More than a dozen movie theaters in Utah will reopen in July, as two national chains announce plans for showing films and bringing in audiences safely in the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cinemark Theaters chain announced it will begin a trial run this Friday at some theaters in the Dallas area, near the company’s headquarters in Plano, Texas. The chain will follow with a rollout of openings nationwide in July.
Eleven of Cinemark’s 15 Utah locations are set to open on July 3, according to a company spokeswoman. They are:
• In Salt Lake County: Century 16, South Salt Lake; Century 16 at Union Heights, Sandy; Cinemark Sugar House, Salt Lake City; Cinemark 24 Jordan Landing, West Jordan; and Cinemark Draper.
• In Utah County: Cinemark American Fork; Cinemark University Mall, Orem; and Cinemark Spanish Fork.
• In Davis County: Cinemark Farmington at Station Park and Cinemark Layton.
• In Ogden: Cinemark Tinseltown 14.
The Cinemark 16 in Provo is scheduled to open July 10. The Cinemark Bountiful 8 and Cinemark West Valley City will open on July 17. An opening date for the Movies 9 in Sandy is still to be determined.
Cinemark’s health protocols for reopening include sanitizing all public and high-touch spaces every 30 minutes, staggering showtimes, reducing operating hours, urging guests to wear face masks, forbidding cash purchases, and limiting ticket sales to allow for spacing between patrons.
Barb Guy, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Salt Lake Film Society — which operates Salt Lake City’s arthouses, the Broadway Centre Cinemas and Tower Theatre — said the organization has not set a reopening date yet.
“We can’t wait to see our patrons and donors again,” Guy said. SLFS is working to get their theaters ready for “our safe reopening,” Guy said. In the meantime, she urged patrons to watch independent movies at home through the “virtual cinema” portal, SLFSathome.org.
The AMC Theatres chain — which operates multiplexes in Layton, West Jordan and Provo — has not announced its reopening plans.
Smaller distributors have begun to schedule new releases in early July. The first major Hollywood opening is scheduled to be Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan,” set to open July 24. Cinemark and Megaplex will show oldies, and some recent hits, until new Hollywood products are released.