Movie theaters can open but it may be a while until any do

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 8:46 AM AKDT
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Throughout the "Hunker Down" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people in the state of Alaska have been stuck at home, and with little else to do movies have been a saving grace, as have apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and others.

Now that some restrictions are being lifted in "Phase 2" of the reopening plan, movie theaters could provide a reason to get out of the house. Theaters are allowed to open with certain rules in place, but few have nationwide and so far, here in the last frontier their's only one theater welcoming movie goers. The Orca Theater in Soldotna.

Regal, AMC and Cinemark are the three largest theater chains in the nation. Both Regal and Cinemark have movie houses here in Alaska, but all three companies have stated that they won't be reopening until at least June. AMC and Cinemark have even suggested that they may not reopen their doors until July.

There are some independent theaters like the Orca and smaller chains around the country which have opened up in certain states, showing older movies at reduced rates and just 25% capacity but so far it seems to be the exception not the rule..

An employee from the Bear Tooth Theatrepub told KTUU Monday that they don't currently have any plans as to when they will reopen.

At least part of the reason for remaining closed has to do with movie studios. The release of many of the films that had been scheduled to hit the screens this summer have been moved back significantly.

One film that has yet to change its scheduled release is the upcoming Christopher Nolan film Tenet, but that's not slated to debut until July 17.

Studios will likely be unwilling to release new movies until a majority of the nation's largest cities are not only free to go see them, but free to do so at full capacity in theaters.

So for now, and for at least the rest of May, if you want to watch a's probably still going to happen on your couch.

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