This year has undoubtedly been one of the worst summers for the usually busy movie theater industry. It's the time of the year when all the big — and even some smaller — studios release their most anticipated films to the public to take advantage of the summer season.
Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, that hasn't happened. Movie theaters had to close their doors to the public at the end of March.
Some movies skipped theater releases altogether and just went straight to video-on-demand to make up for the loss, but that may have been a moot point. A recent study by Statista estimates that the global film industry may have lost up to $10 billion in the first half of the year.
The summer isn't done yet and several movie theater chains like AMC, Studio Movie Grill and the Alamo Drafthouse announced they are preparing their Dallas locations for public screenings again starting this week along with safety protocols and requirements such as distanced seating and face masks for staff and customers.
AMC Theaters announced it opened all eight of its Dallas-Fort Worth theaters Thursday: NorthPark 15, The Parks at Arlington 18 in Arlington, Irving Mall 14 in Irving, Firewheel 18 in Garland, Stonebriar 24 in Frisco, Mesquite 30 in Mesquite and Grapevine Mills 30 in Grapevine. It plans to open Valley View 16 Aug. 27.
The AMC theater chain also announced it is offering a special 15-cent movie ticket sale on its opening day, a reference to ticket prices in 1920 in honor of the company's 100th anniversary. The chain also plans to roll out a classic movie series following its opening with screenings of fan favorites such as Black Panther, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Grease and others, all of which will cost $5 per ticket.
Alamo Drafthouse announced it will also open all six of its North Texas theaters throughout the week starting with its Lake Highlands theater Thursday; its Richardson and downtown Cedars locations Monday; North Richland Hills and Denton Tuesday; and Las Colinas Wednesday. The chain is also changing its food and drink ordering procedure to ensure the safety of its audience: Ticket holders must place their orders when they purchase their tickets before the screenings. Only drink and popcorn refills can be ordered during the movie.
Cinemark beat its competition to the punch by opening several theaters earlier this week. The company also announced the opening dates for its other theater locations. Cinemark 17 and its IMAX theater in Dallas and both the Legacy and West Plano theaters are open. Cinemark 14 in Denton, Cinemark Movies 16 in Grand Prairie and Tinseltown Grapevine in Grapevine will open on Friday. The Cinemark Frisco Square and Central Plano theaters will open Aug. 28.
The Angelika Film Center has started putting film screenings on its schedule starting Aug. 28. Galaxy Theater's Grandscape theater in The Colony also posted a movie schedule for its theater starting Aug. 27.
Studio Movie Grill reopened Arlington Highlands and Dallas Royal Lane theaters June 26 and the Arlington Lincoln Square theater and SMG Plano locations Aug. 14. The theater chain announced it will open its Spring Valley theater Friday and its Chisholm Trail theater in Fort Worth and the Northwest Highway theater Aug. 28.
The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff has been in continuous operation with its "Virtual Cinema" and Sunset Drive-In screenings but will not be opening its main theater for public screenings. The earliest live event on the Oak Cliff theater's schedule takes place Nov. 5 with a live performance by comedian Kyle Kinane.
The Look Cinema in Addison hasn't made an announcement about reopening its Belt Line Road theater as of Thursday.