Cinemark theaters to 'ramp up' reopenings in July, anticipating wane of coronavirus
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The Cinemark theater chain plans to gradually reopen locations in July under the expectation that the coronavirus outbreak will subside during the summer, an executive reportedly told investors in a conference call Wednesday.

Cinemark Chief Financial Officer Sean Gamble said on the call that the chain is looking to “ramp up” operations July 1 and bring employees back in late June, although he noted resumptions could be “state by state, county by county,” with demand taken into account, Deadline reported.

Echoing more general warnings from public officials about the gradual nature of reopening businesses, Gamble said it would likely be a few months before normal levels of business have resumed.

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CEO and board director Mark Zoradi said the chain anticipated showing already-released movies in the first two weeks of reopening, with a goal of slowly restoring regular summer attendance in time for the release of Christopher Nolan’s anticipated thriller “Tenet” the weekend of July 17.

Gamble said even with social-distancing measures observed, the chain could make a profit with occupancy levels between 20 percent and 30 percent, according to Deadline.

Zoradi said the chain is also prepared for a level of voluntary social distancing that consumers are likely to maintain even after state and local orders are lifted, saying the company is exploring either temporarily selling every other seat or suspending reserved seating for a period of time during which it will sell only half of seats.

“We will let the consumer know that they’re walking into a highly clean, highly sanitized” environment, Zoradi said, according to Deadline. Asked about whether Cinemark has any plans to take moviegoers’ temperatures, Zoradi said the company “[doesn’t] anticipate that” but added “it’s not to say it’s part of the plan.”

Numerous movies have been made available on-demand due to theater closures, including Universal’s “The Invisible Man” and “The Hunt,” while bigger tent pole films have been pushed back until they can receive a full theatrical release, including Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman 1984” and Disney’s “Mulan.”