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5 Twin Cities AMC theaters are reopening next week

Up top, a moment of moviegoing magic culled from stock photos; down below, the CDC's chart for daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. since the outbreak began.

Up top, a moment of moviegoing magic culled from stock photos; down below, the CDC's chart for daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. since the outbreak began. Getty; CDC

Let's all go to the lobby to get ourselves a... treatable case of COVID-19?!

Hopefully not.

But that's the fate some movie lovers will tempt next Thursday when AMC, the world's largest theater chain, will reopen for business. Locally, that means open multiplexes at Eden Prairie Mall, Roseville's Rosedale Center, Edina's Southdale Center, Coon Rapids, and Inver Grove Heights. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, AMC will revert to 1920s prices for that day, charging 15 cents per ticket to the handful of new releases filmed prior to the plague and lots of classics

What will attending an AMC theater amid a still-raging pandemic look like? CEO Adam Aron lays out his company's Clorox-sponsored Safe & Clean plan in this eight-minute video, which features masked workers feverishly wiping down everything in sight. "We've consulted with noted scientists and experts," Aron notes.

The major takeaways:

  • Theater capacities capped at 30%
  • Masks required for patrons (except when eating/drinking from the scaled-back, no-free-refill menu) and employees
  • New electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, vacuums, and HVAC filters
  • Social distancing signage and hand sanitizer stations
  • Cashless ticket buying

Still, even with enhanced safety measures, is it wise to re-open large indoor gathering spaces as COVID-19 spikes around the country? We posed that verbatim question to AMC's PR team, but haven't heard back yet. The Arizona Department of Health Services places movie theater attendance among the highest risk activities.

In other Twin Cities moving picture news: The Trylon and the Heights are open for biz; the Parkway is available for private screenings, plus virtual cinema; and the Riverview is selling its perfect popcorn, plus virtual cinema as well (same for MSP Film Society); Landmark Theatre locations — Lagoon, Uptown, Edina — all remain closed.