DALLAS - Nearly all movie theaters in North Texas will still be closed Friday, despite being allowed to re-open for business.
Gov. Greg Abbott included theaters in the first wave of businesses that could begin operating at a reduced capacity on May 1, but theater operators still believe it’s too soon to allow people inside. Theaters also have a reduced slate of films to screen, as new releases have been pushed back or released digitally for home viewers.
Cinemark, AMC, Studio Movie Grill and Alamo Drafthouse all say they will remained closed and have no plans to open up anytime soon.
Plano-based Cinemark said it is working toward a “midsummer” opening date. When its theaters do re-open, they expect to have updated sanitizing policies and seating rules for customers. They also expect start with reduced operating hours.
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AMC said it was also not planning to re-open until the summer.
“The health and safety of our guests and associates is our absolute highest priority,” AMC said in a statement. “To be able to open, we also need a line of sight into a regular schedule of new theatrical blockbusters that get people truly excited about returning to their favorite movie theatres.”
Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill said on Twitter, "We're eager to safely reopen our theaters. … While it won't be May 1, we hope to see you soon."
SMG founder Brian Schultz said the company will make a decision on when to reopen after getting feedback from stakeholders and customers.
Alamo declined to put a timeline on reopening, only saying it wasn’t re-opening this weekend.
“Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training. This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly,” the theater said in a statement.
Other theaters in North Texas with only a handful of locations will also not re-open:
-Cinepolis (Dallas Victory Park, Euless)
-Movie House & Eatery (Flower Mound, Keller, McKinney)
-Flix Brewhouse (Little Elm)
-Texas Theatre (Dallas)
If you do want to watch a movie, you will have to be in your car at one of two drive-ins in the area. Coyote Drive-In (Fort Worth) and Galaxy Drive-In (Ennis) will be open.