Movie theaters reopen some continue to stay home

Movie theatres in Oklahoma are slowly starting to open with social distancing rules after closing due to the ongoing pandemic that has been in effect for over a year.

Many theatres around the world have been shutting down over the past year to prevent large gatherings and reduce the chances of people contracting COVID-19. Because of the theatres closing, this has made it difficult for new movies to premiere on the big screen. The closings also affected the staff in theatres, as well, because they could not come back to work during the early stages of the pandemic.

There has been a significant change in how theatres operate as they open back up. One of the most popular theatres in the world, AMC Theatres, released a video of the CEO and president of AMC, Adam Aron, explaining the changes that the business has made on their website. 

“As we reopen, we recognize the world has changed,” Aron said. “The health and safety of our movie theatre staff is our absolute highest priority.” 

Aron continued to talk about how much the AMC company has implemented a new system called Safe and Clean, which keeps the theatre sanitized at all times with the use of electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, HEPA filter vacuums, and MERV 13 air filters, which are hospital-quality. 

AMC also has reduced the capacity down to 40 people in the theatre and closed every other seating row to encourage people to social distance when watching a movie.

There are some people who are excited to go back to the theatres and watch movies on the big screen and there are others who prefer to wait a little longer due to the pandemic. Muhammed Hussnain, a student at the University of Oklahoma, says that he is excited to go back to open theatres. 

“I am happy that some theatres are working to open back up,” Hussnain said. “I still like streaming movies on Netflix and HBO Max, but nothing can compete with actually being in a theatre because it is just a different experience.” 

Samuel Riggs, a student at UCO, also said that he can’t wait to see movies in a theatre again but prefers to wait until the summer. 

“As much as I would like to go to the movies again, I rather wait until the summer,” Riggs said. “I feel like it’ll be safer in the summer because the number of people being vaccinated will increase and hopefully theatres will increase their capacity as time goes on. 

“For right now I enjoy what directors are doing for new movies by putting them on streaming services for people who do not want to go to theatres at this time.”

As of right now, the only theatres that are open in Oklahoma are Cinemark Tinseltown, AMC and Harkins Theatre. Other theatres remain closed. There are no specific dates for theatres to open back up except for Warren Theatre in Moore, Oklahoma. Warren Theatre plans to open Friday to premiere the new “Godzilla vs Kong” movie, which comes out on Wednesday. For more information on theatres that are open in Oklahoma, visit any local theatre websites to see if there are any movie showings available.

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