Lights, Camera, Action: New Jersey’s Movie Theaters Reopen
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic was the shut down of movie theaters around the country.
All of the blockbuster movies scheduled for release in the spring and summer, like the final James Bond film "No Time to Die," the new Black Widow film and "The Sopranos" sequel, "The Many Saints of Newark," were postponed as theaters remained dark.
Theaters were slow to reopen in New Jersey over Gov. Phil Murphy's concern that coronavirus spreads easily indoors in areas with poor ventilation and where people are sedentary.
Murphy's executive order closing movie theaters in New Jersey was lifted the Friday before Labor Day. Audiences are limited to 25% with a maximum of 150 and must wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.
Among the rules in place: groups that buy tickets together can sit together but must be at least 6 feet apart from all other groups
The major theater chains are reopening with social distancing protocols of their own in place as well.'
AMC Theaters were the most aggressive in reopening with plans to have all 27 of its theaters open within the next week.
AMC Jersey Gardens 20 and AMC Wayne 14 opened on the first day, according to the chain. The chain plans to open another seven theaters including AMC Brick Plaza 10, AMC Brunswick Square 13, AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Deptford 8, AMC East Hanover 12, AMC Newport Centre 11 and AMC Garden State 16. The rest of their New Jersey locations will open by Thursday.
"We are excited to welcome our guests in New Jersey back to the movies, where they will experience the magic of the big screen, along with our new AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures," AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.
Among the Safe and Clean policies are automatic seat blocking in which tickets will not be sold for surrounding seats. Cleaning procedures will be enhanced with more time between screenings and simplified concession stand menus with $5 Movie Treats.