical distancing, cleanliness, and sanitizing,” said the Cinemark representative .

Junior, Daniel Akinola, said he felt delightful being back at the movie theater with his family. Akinola felt comfortable with the new safety guidelines installed knowing everything was sanitized. He also cherished the moments he took for granted before lockdown occurred.

“It was really great to finally be back at the movies and enjoy watching a film on a massive screen while enjoying some good food. It changed how I saw the moves since before I took it for granted. Once it was taken from me, I realized how much my family relies on going out and doing something,” said Akinola.

Junior, Jordana Garcia, said she wouldn’t feel comfortable going to the movie theater at the moment. Garcia feels that when the pandemic is reaching towards the end point, that is when it will be safe enough to enjoy going to the movie theater again.

“I feel like it’s definitely a big step with the movie theaters opening again. I think that it’s a lot to take in and I think it’s definitely different from what we’ve been doing for stores and restaurants reopening. Personally, I would not feel comfortable going just because I feel like it’s more of a risk, but I feel like if done at the right time and done safely, I think it would be okay to go,” said Garcia.

AP U.S History teacher, Leigh Smith, said that she is thrilled to be going back to the movie theater again, especially with her family. Smith trusts that the safety guidelines movie theaters will have installed will ensure that everything is sanitized for everyone in the theater.

“I’m excited. I like to go to the movies. I trust that they will be doing what they are supposed to do to keep the places clean and safe. I do want to go see Tenet, but the movie theater that we go to isn’t open yet so we’re not there yet, we’re waiting for them to reopen,” said Smith.

Movie theaters will be making a comeback and reopen to the public again. Safety guidelines like staff members wearing masks and gloves, temperature checks, and cleaning every area of the auditorium and lobby to eliminate the chances of COVID-19. Movie theaters could be the distraction that society needs to get through the pandemic.