AMC tries to reopen again, with 15-cent tickets as COVID-19 risk incentive

Enlarge / “So… one ticket for The Goonies in 2020 or do you prefer to minimize your COVID-19 risk?” (credit: Yale Joel / Getty Images)

Could anyone pay you to set foot in a movie theater next week? AMC Theaters hasn’t quite gone that far, but it will ask would-be ticket buyers for a measly $0.15 per ticket if they’re willing to head out for (an old) movie night on August 20.

Today, per Variety, the theater chain announced it will reopen 100 of its locations mid-pandemic this month. And as a promotion to encourage fans to look the other way return despite the risk of COVID-19 spread, AMC will offer one day of tickets at 1920’s prices—$0.15/each plus tax. The company started that year, but it will begin its post-COVID-19 existence with slightly less-old films like Empire Strikes Back, The Goonies, Back to the Future, and Inception.

If the recurring headlines about another Tenet delay don’t give it away, 2020 has been a tough time for movie theaters. Not only have these spaces been closed for business since the spring, but both their near- and long-term futures look bleak. COVID-19 continues to spread, making indoor activities in enclosed spaces with others (like, say, seeing a film at a movie theater) quite unappealing. And the pandemic has also complicated Hollywood’s ability to produce, meaning a dry period in the release pipeline seems inevitable at some point. In a summer filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMC said it expected losses between $2.1 and $2.4 billion just in Q1 of 2020 alone.

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