The impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the Stillwater area is expected to be felt for a long time. 

Following months of closure, AMC 10 in Stillwater has been given an opening date of Aug. 27, as officially announced by AMC Theatres.

With many major chains shut down across the country, movie theaters have been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. Closures in Stillwater began with local emergency mandates, but the entire AMC chain stopped the films from rolling across the country in April.

The company said the first theaters will be opening doors Aug. 20, with about 300 locations opening within the next two weeks. It announced showtimes for “The New Mutants” on Aug. 28 and “Tenet” on Sept. 3.

“The remainder of our U.S. theatres will open only after authorized to do so by state and local officials,” according to a social media post by AMC.

According to its website, AMC will “reduce touch points and protect your safety, including simplified menus for shorter lines at concessions and reduced auditorium capacities for social distancing.”

The auditorium capacity has been reduced to 30 percent or less per screen with every other row blocked off.

 “In all auditoriums, please leave an empty seat between yourself and other guests,” the website reads.

Masks will be required for all patrons, though they will allow them to be removed for eating and drinking.

AMC will still accept cash, has reduced its concessions menu and will only dispense condiments by request. Refills will not be allowed. It has also added hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipe stations.

Stillwater began allowing more non-essential businesses to open in June but after a few weeks of spiking COVID-19 cases, passed a face-covering ordinance July 10. The City of Stillwater currently does not have specific measures for movie theaters outside of the ordinances that already apply to indoor public buildings such as face coverings and social distancing.

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