MERRIAM, Kan. — Cinemark's location in Merriam will reopen Friday as the movie theater chain continues its phased reopening schedule to close out the summer months.
According to Chanda Brashears, vice president of investor and public relations for the company, safety procedures and protocols will be in place for moviegoers, providing a new experience at the theater during the pandemic.
"We've been limiting capacity within the auditoriums and the theaters and also staggering showtimes in order to ensure social distancing We've also instituted a seat buffering technology which automatically blocks seats adjacent to your party when you're reserving your seats to ensure appropriate social distancing within the auditorium as well," Brashears explained. "Face masks and gloves are mandatory for all employees and required for all guests. We are disinfecting auditoriums every morning and again between showtimes and we are sanitizing all hard surfaces every 30 minutes as well as providing ample hand sanitizer and seat wipes for guests."
The industry has taken a significant financial hit during the pandemic with theaters closed and new releases postponed.
Cinemark has a plan in place to fill those time slots until new movies are back on the schedule.
"We have been working with our studio partners along the way. And we have some really great lineup of the comeback classics, which, to your point is what we are calling library content films," Brashears said.
Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones selections are just some of those throwback options for theater-goers starting on Friday. Staggered start times begin in the afternoon.
Cinemark is also offering private viewing events for larger groups. The company said they're ready to reopen in the safest possible way.
"We have done stringent training for all of our employees to ensure that they are well prepared and well versed for the current environment and we have done a lot of modular and video training and broken it up into segments. And so they're not just hearing and seeing, but they're actually visualizing and enacting the clean and safety protocols. So it's much easier for them to execute and now I do believe that we have thought through this thoroughly and consulted with appropriate experts," Brashears said.