California Movie Theaters Can Reopen as Soon as Friday

The state has laid out guidelines that include dramatically limiting capacity

In recent weeks, seeing a movie on the big screen has meant packing up the car and hauling the fam out to Montclair or another ‘burb to catch a double feature at the drive-in. But the days communal viewing and irresistible popcorn fumes may be returning—and soon.

California counties where reopening has been accelerated will be permitted to allow movie theaters to reopen as soon as Friday, June 12; Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura are among the counties where the economy’s reopening has been permitted to take place at an accelerated pace.

According to a document that lays out new industry guidelines, for at least the first two weeks, theaters will be required to operate at just 25 percent capacity, with a cap of 100 people per auditorium. Other recommended safety measures include blocking off seats,  requiring face coverings (but only when entering and exiting a theater and at concessions), using washable seat covers, and limiting the number of people who can use the restroom at once.

AMC, the country’s biggest theater chain, has already expressed “significant doubt” that it can survive if it reopens with dramatically limited capacity. If and when they do reopen, one thing is for sure: you won’t be seeing Universal movies there.

Local officials have yet to comment on their plans.

RELATED: Sources Say Amazon Wants to Buy AMC Theaters, but Does the Deal Make Sense?

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