AMC reopens theaters in Tampa Bay area after five-month shutdown

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – AMC Movie Theaters opened 100 locations across the country on Thursday to mark the companies centennial celebration.

For movie fans like Albert Staudinger it was welcome news.

“Haven’t been to the movies in five months, almost six months and I love going to the movies,” said Staudinger.

Aivell Alarcon brought her own cleaning wipes, but says she feels safe to return to the theater.

“It seems like it’s safe, they are blocking aisles it was limited space,” said Alarcon.

AMC announced a safe and clean program that will require people to wear masks. The theater chain says it will sanitize theaters between each movie showing and frequently clean high touch areas.

Still, Dr. Tom Unnasch, a USF Health Professor says there are risks for people going to the theater.

“I think it’s going to be just like any other situation where you are going to have relatively large numbers of people grouped together. It’s going to increase the risk of transmission and this virus has shown itself to be relentless, highly transmissible,” said Unnasch.

Unnasch says the risks can be reduced if everyone wears face coverings and maintains social distancing.

“We may see some uptick in the risk of transmission here but I don’t think it would be nearly as significant as like if we opened up bars and we let everybody go around again with not wearing masks,” said Unnasch.

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