The movie market re-opened in late summer in the United States after months of mitigation efforts due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it may be too little, too late for at least one chain of theaters.
AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the world, has announced that due to the “reduced movie slate for the fourth quarter,” its existing cash resources will be “largely depleted” by the end of the year or early next year, reports CNN.
In order to stay afloat, the company says its needs to find new ways to borrow money or for more customers to buy tickets.
Though the chain has opened 494 theaters as of this month, with seating capacity between 20 and 40 percent, it has had an attendance decline of 85 percent compared to last summer.
AMC is not the only movie theater chain affected by the pandemic. After re-opening in August, Regal Cinemas temporarily suspended operations of all of its theaters in the United States on October 8 after several blockbusters had their release date postponed or switched to a digital release amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Cineworld, Regal’s United Kingdom parent company, shared that it would close 536 locations, affecting 45,000 employees.
In September, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced a voluntary nationwide set of health and safety protocols.
Thousands of locations nationwide, including theaters owned by Cinemark, AMC, and Regal Cinemas, have adopted the standards set by NATO. The program, known as CinemaSafe, is based on the CDC, OSHA, and the World Health Organization guidelines.