AMC Theaters: Risk Death And Disability To Watch Movie Reruns For 15 Cents!

from the hard-pass dept

Even before COVID-19, the brick and mortar movie industry was already struggling to adapt in the face of technological evolution. Now with a pandemic demolishing theater attendance, companies like AMC Theaters face an accelerated timeline as they attempt to cling to outdated constructs like movie release windows, sticky floors, and seventeen dollar popcorn, which were already showing their age in the 4K streaming era.

Theater chains haven't exactly been handling this pandemic thing all that well. When Comcast Universal began sending its movies straight to home streaming (you know, given that people don't want to die), AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron threw an apoplectic fit, insisting his chain would never again show a Comcast/Universal movie. After apparently realizing he didn't have any leverage to make those kinds of threats -- and negotiating to get an unspecified cut of the proceeds -- Aron and AMC agreed to a shorter 17-day release window. Baby steps, I guess.

It should go without saying that the scientific consensus is that the pandemic isn't going anywhere, and the problems it's creating are very likely to get worse as it collides with the traditional flu season this fall. Like so many who think they can just bull rush through factual reality and scientific consensus, AMC seems intent on opening a good chunk of its traditional theaters next week, and is hoping to draw crowds by offering 15 cent movie tickets on the first day:

"AMC Entertainment, which owns the chain, said Thursday that it expects to open the doors to more than 100 cinemas — or about a sixth of its nationwide locations — on Aug. 20 with throwback pricing for a day. AMC theaters have reopened in numerous international countries but have remained shuttered in the U.S. since March. The chain touted the reopening as “Movies in 2020 at 1920 Prices."

There's innovating, and then there's just denying the obvious. There's creative adaptation, and then there's business decisions that are literally putting people's lives at risk by encouraging mass public indoor gatherings during an historic pandemic that largely spreads, you know, indoors. Yes, the risk is mitigated somewhat by the fact AMC is requiring people wear masks, but there's obviously no guarantee your fellow theater patrons are going to comply, or that AMC will spend two hours and potential risk making employees enforce mask use in the dark.

Most of the films they'll be showing (Grease, Black Panther, and Back to the Future) are already on home video, so I'm not sure how many folks will be willing to risk death and potential lifelong disability to watch reruns. But hey, this being America, I suppose anything is possible. With all sympathy to theater industry employees, it may be time for AMC Theaters to begin considering a much harder pivot into a business sector that doesn't require denying obvious technological evolution and won't kill or disable its target audience.

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Filed Under: covid-19, movies, pandemic, theaters
Companies: amc theaters

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2020 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Come on Karl,

    "What a tissue of lies"

    I'm using verifiable primary and trustworthy story. Facts don't change just because whatever propaganda outlet you subscribe to is telling you to ignore reality.

    "To date, we have not surpassed 170k deaths"

    Current figures I'm seeing say 5,418,071 infections with 170,446 deaths, although different reporting methods mean that some site will lag or account differently.

    But, let's face it, there's so many excess deaths not accounted for yet, there will likely be many more..

    "Bonus: Do you think that 0 people would have died from this, no matter how good the response was?"

    No, but lying about it being a Democratic hoax while refusing to lock down airports coming from known infection hotspots that were already shutting down didn't help. There are studies that somewhere in the region of 80% of the first wave of deaths could have been avoided if action was taken just 10 days earlier, yet Trump was still pretending it wasn't real on that day.

    "its the fault of a single man"

    Not entirely, but the man who fired the people who would have been responsible for taking proactive measures, refused to shut down known routes, pretended it was a hoax and refused to enact the powers that would have allowed PPE for primary care workers, all while publicly telling people to ignore his own experts, should take some blame, at least?. Hillary was grilled for months over 2 deaths at Benghazi and the US started wars over 3000 deaths on 9/11. Why is Trump not responsible for what he's (not) done, since so many more Americans have died on his watch?

    "Also it should be noted that Trump tired to shut down air travel from China on Jan 31 and you all called him a racist monster"

    Yes, because at that point the disease was known to be in places outside of China so doing that would do nothing to stem the overall threat. It was already too late for that to work, unless the aim was to try and attack China rather than deal with the pandemic. Italy called a state of emergency on January 31st, the same date as the first confirmed case in Spain (although we now know the actual first cases were much earlier). South Korea was already ramping up its response, as well as some surrounding countries. He was a racist moron because he thought that blocking some flights to China would make a blind bit of difference then.

    " so he relented, then you BLAMED him for allowing travel in to the USA a few weeks later"

    Because he's meant to be a leader, but he still thinks he's a gameshow host. Who cares what if the public called him names. Is the fate of the US dependent on whether or not the leader has thin skin? How many people died because he was scared to lose ratings?

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